Monday, November 9, 2020

Quietly Fades the Don?

In Australasia the most famous Donald is not Donald Trump. It is Donald Bradman, cricket’s greatest ever batsmen and Australia’s greatest ever cricketer.

In 1949 Jack Fingleton, himself a very good batsman, but by then cricket writer, wrote a book about Don Bradman’s final Australian XI tour to England in 1948. Wittily he called it Brightly Fades the Don. That title was a spoof of the title of Mikhail Sholokhov’s four volume novel Quietly Flows the Don (1928-40) - also known as And Quiet Flows the Don. 

The former book charts the final pathway towards Don Bradman’s retirement (at the age of 40 - still a remarkable age to be playing international cricket). The latter book is the story of the Don Cossocks - Cossacks who live along the Don River - during the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

As I write, victory has been declared for Joe Biden in the US Presidential Election and thus defeat for Donald Trump. Unfortunately Donald Trump is not currently accepting defeat let alone admitting it. But the flow of the river of popular acclamation of Biden and his victory is against Trump.

Whether Trump goes quietly from the White House or not, I think we can see that over the next year or two he will quietly fade away from our consciousness.

"Trumpism" may or may not be a political thing (I see some saying it is and others that it is not) but Trump is finished. Why? Simply, there are only so many lies a body of people can stomach. He has told many lies and the past few days of egregious claims of electoral fraud are among the worst of them.

Even in defeat he cannot face let alone tell the truth.

The irony is that Trump has in fact received a record number of votes (but Biden has received even more). With a smidgeon more effort against Coronavirus, a tad more empathy for suffering humanity (especially in his own country) and a few less lies, Trump could have succeeded in garnering the Electoral College votes he needed to remain President.

He is the living embodiment of tragedy - so close to success, so unnecessarily falling into failure, and all through personal choice to take the moral low ground when the high ground was easily in reach.

So far so Greek drama!

And it may get worse for him as his family appears divided over whether to support his claims of the election being rigged or not.

What is Trump in biblical terms?

It is hard to get past thinking of him in terms of Israel's kings - the ones in the line of Saul who manage to stuff things up, principally by disobeying God and often coming to a bad end.

I wonder if those US pastors - e.g. Paula White - who have so vigorously and publicly supported Trump as God's anointed ruler will open their Bibles to review their support and find a better biblical understanding of what kind of "king" he has in fact been?

My suspicion, perhaps yours too, is that such public but erroneous support for such an immoral king will quietly fade away, never to be referred to again!

PS For those keen on literature and its relevance to life in actuality, read Maureen Dowd's last sentence in this article.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr President:

Although I voted for the President-Elect, I am pleased to congratulate you and your campaign on your historic success in registering and motivating millions of first-time voters for last Tuesday's election. As you know, the votes are still being counted in a few places, but it seems possible that you have added more Republicans to the voter rolls than any president in our nation's history.

Your achievement won back House seats the GOP lost in 2018 and has perhaps held its majority in the Senate as well. Mainstream pundits are lamenting that the Blue Tsunami never came, but if they could handle the truth, it would be more fair and balanced for them to say that your beautiful Red Undertow cut their big wave to a Blue Ripple.

Luckily for you, that Blue Ripple was small enough to give your party an unexpected electoral success, yet mighty enough to liberate you from the tedium of the presidency. Your smashing success entitles you to shed the bother of the White House for the thrill of leading your loyal millions from Mar-a-Lago. By tradition, you will be the titular leader of your party for another four years. But who exactly is going to take your title away?

The question is: why should you linger in the inferior and unrewarding office when you can spend all the time you want on the job that you truly care more about? As party leader, you had an obligation to run for the sake of the Republican candidates down ticket. You've done that; they've won. Is there really any reason to bother with more White House press briefings, more foot-dragging from Mitch McConnell, more nay-saying from Anthony Fauci, more of the First Lady's dislike of the capital?

The tradition of staying in office-- and snowy Washington-- until late January is just another silly rule waiting for you to break it. Let President Pence shiver on the Capitol steps while Biden takes the oath of office. You can be in sunny Florida getting seconds at the shrimp buffet while you think up a tweet before climbing into the cart for another round of golf.

Best of all, by leaving Biden in the dust you will finally catch up to Bush and Obama. Everybody knows that ex-presidents have more fun, are more popular, and get much higher tv ratings than presidents do. Imagine-- your ratings so high that Murdoch broadcasters around the world book you whenever they can. Meanwhile, calls from Stephen Colbert get transferred to the Mar-a-Lago grounds crew. The New York Times watching your interviews on Fox and reading them in Wall Street Journal. When they had the chance, they did not make nice. Time's up.

The escape is easy to arrange, sir. Your chief of staff is out sick with the plague, and your staff is in quarantine, but a healthy Marine stands guard just outside the Oval. Just pass the word to him, and he can summon Marine One to take you over the city's monuments to Joint Base Andrews. Once Air Force One is winging down the Potomac to the blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay, nobody can stop you. All you need tweet then is "Give Pence a chance."

All best,


Peter Carrell said...

Dear Representative Sample of a Kind and Gracious American Voter,

I suggest you overestimate the eagerness of any TV network anywhere to have the soon to be ex-President on any show about any topic!

Kiwi Observer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kiwi Observer

At the moment, the eagerness we desire is not in TV networks ;-)


Kind and Gracious

Anonymous said...

Simone Weil-- a philosopher, Jew, and Christian in wartime France-- wrote an essay proposing the abolition of all political parties. It is on my mind as I ponder an America in which one party comprises the whole spectrum of constitutionalist opinion from left to right of centre, and the other has decayed into an alliance of those opposed to various positions supported by stable majorities. The former is too broad; the ladder cannot govern.

Why should these clubs screen and nominate the candidates for whom I vote? We voters can screen candidates for ourselves by voting on candidates of both parties or no party in a single public primary with a ranking ballot.


Father Ron said...

Dear All,

I cannot help but be disturbed by on-line videos of Donald Trumps Spiritual Advisor stomping the floor of the White House claiming it as 'Holy Ground for her boss! In her harnguing prayer she invoked to power of 'angels from Africa' and other places to dispel the possibility of Trump's loss of the POTUS Election.

Counter to that, comes the news of Pope Francis' call to Joe Biden (November 11) congratulating him in his electoral victory. I know whose 'spiritual knowledge' I can better depend on. Even Trump's Republican allies are urging him to let go of hisd o'er-weaning ambition for another 4 years of power.

Father Ron said...

Here is the latest on the religious front in the U.S. Tele-Evangelists sphere - which reflects sadly on the political manipulation of the extreme Right :[0]=AT0Sy2dINgonP2p9OEMI5SYwbJEMheGomKHP1twbZ95Usjc-H1L6N-pbEnzhnj87LVcSeofk-YHy6Yc1NnizGUrgwBWnfGnQrWLrlxcOK7r6jh3p-jf4nUBtALaYk-51KMJoeUkoxScUHHUBbWo3LPMWv1w