So I was either on vacation this past week or riding Quetzalcoatl’s incandescent ayahuasca flatus toward the infinitely dense singularity at the center of the galaxy—I forget which. Regardless, after emerging from my weeklong, politics-lite fugue state, I noticed something that might be newsworthy: Holy sentient yam salad, the FBI just raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort!
Anything else of note happen? Did Rupert Murdoch’s plastic surgeons send his antediluvian scrote back in time by slingshotting it around the sun? Did aliens invade Earth because it’s the only place in the Laniakea Supercluster you can still get a Choco Taco? (Supplies are limited, so turn us all into smoldering heaps of insensate carbon now, space aliens!) Did scientists announce that they’ve achieved nuclear fusion ignition? Oh, they did? Well, then.
Of course, a story that trumps potentially creating a nearly inexhaustible source of green energy would have to be, well, nuclear. And it looks like we got it.
You know the old saying: It’s always darkest before the dong … hides top secret nuclear secrets at his shitbag golf resort and gets his ass raided by the FBI. And that seems to be the case here.
Suddenly, Democrats have a new bounce in their step, and for good reason. The Kansas abortion vote appears to have portended a far more manageable midterm election than any of us could have hoped for, and now the Democrats have a bona fide electoral success to hang their hats on going into November. Slowly but surely, Joe Biden’s approval ratings are rebounding off their dismal lows. Democrats now hold a slight edge in the generic congressional ballot. Gas prices are steadily falling, inflation is cooling, and jobs are still being created at a robust clip. And suddenly, Donald Trump’s caravan of kookaburra candidates looks like it could not only keep the Senate in Democrats’ hands but also help us expand our slim majority.
Meanwhile, the big news coming out of MAGAland is that authorities may check the documents Trump stole for fingerprints to see how many grubby, treasonous mitts have pawed at them. (Pro-tip for the FBI: If you find a fingerprint made entirely of Goober Grape, you can pretty much just assume it was Eric.)
Of course, if you weren’t despairing over our midterm prospects—and, by extension, our democracy’s prospects for survival—earlier this year, you weren’t paying attention. But fortunes change—sometimes rapidly. And often when we least expect it.
About a month ago, I wrote an angst-ridden post about my then-upcoming trip to my Trumpy ancestral homeland in Northeast Wisconsin—a trip that just concluded without measurable bloodshed. Driving my rental car from the airport after I arrived in the Badger State, I was chilled to see a giant Trump-Pence 2020 yard sign with the “Pence” portion sliced out of it, leaving a rectangular hole where the name of the traitor’s erstwhile running mate used to be. It felt like a bad omen for the rest of my trip. But it turns out not bringing up politics sometimes means you can avoid talking about politics. Who knew? Maybe my Trumpy relatives decided to observe a policy of mutually assured destruction, knowing that any political flak they sent my direction would be returned in kind. Maybe Trump’s latest adventures in treason made them uncharacteristically sheepish. Or maybe they realized the occasion—my niece’s wedding—called for an atmosphere of rapprochement and calm.
Regardless, the week went by without significant dustups. (I couldn’t help telling my Tucker-loving mother that we really need to let far more immigrants into the country in light of our nation’s short- and long-term labor shortages. I might as well have told her I was Dr. Moreau-ing an undead army of left-wing guerrillas out of remaindered raccoon parts and gum. But hey, that’s on me.)
After the wedding, driving through streets I used to frequent and past some of my old favorite haunts, I became philosophical about life and the twists and turns it takes. A bitter breakup that, ages ago, seemed like the end of the world presaged the life I have now—a life I wouldn’t give up for anything.
Sometimes you end up where you’re supposed to be, despite your best efforts.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Trump’s election was so bitterly disappointing, I vaguely regretted President Obama’s reelection years earlier. After all, while Mitt Romney had his (considerable) faults, he wasn’t a clear and present danger to Western civilization. But while it may sometimes feel like we’ve taken one step forward and 10 steps back, there’s always hope if enough of us keep our eyes on the horizon and continue walking in the right direction. And sometimes, in the midst of our stumbles, the landscape changes in the blink of an eye.
Years ago, when I lived in Wisconsin—before moving out west, before antidepressants, before Donald Trump took a blowtorch to the Republican Party—I was a rock-ribbed pessimist. Of course, there are still plenty of good reasons to be pessimistic. Look at the state of the world on any given day throughout human history. It’s an easy choice to make if you’re so inclined. And, yes, I’m fully aware that we’re not out of the MAGA woods yet. But I choose to be an optimist now, and my biggest reason—assuming I really need one—is that it’s simply better than the alternative.
It’s time to rally, folks. Suddenly, we’ve got a new lease on life, and as we know, fortune favors both the brave and the party that hasn’t committed serial treason every day since Nov. 3, 2020.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
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