Every war has its casualties. In the battle that is Roald Drumpf versus the world, the first losses were truth and justice.
Truth was the first to die. From long before the election, Drumpf has played fast and loose with reality. By the end of his first eighteen months in office, he had already told thousands of falsehoods, from exaggerations about his accomplishments to outright lies about the actions of others. Anything unflattering about Drumpf, or which spoke an uncomfortable truth, was labeled “fake news” by his spin doctors. They were kept busy redefining the xenophobic narcissist as a decent human being. His sexual misconduct was painted as normal youthful behavior. With so many other political and entertainment industry icons being accused of similar behaviors, Drumpf’s crimes got lost in the madness. The question might be whether his spin doctors had anything to do with that.
Once in office, Roald Drumpf set about changing everything about the country which he had been elected to lead. He first filled his cabinet with people who were determined to destroy the departments which they had been chosen to head. From the beginning, he did his best to eliminate everything which had been accomplished by the previous administration. He didn’t wait for the legislature to make the changes he wanted. Instead, like the king he wished he could be (and perhaps thought he was), Drumpf tried to rule by proclamation.
One of Drumpf’s more economically destructive proclamations involved trade tariffs. While it may have been intended to add tax dollars to government coffers, it had instead the effect of raising the price of foreign products here. Other countries created their own tariffs which raised the price of American products overseas. Several American vehicle makers (including Harley Davidson) were forced to move some of their manufacturing facilities overseas in order to remain competitive in the world market. This cost many American’s their jobs. Drumpf’s response to Harley Davidson’s move was to claim their profits had been down (7%) in 2017 as a result of arguments they’d had with him in 2018. Despite the dire consequence of Drumpf’s tariffs on other industries, none of these tariffs, of course, had any effect on his daughter’s business ventures.
Drumpf’s bullying behavior nearly caused a nuclear war. He and the leader of North Korea had a name-calling battle similar to what one might hear on a school yard. It continued until both were left in fear of an actual attack, which lead to the escalation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Eventually, a private summit between Drumpf and the third generation dictator brought a promise of the end to that, but no signs that this promise was being kept. The meeting between the two seemed to legitimize the North Korean government in the eyes of the world. The agreement signed there allowed Drumpf to claim that he had prevented a nuclear war.
Xenophobic Drumpf’s primary goal has been to eliminate from American soil anyone who does not match his image of what an American should be. His first target was Muslims, and those from Muslim nations. When his first proclamation to keep them out failed, he just kept writing until one worked. Next came Mexicans; he insisted a wall be built along the southern border, and then jailed anyone who dared to cross into America, including families with children, who were immediately separated from their parents. Protests caused this to end, and a plan to be set in motion to reunite the families. The date for this to happen has come and gone. Drumpf then turned his attention to naturalized citizens, looking for those “undesirables” who may have slipped in before he had the power to stop them. How long until he looks at anyone who writes, or even reads, ideas which disagree with his own? The government may not watch us now, but it would be foolish to not be aware that they could.
Justice is a thing of the past. With Drumpf’s choice of a new Supreme Court judge, it has come to an end. The former justice retired from his lifelong appointment to the bench, but not without some coercion from Roald Drumpf, who implied that legal problems might appear for members of his family should he choose to remain. The new judge was chosen before the old one had announced his retirement, and that choice was part of an agreement reached beforehand. Any appearance of considering anyone else was simply a pretense. Drumpf’s choice is ultra-conservative with proven loyalty to the president. He is anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, and believes the president should be immune to prosecution. With the Supreme Court in his pocket, Drumpf will be unstoppable.
Roald Drumpf isn’t only a self-proclaimed Nationalist, he is an isolationist. He’s made friends of the worst of our enemies, and enemies of our former allies and friends. With Drumpf at the helm, there is no more America.
