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Answered Prayers

October 3, 2020 (414 words)

What was your immediate reaction when you first heard President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 the other day? Not many of us want to go on record as wishing anyone ill. We don’t want to be ostracized as despicable, and we don’t want to tempt fate. Even the rowdiest heathen has an unwavering sense what goes around, comes around.

But I’m willing to bet more than a few of us indulged a brief moment of wicked glee upon hearing this news. That so many of us had to fight off such dark thoughts is itself a sad commentary on this President’s unorthodox tenure.

Every politician has their critics. And those critics can get themselves really riled up about this or that errant policy initiative. Many citizens develop an intense personal dislike for politicians they don’t agree with. All that can be considered as fairly constant.

The variable this time around is how the object of our scorn enjoys dishing it out, too, like a common ruffian. Has there ever been an occupant of the Oval Office who went out of his way to provoke such a wide swath of the general public as this man has? Surely no other President has relished “poking the hornet’s nest” of public opinion as hard and as often as Donald Trump.

Growing up there was always a kid who liked to say outlandish things, just to get a rise out of the adults in the room. Mr. Trump’s late-in-life political career seems to be based on nothing but that – getting a rise out of the electorate by being “unfiltered.”

It’s almost comical to watch the “polite” population register their outrage with clockwork regularity, every time the President dispenses with decorum. And he never tires of pushing those buttons, does he? It’s apparent he revels in being the “disrupter-in-chief.”

On the other side of the coin, the way Mr. Trump can effortlessly make the “establishment” squirm has proven deeply satisfying to a different, perhaps somewhat-less-polite segment of the population. His bull-in-the-china-shop routine is clearly their cup of tea, even though it’s become painfully obvious it’s pretty much his only move.

So while nobody really wants to see ill befall anyone, it’s only natural to not mind when a loudmouth get his comeuppance every once in a while. Having said that, I’m sure deep down we all wish President Trump a speedy recovery.

Who knows, maybe he’ll get to experience a “Ghost of Christmas Future” conversion while in quarantine.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
October 3, 2020

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