Donald Trump’s political demise is not inevitable, but his earthly one sure is, and more likely sooner than later. That’s not an unseemly statement; it’s simply a factual one. (Or an actuarial one.) Unlike the countless Americans whom the 45th president helped send to their avoidable deaths, Trump survived COVID-19, despite lying incessantly about the danger of the pandemic and with no small thanks to the rarefied health care he received. But back when he was sick in early October, newsrooms nationwide, including ours, had to start thinking about his obit (if they hadn’t done so already). That reminded me of a gem of the genre, and then I found myself feeling a little regretful that Hunter S. Thompson wouldn’t be around to write one for Trump, too. But perhaps Thompson’s memorable meditation on Richard Nixon—Trump’s hero of the American presidency—could in its own right suffice? Even if Trump, in comparison with Tricky Dick, has somehow managed to be both the worse and the lesser of the two, we might grab a few apt segments, swap in the Donald, picture saying goodbye to the long national nightmare of the past few years and then, whenever the time comes, also to the profoundly corrupt and cruel orange-faced psychopath himself:
If the right people had been in charge of
Nixon’sTrump’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. NixonTrump was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.…His body should have been burned in a trash bin….He was scum. Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard NixonDonald Trump was an evil man—evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him—except maybe the Stalinist Chinese Vladimir Putin, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship.
While the votes are still being tallied and we await the fate of the republic, feel free to go ahead and partake in the whole thing. Also feel free to rewatch Trump getting some other well-deserved funereal treatment. —Mark Follman