Several weeks after their return home, Reginald and Grace had finally settled into some semblance of a normal life. The money that had accumulated in the bank while they were gone had been spent repairing the damage done to their home by the squatters. “It could have been worse,” Grace mumbled to herself as she swept up the broken remains of those things she’d had to leave behind. She had scrubbed clean some of the unbroken pieces, but others had been beyond redemption. Grace behaved stoically as she tossed them out, but rocked herself in silent despair in the hours she was alone. Any show of emotion seemed to upset Reginald, who worked hard making what repairs he could, and putting the outside of the house back in order.
Some of the money had gone to replace Reginald’s television. In their search for all things necessary, they had discovered that few stores remained beyond the big chain stores. Grace was saddened to see that her favorite donut shop had closed its doors. “How could so much have changed in so short a time?” she asked herself. So many small realities had begun to change with Drumpf’s election, but she could not have imagined a world so altered.
The place which had been her home for so many years had become a ghost town. Buildings which had been abandoned when their owners left town had been destroyed by looters looking for anything of value which had been left behind. Through windows cracked and broken, Grace and Reginald had seen drywall shattered where electrical fixtures and wiring had been ripped from the walls. Reginald’s comment on the destruction was to say, “We were lucky they didn’t do that to our house.” Grace thought about that comment while she scrubbed feces from her bathroom walls; she didn’t feel very lucky.
For weeks, police vehicles had continued their slow crawl past the house several times each day and night. Grace watched them through a slit in their closed curtains and wondered if it would ever end. Cruisers were not the only thing she spied through her window. Several times she caught sight of her nosy neighbor peeking through her own curtains. On occasion, Grace had spied her working in her yard. When she had raised a hand in greeting, the woman had pointedly turned her back. Grace had just shrugged and gone back inside; after all, the two of them had never been the best of friends.
Reginald and Grace got along well enough during this early time period after returning home. Just as they had worked together to survive on the road, they now worked together to bring their lives back to normal. Each morning they woke up hopeful, and each night they fell asleep exhausted from their efforts. There was no time or energy for conflict, and each thought the other was happy. For the most part, this was true.
Over time, they began to fall back into some of their old habits. Reginald would retire to his den to watch television while Grace prepared their evening meal. It was easy and comfortable, and neither of them thought anything of it. When the news of the day began to reach the dinner table, they tried not to argue over its content. This would change over time. Eventually, Reginald had discovered the Drumpf News Network. Things reported there had a tendency to cause controversy between the two of them. Grace’s choice when this happened was to grit her teeth, or to enter into an argument she couldn’t win.
That first summer home had been long and hot. To supplement the meager supply of vegetables now available at the market, Grace and Reginald had planted a garden in their back yard. The seeds they had purchased had been irradiated by the bombs, and so they waited to see if they would grow. A drought had kept the garden from growing as it should have, but Grace had canned and frozen all she could. She and Reginald were still trying to get along, but the heat hadn’t made it easy. By the end of summer, they were barely speaking to each other. On one night so hot that lightning streaked across a moonless sky, Grace heard a scream so blood-curdling and loud that it caused her to jump in fear. Turning to Reginald, she said, “What on earth was that?” His response was to lock the doors; “Mind your own business,” he said.
When the sun came up, they discovered their neighbor sprawled across their front yard. Her blouse had been torn down her back, and deep scratches could be seen through the rip in her clothing. Gouges from her attack dug deeply into their lawn. Reginald ordered Grace back inside the house, and after a moment she complied. “We should cover her,” she whispered, but Reginald insisted they leave things alone. He went to call the police.
In the few minutes it took them to arrive seemed like an eternity. Light flashing, the cruiser pulled to a stop against the curb opposite their house. As he exited his vehicle, the officer could be seen loosening the fastener on his holster. He took a hard look in both directions before crossing the road. He walked up the driveway to get a good look at the crime scene. Reginald stepped onto the doorstep, but the officer quickly ordered him back inside. Watching through the window, Reginald and Grace observed as a CSI unit arrived and the coroner’s vehicle took their neighbor’s body away.