The things we're all probably better off not mentioning in service of our collective sanity is growing by the day and hour here in Trumpistan. Sometimes minute by minute. Like a clear majority of Americans now, The Observer lives in a perpetual low simmer of apprehension, fingernails gnawed to ragged pink quicks, awaiting the next calamity or shotgun crotchblast of gaslit cruelty while actively wishing we could hurry up and get to the series finale of this reality shitshow. This week, it was President Trump's former henchman Sam Nunberg making a whirlwind media tour/pub crawl/cry for help on any news outlet that would commiserate with him (Nunberg, verb: to lose one's cool in public; to flip out. Example: "Bob nunberged at work today so hard his co-workers were worried he was going to come back and shoot up the joint!") What's next, we wonder? The president and half the amoral lizards in his employ chain-ganged from the South Portico to a waiting fuzzwagon? A Trumpian dynasty that lasts 400 years? Tanks grinding up Pennsylvania Avenue when the outcome of Election 2020 is declared FAKE NEWS! and Current Occupant refuses to vacate the premises? Imperial-Power-Couple-for-Life Javanka seizes control from Mad King Sneer and goes full-on "1984"? Heavily armed MAGAtes swarming out of the hills to bring Godless urbanites like Yours Truly the Good News?
All those outcomes, we're sad to say, seem completely and terrifyingly plausible at this point in the American Experiment, this country now a Schrodinger's Cat of horrible potentialities, simultaneously realized and unrealized inside the poisoned black box of the future. Tomorrow's history is rushing around us now like a flooded river, the murky water full of floating houses and spinning chifforobes, men on horseback and infants in baskets, the unstoppable current sweeping us all along to some inevitable conclusion that will, by itself, take decades to heal, and then only to a puckered scar. We do hope that what's next is not the scenario where Javanka takes over, though, because it's become painfully clear that those two empty-headed ninnies don't know their asses from a sixer of Schlitz. Maybe even the Trumpies can agree with Yours Truly on that one. Baby steps back to a functional America. Remember back when we all could agree that silver-spoon New York snobs are usually a-holes? Ah, the good ol' days!
The Observer, Spouse and Junior were just talking about all this the other day. Not the slow slide to oligarchy, because what can three little Americans lacking the big bucks to buy a U.S. senator do about that? Just the uncertainty of it all. How and when and where this Trump thing is all going to end. Where it's all going to go from here. How terrifying it is to live through what you know will be monumental history someday, endlessly dissected and parsed and pinned down to corkboard, dry and dead, by future historians. How terrible it will be for America if Trump winds up with Nixon on the shortlist of shame, and how even worse it will be for America if he doesn't.
We agreed that there is no outcome that doesn't end badly, though some outcomes are clearly worse than others. There are only degrees of bad now. How many years of this precious new century — a century so crucial for the collective survival of our species — will be wasted on infighting in the dying glow of Trumpism, with people around the globe wondering just when, exactly, an electoral majority of those crazy Americans are going to elect someone even worse than Trump? Somebody just as devious, divisive, proudly ignorant and egotistical. Only smart this time, intelligence being the Ingredient X that always divides the bragging clowns from the true monsters who inevitably try to crack their world in two to see if what's inside is sweet.
All that is in the future now, though. There's no fast-forward button on this machine. All we can do is tread water and cling to each other. For now, the water is sweeping us along, leaving us to wonder what snag will rise up to catch us around the next bend.