Please, dear God, let it end.
Like a lot of people, I am sick to death of thinking about this president.
Can we go just one day without a hateful or terrifyingly ignorant statement, a disqualifying act, a gambit that eats away at our democracy? Might it be possible to read a book before bed sometime, instead of doomscrolling into the wee hours to keep up with his latest abuses and cruelty? Could we wake up just one morning without thinking: Lord, what has he done now?
Boy, does he take it out of you, sucking your energy and idealism and fight away, like profits at his shady businesses. Exhausted was years ago, except the years feel like decades. I’m more beaten down by this man and his enablers than I ever thought possible. His reign has been so much worse than even I imagined, his corruption and misconduct more brazen, the checks on his myriad desecrations more compromised.
He’s set such a low bar that a turnip could clear it.
So, give us a president who is as boring as a root vegetable. Give us somebody who speaks in sentences, and makes speeches we can let our kids listen to, and who is also more mature than those kids.
Give us a president who reads, and knows what he doesn’t know, and is capable of learning anything. Somebody with a rudimentary understanding of the economy, and science, and some inkling of the pain and suffering and love and courage among the citizens he is sworn to serve. Somebody who understands those citizens include even those who did not vote for him, and that government, including the attorney general, works for the people, and not personally for him.
Give us someone who sees a national crisis — a long overdue reckoning over racism, a deadly pandemic, an economy in free fall — and tries to calm the storm, instead of making it exponentially worse. Who doesn’t encourage white supremacists, who can decry a plot by domestic terrorists to kidnap a sitting governor, and restrain himself from attacking their intended victim.
Give us a president whose usual behavior is distinguishable from the drug-induced kind, rather than someone whose irrational, grandiose edicts and sudden reversals may or may not be due to the psychiatric side effects of the drug he is taking because he contracted a virus he still refuses to take seriously. Somebody who cares if he infects others, including those whose jobs give them no choice but to be near him.
Give us a president capable of humility, empathy, and shame. Who values democratic ideals, including the rule of law. Somebody who wants a country where every vote has equal worth, and for whom allowing Americans to easily cast ballots is a goal, and not a threat to his rule. Somebody who believes murderous autocrats should be pariahs, not his best buddies, that our allies are to be treasured, and who understands that welcoming refugees is fundamental to who we are. Somebody for whom a soldier’s sacrifice is not unfathomable, but rather something simply to honor. Someone who understands the meaning of honor.
Give us somebody who is not so appalling that our mayors and governors and legislators get a pass because at least they’re not him. And give us a country where we nominate someone who matches our ambitions for the country, instead of the placeholder most likely to beat him and stanch the bleeding.
Give us a White House where there is love, and joy, and celebration, and maybe even a dog. Where employees don’t have to risk their lives, and serve a president who sees and respects them. Make it a beacon that belongs to the American people again, and not a taxpayer-funded set for tawdry, law-violating campaign events and state propaganda.
It is so little to ask for: not a perfect president, or even a great one — just somebody who is not toxic and broken, not an existential threat. Somebody who can stop us sliding further into hatred and self-absorption and decay, so that Democrats and Republicans of good conscience can start the hard work of climbing out. Somebody who is not him.
He has taken so much from us. We are so very tired. Make it stop.