Only a Catastrophe

I don’t care if solar power is cheaper.  God wants us to burn coal.


OK, let’s stop fretting so much.  Donald Trump’s presidency will not mean the end of the world and won’t even be the end of the United States.  It will merely be a catastrophe, and one from which we’ll recover in time.

Trump will not be reelected, nor, despite all the parallels in his election, does he have Adolf Hitler’s organizational skills.  So in four years, his reign will come to an end, and the nation can set about recovering from the damage.  Yes, the damage will be considerable, but there’s only so much harm he can do.

He’ll throw open our national parks to private enterprise, but in four years they will not be able to cover them all with oil wells, harvest every tree, or mine every mountain.

Yes, our air and waterways will become more polluted as the fangs of the EPA are pulled, but pollution is reversible, given time.  After all, it’s been only a little over a century since the mines above San Jose that supplied mercury for the gold rush have been shut down, and already it’s safe to eat moderate amounts of some fish from San Francisco Bay.

He won’t be able to replace all our public schools with private ones subsidized with vouchers, at least not in the blue states.

Yes, Heimat Sicherheit and the NSA will be given more powers to keep the government safe from the people, and thus, P2P encryption will be illegal for citizens.  After all, our leaders have already observed that if someone is encrypting his emails, then obviously he has something to hide and the government needs to know what that is.  Still, we can safely talk with each other so long as we abandon our cell phones for the duration and take simple precautions like talking only on large lawns and keeping one hand over our lips.

Our improved Supreme Court will reverse former decisions restricting religious freedom, and once again our bathrooms will be safe from the transgendered, gays will be forced back into the closet, contraceptives will not be covered by medical insurance, and all abortions will be illegal.  The good news is that all the new appointees will be dead in fifty or sixty years.

Social Security will be renamed Private Security and will be optionally available for citizens who wish to purchase it.  Similarly, Medicare will be privatized, and those who can afford it will be able to buy it freely.  Medicaid will be phased out, but most of us don’t need that anyhow.

The onerous burden of regulation will be removed from the shoulders of business, and profits will soar.  Wall Street will be able to bring us new and improved financial instruments in which to invest, and delicious new foods will be engineered and freely marketed without all that tedious nutritional information on the labels.

But we are a strong people, and we’ll adjust and adapt until we rise again in four years, chastened and hopefully wise enough to begin reversing our course.  Strong enough, one hopes, that most of us will survive the camps.

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  1. Posted 12 January 2017 at 10:01 | Permalink

    Yes, the USA will still be there 4 years from now, but politicians can do a lot of damage in 4 years.

    I’m not sure what’s more disquieting, an unpredictable Donald Trump as US president, or the prospect of what Mike Pence might do, if he (somehow) manages to become president (I’m sure there are a lot of GOP folks who hope that Trump can somehow be impeached).

    • Posted 12 January 2017 at 10:25 | Permalink

      You are not the first to feel that i was insufficiently pessimistic. Hell, my First Reader called my draft “wildly optimistic” before i added the last line and sharpened a couple of points at his suggestion. And yes, you have pointed out a problem that i hadn’t thought to include. I’m frankly even more fearful of Pence than i am of Trump since his stated positions are all worse than Trump’s, being pure radical Republican approaches to everything. On top of all the other outrages, he’d do his best to turn us into a theocracy. Worse yet, he’d be more effective than Trump at getting what he wants from Congress. Even worse, he’d have a better chance at getting reelected. Horrors. So i’m crossing my fingers on my right hand and holding my thumb on my left hand in hopes that Trump will not be impeached. What a bleak little hope that is!

      • Posted 12 January 2017 at 10:31 | Permalink

        Ummm, a note on holding my thumb. Instead of crossing their fingers for luck, the Dutch fold their fingers down over their thumbs and call it “holding my thumbs”.

        • Posted 12 January 2017 at 11:15 | Permalink

          I’m neither superstitious nor into symbolism, so I’ve never used the phrase “Ik zal voor je duimen” (I shall/will thumb for you) to wish some one good luck.
          I actually had to use a search engine to remind myself how “duimen” is done and found the following (Dutch) Wikipedia entry:

          • Posted 12 January 2017 at 13:02 | Permalink

            I learned about this from Amsterdam friends, so maybe it’s more prevalent in the west. Still, i found it a delicious little contrast with our crossing our fingers. Not, of course, that i actually believe that either will bring good luck.

    • Posted 12 January 2017 at 12:58 | Permalink

      The more i think about it, the more i realize that deep in my heart i’m more frightened of what Trump might do than Pence. Better to live in a theocracy than in a nuclear war.

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