America's Finest Hour?
STOP WORRYING IF BIDEN WILL LOSE. CELEBRATE THE CRUSADE TO STOP TRUMP
You know what I’m talking about, since you probably do the same thing.
Even alleged “good news,” like Biden’s lead in the polls, is unnerving. Take no comfort, the Worrier Class tells us: it’s way too early to trust that lead will hold up. Remember what happened to Hillary. Summer polls are a fall jinx. Polls make voters complacent. Anyway, the numbers could be wrong, since who knows if Trump supporters lie to pollsters.
And there’s Trump’s fascination with the sewers of American life; he's forever on the lookout for fresh rivers of racism, misogyny, negativism and other pathogens to divert into the political mainstream
“STOP!” yelled a tiny voice. “JUST STOP RIGHT NOW!”
I looked around, unsure where all the commotion was coming from, and I was surprised to find that it was the usually sane and steady voice of Mr. O, the “optopossumistic” opossum.
Mr. O appeared in our backyard earlier this year, and he’s been my companion and confidant since then, at least on political matters, with our discussion usually taking place in the evenings after supper.
“Knock it off," Mr. O continued, using a phrase popularized by our home-state governor, Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo, in her early Covid-19 briefings, when she was lecturing lunkheads defying her orders to stay six feet from one another, wear facemasks and relentlessly, repeatedly and recurrently wash their germ-encrusted filthy hands.
Raimondo has been appearing on lists of possible Biden vice presidential candidates, which makes us proud, although she's usually at
I was rather surprised by Mr. O’s angry tone. He usually avoids HYSTERICAL CAPITAL LETTERS in both his written and oral communications, mainly to avoid any comparison to Trump, but also because Mr. O prefers the peace and quiet of the shadows, where his somewhat revolting tail is less visible and his considerable intellect shines.
"WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?" I asked.
"How about looking on the optimistic side of things,” Mr. O said, playing to his specialty, an overall upbeat view of life in general and not limited to politics.
“Such as?” I said, trying not to suggest that dogs, with our long association with Humans, know more about life and politics than do marsupials, who, by definition, are your basic outsiders.
“Such as how about you consider that, when everyone looks back at this period, they will see it as one of the most inspiring moments in American history, about which our grandchildren will ask us over and over, begging us to tell them what it was really like,” Mr. O said.
Mr. O and I haven’t been friends long enough for me to tell him about The Operation I had after I was rescued as a stray puppy in Missouri and that there aren’t going to be any children, much less grandchildren.
“You mean moments like how George Washington’s troops survived that winter at Valley Forge,” I said, “or how the ‘Greatest Generation’ defeated the Nazis; or Nixon's goodbye wave from Marine One; or how Lee Iaccoca introduced the Ford Mustang, ushering in a new era of prosperity, based on new products that nobody needed, but everyone desired.”
“Something like that,” Mr. O said.
“But those were undeniably times with happy endings,” I said. “In this election, just like in 2016, there are no guarantees. Who knows whether the country is ready or able to face up to the damage that Trump has done, to say nothing of the horrors he’s planning.”
“There were no guarantees in those other times, either,” Mr. O said. “The Revolutionaries could have come down with Colonial Coronavirus; Hitler could have developed the A-bomb first; and Ford could have gone on making practical, boring cars that nobody wanted and ended capitalism as we know it.”
“We are seeing the best of democracy, and it’s been that way since Trump took office,” Mr. O said. “There are amazing, heroic, imaginative, brave people out there doing amazing, heroic and brave things.”
I pointed out that it was time for me to go back inside the house to join the Humans and do some TV binge-watching, to that we could all get Trump out of our heads, at least for a few hours.
“Now, Phoebe,” Mr. O said, “just hang on and hear me out.”
I could see that the Humans were having trouble connecting to their streaming services – seems that the Internet is really strained these by so many people binge-watching TV all at the same, to get Trump out of their heads for a few hours. So I agreed to stay and hear more of what he had to say.
'CONSIDER THIS," Mr. O said. "Think how you will feel on Nov. 3 when Joe Biden wins the presidency by a landslide, the Democrats take over the Senate and they expand their lead in the House?”
“What are you trying to do, O?,” I screamed. “You’ve just put a curse on the election. Have you no superstition, man? That’s like the baseball announcers talking about a no-hitter before the game is over. Please, stop. And lower your voice.”
“I’m serious,” he said, flicking his scaly tail, and twitching his panda-like ears. (Mr. O’s face is stuffed-toy cute).
“They’ll look back at all the good, dedicated, kind, brave people, Mr. O said. The Mothers who marched after the inauguration; the Mothers who formed the wall in Portland. The soldiers, diplomats who put their careers on the line to testify during the impeachment. The Dr. Fauci’s, who tried to literally heal the nation; the generals; the Justice Department attorneys; the over-the-hill FBI directors, the weather forecasters; the aircraft carrier skippers; the Black Lives Matter demonstrators; the political organizers; the reporters, the Never-Trumper Republicans; the ordinary people who can't sleep at night for fear of what Trump will do next; the postcard writers, the phone-bankers, the donors, the Tweeters and Facebookers, the pamphleteers, all of the people who stood up to Donald Trump.”
AND PEOPLE WILL MARVEL at their dedication, and how, even when they seemed to be losing, they kept on fighting for America and democracy and for all of the good things that a free country can do. And they will say: ‘This was America at its very best.’”
“Not to throw a little cold water your way,” I said to Mr. O, “But what if Trump wins? Will it still have been America’s finest hour? Will the best and brightest of America still have risen to the challenge? Will this still have been a time in our history like few others?”
“Of course,” Mr. O said. “It's just that nobody will write any books about it.”