Over Easy: A fitting ode to Trump’s ungracious exit

  • Dan Mackie (Courtesy photograph)

For the Valley News
Published: 1/23/2021 12:41:33 AM
Modified: 1/23/2021 12:41:30 AM

I wasn’t named the inaugural poet this week, although if called upon I would have tried to serve my country. It was just as well since I didn’t have any verse prepared for the occasion — or any occasion. I haven’t written poetry since high school, when I had to.

Perhaps instead I could have performed a National Farewell to a President. Considering everything, I think doggerel would do: unrefined rhymes fit not for a beginning but for an end.

Oh, if only I could have read them as the soon-to-be ex-president jetted off to Mar-a-Lago. Right after they played Don’t Stop Believin’ and the Village People’s Y.M.C.A. Really.

If my lines deserved a title, I’d call the modest effort “No More Years.”

So long Donald, Melania and all the rest,

Your boys and Ivanka whom you loved the best.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,

But lies go down easier if you skip town.

Pardon me, pardon you, pardon Willy and Nilly,

The blindness of justice seems awfully silly.

Take care of your friends, consider the wealthy,

Commutations aplenty, but keep it all stealthy.

You’re smarter than doctors, wiser than Lincoln,

The voters reluctant, what were they thinkin’?

The My Pillow Guy knows what is right,

His conspiracy tales keep us sleepless at night.

Adios DeVos, Pompeo, Mnuchin,

The Feds will soon be callin’ and snoopin’.

But Rudy your lawyer will save you from jail,

Be sure to tell him the check’s in the mail.

Don’t fear a boycott or business embargo,

You’ll make your next deal at old Mar-a-Largo.

Enjoy the sun, the sand and the beach,

No one there shall mention impeach.

I could go on and on, but sometimes you have to know when to stop. Just like the phony election challenge? Well, that’s another thing that America needs to sort out. My feelings on that swing from “let’s move on” to “no mercy.”

As you might guess, I felt blessed relief on Wednesday when the new administration was sworn in. We watched a bit and sent texts to loved ones to share the moment as best we could. I wish it was like V-J Day in Times Square, but that’s not available to us right now. We beam behind masks, but still we beam.

I smiled at seeing Sen. Bernie Sanders in a practical winter coat and Vermont-made mittens among the assembled mucky-mucks. To go with his righteous outrage, he has become America’s Crabby Old Man, a national treasure. If things had gone differently, I could imagine him being sworn in as president, his thin hair agitated by the breeze, and him telling the Chief Justice, “C’mon, c’mon, let’s hurry this. I’ve got to get down to work.”

President Joe Biden sounded the right notes of dignity, but for me it was something of an anticlimax after four years of worry, outrage and resistance that fell just short again and again. And then there was President Donald Trump’s 24/7 omnipresence. It was like living four years under tornado watch.

In nearly all that time, I never quite figured out whether Trump really meant all the things he was saying. The man loves to perform. His rallies often looked like football tailgate parties. If you ignored the vitriol, they looked like fun. Maybe not my idea of fun, but fun.

In the last few days of Trump’s term, it became clear he did mean everything he said, even the worst of it. Thus, it was more assuring to me to see him leave the White House than see President Biden come in. Maybe it will take some time for the new reality to sink in, to let go of the fear of losing the America I thought I knew. The one where the people don’t storm the Capitol –– and all the rest that led to that.

Biden might be the right person at the right time. I told someone close to me, a young progressive, that “sometimes an old guy doesn’t have to make everything about himself. He can just want to help.”

It pleases me that at 68 I can rightfully consider our new president my elder. He is 78, so I can look up to him. I don’t get to experience that so much anymore.

Dan Mackie lives in West Lebanon. He can be reached at dan.mackie@yahoo.com.

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