I remember in a college class being asked to write a story with a surprise ending. Mine was about dangerous automobile drivers, the ending being “the drivers were female.” Sorry about that, true then?
So, here’s my new “surprise ending” story. It answers the question “What was the most important single act that kept Donald Trump from being our illegitimate president?”
During Trump’s reign as president, he had a following of Republicans who either worshiped him — those who believed the extreme right-wing propaganda and lies — or feared him — politicians afraid of primaries Trump could influence. He reigned and reigns almost as a god. He can do no wrong, and changing any follower’s opinion of him is like trying to change their religion.
Remember, he planted seeds of election fraud and controlled his herd of propagandists. And to this day not all, but most, of the Republican herd is still preaching the Trump lie. Trump tried everything — lies, court challenges, intimidation of subordinates and law-breaking. Almost no Republicans stood up to him; simply standing by while the courts prevailed to deny Trump’s allegations, which were lies.
The threat was real. Trump with his money and court savvy was a real threat. He had, and used, lawyers like we use air. Make no mistake about it, Trump could be the president today and with his lawyers and slow courts, could remain so for the four years, after which he may have declared himself “President for Life.”
Two failed impeachments didn’t faze him; hundreds of lies, caught on every one, didn’t hurt him.
Six years now since we asked to see and he promised to show his tax returns and he’s still successfully holding out. Everybody already knows why.
He simply didn’t pay taxes like you and I and wasn’t man enough to defend it. He hid behind lawyers instead.
Remember Jim Jones controlled his followers; 918 of them drank his poisoned Kool-Aid and died.
Remember David Koresh controlled his followers; 76 died in a fire with him.
Remember Adolf Hitler controlled his followers; millions died.
Remember Trump on Jan. 6 controlled his followers; many are in jail and many yet to go. Lucky for us, his select followers, that day, were a bunch of idiots.
In the final Trump days, it was all about how Mike Pence could save the day. Several of Trump’s lawyers made cases for Trump that the vice president, during the electoral vote certifications, could declare some votes invalid.
Late in the night of Jan. 6, Pence had the choice of succumbing to Trump, like the near majority of Congress, take the safe, coward’s way, declare several states’ electoral votes invalid and anoint Donald president-elect.
In the face of real danger, Pence, a real man and my unsung hero, did his job. History will record this extraordinary, heroic event.
Caution to the blind followers: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.