Writing at the end of 2020, with a United States Presidential election result postponed, it is still difficult to take in what has happened over the last four years.
Many of my friends are convinced that the 45th was not just a President but closer to being a savior. They have a range of arguments which they find compelling. Their 401k’s are higher than ever. The stock market, despite it’s incredibly bumpy ride through 2020 is higher than ever. Is it a miracle, or was the market touched by an entrepreneur’s genius?
There was that tax cut for corporations that undoubtedly helped to drive the Dow Jones and NASDAQ higher. My friends argue that it was a great tax cut, but in truth none of them is really any better off financially. Their investments are, but their own personal tax positions are virtually unchanged.
There was also the trade war with China. For most people, the actual impact of that is hard to define. There have been many reports of farms in Iowa and other mid-western states going out of business. The impact of the trade war seems to be either very clear, because it impacted you or a business you are associated with, or it is unclear because it did not touch your life. Either way, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between the trade war and a rising Dow Jones. Perhaps there is one, but the media and informed commentators do not seem to be able to see it. What is clear that as they sit at home tracking their stock portfolio’s, they clearly believe that there is a link.
Some of my friends have also been drawn into the media hating, conspiracy frenzy that seems to have gripped much of the United States and beyond in 2019 and 2020.
To them it is quite clear that the President has been waging a silent war against all sorts of deep state criminals and media empires. Perhaps he has been, but if he has, where are the high profile arrests that they keep telling me will happen “any day now”?
My own personal argument against this is that a large part of the inner circle that worked on his campaign has been prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced to jail time. To me, that does not jive with, “I know all the best people” or “Drain the swamp”. It seems swampier than ever to my mind. Perhaps I am wrong, but most presidents do not manage to get themselves impeached, nor does their lawyer go to prison for campaign finance violations. So, you know, there’s that.
The other side of the scales seems to be quite heavy to my hopefully impartial eyes. There are just so many allegations that relate to billing in his own properties, unexplained meetings by Jared and his children, interference from Russia, those unreleased tax returns, using private email servers while complaining that Hilary did exactly that, payments to porn stars, children separated from their families at borders, failure to respond to the pandemic, and on and on that it is very difficult to claim this was a successful four years. Not with either a straight face or your sanity intact anyway.
For what it’s worth, I’m still waiting to see when the property mogul is going to “build the wall” and get someone else to pay for it. He has had four years to get that “big, beautiful concrete wall” up.
You know, the Daily Show team put together a video series of clips for YouTube that detailed the presidents top 100 scandals in order of importance! The top 100! Can you imagine what would have happened if the previous president had had just two of those..?
At this point, I’m preferring to interpret the 2016 to 2020 period as one giant interpretive art installation designed to show just how little “united” there is in these States and why it might be right for Texas to become a Lone Star and for California to secede as they discuss every few years as if on a loop. Maybe we really are several different countries, not one, and maybe there are reasons for not being cheerful.
What I do know is that if, a few years from now, we learn that these four years have been one giant grift and the former first family has been grabbing and looting money and contracts from their position as they claim Hunter has been, then all of their supporters that were 100% behind the sins of the son being punishable on the father had better not object to law suits and prosecutions.