Trump’s Obsessive Obsession

To the Editor:

Good morning, class, thank you for Zooming. For our civics discussion today let’s focus on the touchstone of the Trump era so far? Any thoughts? Yes, Jimmy, your answer. “The overt destruction, or attempted destruction, of anything remotely wonderful or cherished in America—national parks, health care, civil rights, human rights, the climate, fair elections. And lately hampering the Census Bureau and the Postal Service.”

Good point, Jimmy. But why does he do these things? Anybody? Sally? “Because he only cares about two things—corporate America and himself. In the case of the Post Office it’s himself, his reelection.”

My goodness, but what is the connection between the Post Office and his reelection? I need some clarification. Billy? “Because if he cripples the Postal Service, as he is rapidly doing, then many absentee mail-in ballots—ostensibly for Biden—might get clogged in backed-up mail sacks and wouldn’t get counted in November, especially in light of the pandemic increasing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this year.”

Why is his reelection so urgent? OK, Mary? “Because as an ex-President he is a citizen like the rest of us without the perks of the Presidential office to protect him from the myriad criminal law suits pending against him. The statute of limitations on the criminal charges against him would run out by 2024, meaning if Trump wins this election he is saved; if he loses this election he could end up in the hoosegow.”

I get it. All politicians want to win, of course, but in Trump’s case it seems he has to win. I see a hand up, yes, Jane, you have a comment? “I think a paraphrase of Samuel Johnson’s observation about the hangman’s noose obtains here: ‘when a man knows he is going to jail in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’”

Thank you, Jane. It’s been an illuminating session. And thank you all. Next week’s assignment—Trump’s sabotaging of the Census Bureau. Class dismissed.

Barnabas Umbrage

Portsmouth, N.H.


Thanks for writing. We’ve been getting out less, what with the pandemic and all. We miss catching glimpses of you, strolling about, looking sharp in your tricorn and knee britches. Be well.

The Editor


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