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Good Riddance to 2020 and Mad King Trump

You won’t find much disagreement that 2020 was one of the worst years in memory for hundreds of millions of Americans.

The red flags of a virulent and lethal pandemic went up early and the country shut down by March in an attempt to “flatten the curve” of infections. But actions by a hare-brained president and his delusional followers rejected the advice of top infectious disease experts, politicized sensible precautionary measures as a cheap ploy to garner votes in an election year, and resulted in the ongoing illness and deaths of millions of Americans as this ugliest of years comes to an end. Good-bye and good riddance to 2020 — as well as the worst president in the nation’s history.

History is replete with mad kings, emperors, pharaohs and even popes. And so, despite the myth of American exceptionalism, we now get to have our own mad president in Donald Trump. The ultimate grifter, con man, continuous liar and malignant narcissist, Trump has turned us against each other, beggared the Treasury, and plunged this nation into its greatest human tragedy in recent history. And no, despite the inane prediction that somehow the pandemic would “disappear like a miracle,” the truth is we now have more than 3,000 Americans dying daily as we head toward a projected 567,000 to 731,000 coronavirus deaths by April.

Having been bunkered up in the self-induced pits of denial since his election loss in November, our version of the Mad King has decided to simply ignore the actual duties for which he was elected. Instead of providing any semblance of leadership on the worsening pandemic crisis, the looming eviction of 14 million Americans, the expiration of unemployment for millions more the day after Christmas, he heads off to Mar-a-Lago to play golf. But not before leaving a trail of misery, crippling uncertainty and anger behind as he racks up the taxpayer tab on his golf trips to a stunning $151.5 million for his nearly 300 outings to his own properties.

Never in recent memory has the federal government been so poorly run. When can anyone recall funding the government not just from week-to-week, but now day-to-day? Every president in 56 years has signed the military spending bill into law — but despite being passed by more than 2/3 majorities in both chambers of Congress, Trump vetoed the $740.5 billion measurelast week because he doesn’t like the idea of removing the names of traitorous Confederate generals from military bases.

How nuts is this guy? Well, his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, told Congress that $600 survival payments to citizens would be the maximum amount the White House would accept in the new $900 billion “stimulus” bill. But after the bill made its torturous route through Congress without a shred of input from Trump, he threatens a veto, claiming it must have a $2,000 cap — exactly what the Democrats asked for earlier and the White House and Republican Senate rejected.

But if you’re a corrupt Republican congressman, a murderous mercenary, or convicted for heinous crimes like his son-in-law’s father Charles Kushner, Trump’s not too busy to abuse his presidential power once more and give you a presidential pardon.

2020 will be gone this weekend and our mad president shortly thereafter, despite his crazed antics. But Trump is not America. Our nation has undoubtedly been crippled — but we will not be destroyed by this worst president in history. We’ll pick up the pieces in the New Year, move on and gladly say goodbye and good riddance to 2020 and Donald J. Trump.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

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