Every day — let me admit this right up front — I punch up CNN on my phone or slide over to it on my browser and look, with wild-eyed hope, for something millions of us are practically praying to see.
We don’t wish harm upon the man, of course. We don’t want him dead. Not really.
Seriously. Not really.
But every day I, and I know millions of others, call up the news and wish him gone. Just gone already. Just go.
This isn’t right, is it? This is not how it should be. We all should be rooting for him. As many said in the days after the election, if he succeeds we all succeed. Right?
But it has become clear now that his idea of success is maybe the exact opposite of what many of us — hopefully most of us — consider success to be. And, worse, his way of getting to his warped view of victory — inelegant, crude, classless, mean, petty, possibly illegal, quite often nothing short of immoral and too often so, so, so stupid — is achingly painful to endure.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where this pitiful, fatally flawed man has done the most harm in his year and a half on the job. His supporters (and, sadly, he still has plenty) point to a rousing economy, prodded by businesses unshackled by things like odious taxes and regulations. But it is wealth that, almost inarguably, has gone almost all to the already wealthy.
Meanwhile, our planet, our very air, our health is being attacked by his single- and simple-minded devotion to big business. His foreign policy, if you can call it such, seems to be based on abdicating our place as a strong leader in the world in favor of strengthening our borders, turning away the needy and withdrawing from the world.
Worse than that and many other beefs we have — I’m not going to list them — at a time we need it the most, he is the opposite of a unifier. He drives a splintered America further apart with fear of the unknown, with name-calling, with outrageous non-stop lies, his pettiness and a cheap, false, almost laughable bravado. He is the softest, weakest, most fearful mean-talking, tough-acting, finger-pointing person to ever hold his office.
This isn’t political. It really isn’t. But this guy should not have this job. He has never said a genuine, unifying, hopeful word. Sure, he can rile up people in the way a PA announcer at an NBA game does. But can he soothe or comfort, can he pass on wisdom or make you examine all sides of an argument? Does he ever, ever strike you as thoughtful or considerate?
No. Never. He is incapable of any of it.
To point out the opposite, here’s a guy who can, speaking intelligently and inspiringly on a subject that our supposed leader has forged, needlessly, into another wedge to drive us apart.
This isn’t political. It really isn’t. It really almost can’t be. If my hopes are realized, if our hopes are realized, if I head over some afternoon to CNN and find him gone — just gone — his right-hand man, a conservative’s conservative, suddenly would be in charge. To many, that’s frightening. To many, that’s worse.
But the vice president at least seems to be a man of conviction, however scary those convictions may be. He believes, at least it seems, in something more than himself. He is driven, it seems, by more than dollars or adulation. He may be incompetent, he may be a zealot, he may be laser-focused in trying to mold the country into a narrow-minded version of what his view of his religion thinks we should be.
At this point, though, if the veep takes over and that gets us to 2020, when we get another chance to make a better choice of a leader, I’d gladly take it. At this point, I’d grab that tradeoff in a second.
Just show me which button to click.