The presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
One hundred and ninety days from now.
A tad more than half a year.
Quite a lot, really.
And given that, right now, it looks as if those days—4392 hours — will be taken up listening to, looking at, and thinking about Donald J. Trump, some words of comfort are in order.
I'd like to direct your attention to Chris Christie in the photo above.
Now the governor of New Jersey was never going to be president. That dream vanished when his top aides shut down a few lanes of the George Washington Bridge leading to Ft. Lee in 2013, as some kind of crazy political payback by creating huge traffic jams. Meaning either Christie knew about it and lied about that knowledge. Or ran an administration where henchmen ran riot while he sat in the dark.
And really, which was worse?
The man was a political corpse and didn't know it.
Still, Christie showed up at the Republican debates, delivered his prepackaged zingers and hit his cues. And when it was over he was among the first former opponents to embrace Donald Trump.
As a reward, Trump lets him join the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band album cover melange of models and GOP mercenaries who have drifted over to his banner and are allowed to stand behind him at speeches.
Christie, though, is noteworthy for that expression, that stunned, miserable stare that often comes over his face. I think of that woman trapped in the hive in "Aliens," who croaks "Kill me."
Or—and this is a vague memory—there was some Babylonian king, who kept his enemy, blinded, in a small cage at court. It was something I glanced on a TV historical drama years ago, so might not even be true. I can't dig up any facts on the matter, so maybe you can help out.* But the sight of once egomaniac Christie, deprived of the spotlight, showing his throat to Trump, who dressed him in rags and chained him to a post in the corner, where he crouches, miserable, waiting hungrily for scraps of attention.
That's a beautiful thing. It makes me happy every time I see it, because the obloquy is so well-deserved. The quisling, his head shaved, in a tumbrel, dripping in spit. And perhaps there's a bit of foreshadowing there. It is too much, at this point, to hope that Trump will end up the same way, toothless, ignored and flailing, a male Sarah Palin, spouting gibberish as people avert their faces. He's too rich for that. But it could happen. Some version of that could yet occur. Look at Christie. Really look at him. Whenever Trump is on stage, scan the ensemble of bootlickers and coat-holders and toadies. Find him and be reassured. The wheel turns, and sometimes rough justice does occur. Trump is riding high now, at this moment. But a moment does not last forever. Or so one may passionately hope.
* A Bible-savvy reader, John Anton Weber, offers up the unfortunate I was thinking of, Zedekiah, citing chapter and verse:
"At the end of his eleven year reign, Nebuchadnezzar succeeded in capturing Jerusalem. Zedekiah and his followers attempted to escape, making their way out of the city, but were captured on the plains of Jericho, and were taken to Riblah.There, after seeing his sons put to death, his own eyes were put out, and, being loaded with chains, he was carried captive to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner until he died."
— Kings 25:1-7; 2 Chronicles 36:12Thank you John!