Days until Election: 14
Cleaning up after Trump
OLD WORRY: BIDEN LOSES
NEW WORRY: BIDEN WINS!
It was Mr. O, the politically persuasive opossum, and his tone was sympathetic.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“No need to apologize, Old Friend,” the marsupial said. “These are tough times.”
“I just don’t want it to show,” I said. “A lot of people have real things to worry about – getting evicted, getting sick, getting laid off, getting kicked off unemployment. And let's not forget dying.”
“Which doesn’t mean you have no reason to be anxious,” Mr. O said.
“I suppose,” I said. “Maybe we can just drop the subject.”
“Worried that Biden is going to crack up in Thursday’s debate?” Mr. O pressed.
“Not particularly,” I said. “Joe's shown he can hold his own.”
“Upset about Pennsylvania, the swing state that Trump/Biden ‘must’ win, but which is 'too close to call' and ‘within the margin of error’ -- that type of thing?”
“Pennsylvania doesn’t keep me up nights," I explained. "My Humans went to college in Allentown, and actually, The Nice One was born there.”
“Are you worried that Trump is going to win?” Mr. O asked, finally coming out with the most terrifying possibility of all.
“Nope,” I said.
“WHAT ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT?” Mr. O said, finally losing his patience.
“That Biden’s going to win.”
“Afraid so,” I said.
“You do remember that you, I and every other sane, nice, ordinary, thinking, pleasant, decent and kind creature on the planet,” Mr. O said, “have been saying for four dismal, frightening, miserable, horrible and long years that this is the election of a lifetime, it’s democracy’s last chance and that if Trump is reelected, the world is doomed?”
“I do recall something along those lines,” I said.
“But now you’re upset because it’s possible – dare I say, even likely – that J.R.B will become the 46th president of the United States, and that D.J.T is going to be headed up the 'up' escalator at Trump Tower, or even better, that he may flee to some place that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States?” Mr. O said. “And that worries you! Why?”
“Look at what’s waiting for Biden shortly after noon on Jan. 20, 2021,” I said. “The Big Mess. A mess of immense, unimaginable, immeasurable, morbid immensity.”
“You’re talking nonsense, Phoebe,” Mr. O said.
“In case you’ve forgotten, Mr. O,” I said, “there’s a pandemic underway; 8,312,109 people in the U.S. have had Covid-19, and 221,694 of them are dead. There isn’t a vaccine yet; even when there is, it’s going to be months, even years, before enough people are inoculated. Meanwhile, Trump’s trained half the country not to wear masks and do the other simple things to slow the coronavirus until the science kicks in.”
“Seems to be the case,” Mr. O said.
“Improving,” Mr. O suggested.
“About to go over the cliff, Little Friend, because the Republicans in the Senate won’t approve the billions of dollars economists say is needed to prevent a wholesale collapse,” I said.
“Anything else bothering you?” Mr. O asked.
“Climate change,” I said.
“Big on Biden’s to-do list,” Mr. O said. “He’s going to repair all the damage Trump’s done. Joe's going to get back into the international treaty; he'll jump into renewable and clean energy; this alone will put millions of people to work. Win-win, ” Mr. O said.
“Maybe he’ll do a lot; he probably will,” I said. “But will he do everything that needs to be done? And fast enough? And even if he does, the damage that’s already been done means more floods, more hurricanes, more wildfires.”
“You are the life of the party,” Mr. O said.
“And look at all the people waiting to tear Joe Biden apart,” I said. “The Republican-Fox-Limbaugh-Hannity hate machine will get right to work, criticizing, misrepresenting, carping, complaining, naysaying.”
“Seems likely,” Mr. O said.
"But leading the charge,” I said, “will be the liberals, the progressives, the Left, all demanding ‘Real Reform' and ‘Real Justice' and, of course, they’ll have every right to do that, and often they’ll be absolutely right to complain about half-way measures, broken promises and the Unfinished Agenda.”
“But," said Mr. O, "Biden, the Democrats, the Left and the left-out people who voted for him and Harris know that the problems are impossibly big. I mean, even without Trump's murderous bungling, these things would be big, nasty problems, no matter who's president.”
“So what?” I said, “Biden and the Forces of Good will have just two years – until the mid-term elections – to show progress, real progress, real results measured by Ronald Reagan’s old question: ‘Are you better off today than you were on Nov. 3, 2020?' The answer better be 'I think so?' "
“Or what?” Mr. O said.