Garrison Keillor is an author and radio personality.
This election is winding down, thank heaven, and barring a bombshell backstage video in which Hillary Clinton is heard talking about how she loves to stroll into a men’s room and let out a whoop and yank the waistbands of men at the urinals and yell “Snuggies!” the outcome is in sight, and finally we’ll be done with Nate Silver and Politico and RealClearPolitics and the ranting and raving on YouTube and the borderline-psycho posts on Facebook by people we wish we weren’t related to, and we can get back to real life.
The bitterness of it has been exhausting. The “issues” were piffle and mishegoss; there was zero illumination; the election was all about hostility. The ugly billionaire nitwit versus the Babylonian antichrist. The Trumpites stuck with him despite his hopelessness because his candidacy gave the New York Times fits, and the Hillareans stuck with her because the alternative was him.
So here we are, loathing each other. Too bad, but we are a righteous people and we need to have someone to loathe.
Look at the English language. The words that express peaceful harmony are so few, so pale, so flaccid, while the words that express disgust, dismay, revulsion comprise a vast and delicious vocabulary. “You’ve got bubblegum for brains, you jackass, you are so average, did you eat dumb flakes for breakfast? Go sit on your thumb, you feeb, you nincompoop, you fathead” — it goes on and on and on. Shakespeare is loaded with insult from our rich Anglo-Saxon heritage. It’s a language for people who don’t like each other. You want harmony, go talk Sanskrit.
So here we are, bilious and consternated, and in three weeks, it all comes to an end. Apparently, Donald Trump will not call up Clinton on election night and offer her congratulations. He may file a lawsuit instead. His followers will be encouraged to believe that the election was rigged by Wall Street hedge-fund managers in cahoots with the vaccine industry, followers of Saul Alinsky and aliens living in Roswell, N.M., but whatever — it will be over. The shouting will die down. The “Lock her up” T-shirts will go into the bottom drawer. Families will gather for Thanksgiving and bite their tongues and avoid eye contact. There will be Christmas. The inauguration will take place, and Barack and Michelle Obama and the girls will go to their new home and get out the Scrabble board and pop a kettle of popcorn. And next spring the 2020 campaign will begin.
I worry about Trump. What is he going to do? He has damaged his brand. The steaks, ties, home furnishings, fragrances, whiskey, resorts, condos, golf-club memberships — when you associate yourself with white supremacy, male chauvinism and invincible ignorance, this is not smart marketing. He can’t go back to Trump Tower. Manhattan is about 84 percent Democratic. Why live among people who don’t appreciate you and ride around in a black limo with smoked-glass windows through crowds of pedestrians giving you the finger? It’s no way to live.
Does the man have friends? Or only associates? This is the big question. Is Sean Hannity really and truly his friend? Or Howard Stern? Or Rudy Giuliani? Do they go out for lunch and tell jokes about the two blondes who went to the drive-in theater in February to see “Closed for the Season”? I doubt this.
He should pick up his traps and move to Nebraska. Not long ago, he was leading in Nebraska by about 2 to 1. There are wonderful, warmhearted people there who love and admire him, so he would fit right in. Look at Broken Bow, a town of 4,000 on Highway 2 in Custer County. He could get a nice three-bedroom place there for $150K. There’s a municipal airport, a hospital. The restaurants are good if you like beef. You can play golf from May through September and after that you can use a fluorescent orange ball and play in the snow. He’d be far away from the New York Times. Trump could make Broken Bow great, put marble floors and walls in the public school, put up a marble statue of George Armstrong Custer. He could attend a good evangelical Christian church every Sunday and go to Bible reading Wednesday night where maybe he can learn more about those two Corinthians. He’d need to be careful about touching women suddenly without permission, though, because many of them are armed. If he grabbed one down there, she might cut him a new buttonhole. Even if she were a Christian.
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