In American history, there have been three existential moments when the fate of the United States was at risk: creation, secession, and depression.
At the birth of the country, there was no guarantee that it would be successful. There was no guarantee that the fledgling states would successfully constitute themselves. One person made a difference and earned the reputation as the indispensable person. We will never know if without George Washington, the United States would have been created or not. What we do know, it is not simply by chance that he was in that position. People picked America’s first action hero to command the American forces and people wrote the Constitution with the expectation that he would be President. He fulfilled expectations.
At the secession, one may reasonably posit that the election of Abraham Lincoln triggered the event. But the idea that America was a house divided already was known. If it hadn’t been Lincoln’s election that immediately led to the Second Civil War, it would have been something else. It is easy to imagine that America’s Second Civil War could have ended with two separate countries as we are today except not legally. No one anticipated that Lincoln would become America’s greatest president outside the Confederacy. He exceeded expectations.
At the depression, one may reasonably posit that the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a direct result of the failure under Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt was elected to save America. No one knew that there would be a second and unrelated threat looming just years away –World War II. Similarly, Roosevelt’s success in the 1930s during the depression did not necessarily mean he was right person to be the wartime leader. Roosevelt first fulfilled and then exceeded expectations when the second threat arose.
Today, if one would to identify the three greatest American presidents, outside the current White House and the Confederate states, the answers would be Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Historians can play the “what if” counterfactual one on do times make the person or does the person make the times. The other Roosevelt is likely to be a favored choice for Presidents who could have risen to the occasion to save the country had the opportunity existed. It is a lot easier to select Presidents who would have failed miserably had they been President during these crises or whose shortcomings precipitated the crisis in the first place.
MOUNT RUSHMORE OPPORTUNITY
At this moment in time, America experiences multiple threats. The times cry out for a Mount Rushmore President to lead us from the calamities facing us. It seems as if fate is piling it on, confronting America with one challenge after another. We are facing:
1. the attempt by the Middle Kingdom to wrest world leadership from us
2. America’s Third Civil War
3. the global coronavirus crises
4. the global economic recession if not depression
and, of course, below-the-radar, climate change which hasn’t disappeared from the real world even as it recedes from the news media due to all the other events.
To some extent, during the 2016 election We the People given our Electoral College system picked a President to deal precisely with most of these issues.
With climate change, the choice was simple. The candidate who denied that climate change existed and who claimed it was a Chinese hoax won. As one might expect, the anti-science values of his supporters carried over into other science-related issues. He has meet expectations.
With China, the choice also was simple. The winning candidate was one who had no interest in America’s role in human history or position in the world. Everything was transactional. Everything was a zero-sum game. There were no allies, only transactional relationships. We pulled out of the anti-China alliance the previous President had put together. The new President did so because he vowed to undo whatever Obama had done. The new President did try to apply his transactional zero-sum values to trade the Middle Kingdom but so far without much to show for it. Now he is trying to blame China for the coronavirus crisis and turn China into Mexicans and Salvadorans. That will work with Trumpicans again in the election but has little substance in the global arena. He has not met expectations but is still trying; plus the game has changed due to the new circumstances.
With America’s Third Civil War, the choice also was simple. The winning candidate made no attempt to be President of We the People. He made no attempt to be an e pluribus unum President. He saw that America was not a house divided but two houses. He did not divide America, he exploited the divisions which existed. The longtime pretend Democrat and Clinton supporter realized he had no future there just as he had none with the New York elitists whose approval he craved and never received. Instead he became a fake Republican, heard the call of Sarah Palin to take back the country from you know….those people, and answered the call. As long as Trumpicans think he is fighting for them against the terrorists, they will continue to accept him as their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name no matter what else happens. He is meeting expectations and still fighting as the battle is not yet over.
With the coronavirus, that was unexpected. Just as Roosevelt had been elected for one crisis, the depression, and then had to face another one, so to now there was a second crisis unrelated to the first. The winning candidate was elected to save real Americans by taking back the country, not to fight a virus. Whereas Roosevelt proved successful in dealing with the unexpected, the same does not apply now. Success if fighting against immigrant people does not translate into success in fighting against an immigrant virus. Still, he has claimed success, asserted he wouldn’t have changed anything, and declared himself a “10.” The wartime President against the invisible enemy has won and saved over 2 million American lives in the process. By November, the coronavirus crisis will be over if it isn’t already and who will remember the problems of the spring.
With the depression, again the unexpected occurred. The United States economy already was on its way back in 2016. The one action taken to help rich people get richer did not contribute to a more successful economy. Now we are on our way back. By November we will be back and who will remember the problems of the spring.
To recap, the winning candidate did do what he pledged to do…up to a point. He did wreak havoc with the international arena. He did ignore climate change. He did fight immigration. He did insult, demean, and mock the politically correct, the news media, and the Republicans who did not accept the new Trumpican order. He did not end Obamacare. He did not return manly manufacturing jobs to the United States. He did not return manly coal mining jobs to their former number. He did save America from the coronavirus and did rebuild the economy. So despite his dishonesty, ignorance, narcissism, above-the –law behavior, and conduct as a seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck, he had and still has a legitimate chance win the Electoral College again.
What is important to realize is that the immature child playing imaginary games where he makes up the roles genuinely believes he has succeeded as a wartime general and that Trumpicans accept his version of the truth as communicated via Tweets and Fox.
WARTIME GENERAL FOR AMERICA’S THIRD CIVIL WAR
The same considerations apply to the ramped up Third Civil War in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Bonespur Boy is seeking to replicate his wartime victory over the coronavirus over the thugs and terrorists.
“We will end it now.”
“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
“My administration will stop mob violence, and stop it cold.”
“These are terrorists. These are terrorists. And they are looking to do bad things to our country.”
“Only I can save our country because I am a very stable genius, the smartest person in the room.”
You want empathy? Try weak wimpy sleepy Joe Biden. I will dominate the streets. I won the battle of Lafayette Square (The Battle of Lafayette Square: The Greatest Victory in American History). Real men don’t wear masks. Real men don’t go into bunkers (except to inspect them!). I am Macho Macho Man like Putin, ruler for life as I should be, too.
Obviously it is only because of Divine Providence, that at this moment of existential crisis, that our Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, is here as President of the United States. He saved the economy once, he will do it again. He saved the country from the coronavirus. He will take back the country for real Americans. Truly we are blessed that at this moment of existential crisis, we have a President equal to if not superior to Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. And if you don’t believe me, just ask him.
For all his talk about having the greatest first year if a President ever,
For all his talk about having the greatest first two years of a President ever,
For all his talk about having done more for black Americans than any President except Lincoln,
He had a legitimate opportunity in the real world to become one of America’s greatest Presidents if only he knew it and was capable of rising to the occasion.