Despite Donald Trump’s inglorious defeat and second impeachment, it seems that his iron-tight grip on many Americans remains intact as their hope for his return is encouraged by the irresponsible and disgusting actions of his most ardent supporters in Congress.
All of that came to mind this week on a road trip from Myrtle Beach, SC, to St. Augustine, FL, which displayed plenty of evidence that lingering hopes exist among some that Trump will somehow resume the presidency. And then, we’ve had the continuing antics of Trumpers in Congress in one form or another, which some could see as giving hope to those who refuse to accept the fact that Trump is finished.
On the way across the South Carolina countryside and on down I-95 through Georgia and into Florida, there was clear evidence that many are holding on to this belief. The Confederate flag flying in the front yard of a broken down house trailer in South Carolina stood as silent evidence of the occupants’ views.
Along I-95 there remains a massive billboard that screams Trump 2020: Defeat Socialism. That begs the obvious question. The election is long over. Why is someone still paying for that billboard?
And then, in St. Augustine, the picturesque city that began when the Spanish explorer, Pedro Menendez with 700 soldiers and colonists landed here in 1565, Trump 2020 flags still fly from a building along Avenida Melendez across from the sailing marina. And along the street just up the way, a little car sports a bumper sticker, “TRUMP 2020: No More Bullshit."
OK, that person’s car was literally plastered with all manner of bumper stickers, and having one on your car doesn’t necessarily mean you are pulling for Trump to make a miraculous return. In fact, maybe that individual just likes weird stickers, no matter what they say.
But then, as my wife, Jackie, and I waited for a table at a popular local restaurant, known for the fact that everything on the menu is fried, a middle-aged White man engaged the woman who was taking names of waiting diners in conversation.
”Shame about Trump,” he said. “But I know he’s fighting to the end.”
The woman, who said to us as we left the restaurant, ”Have a blessed day,” nodded in agreement.
”It sure is,” she said.
Fighting to the end? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, sir, but the end of Trump as president of the United States came on January 20 when Joe Biden was sworn in as our 46th president. The only question now in doubt is what will happen to Trump after all of these court cases that are pending against him are decided.
Of course, there are those in Congress who won’t give it up, either.
Like Sens. Josh Hawley (R-GA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) who have been trying to gaslight us about what happened on January 6 when Trump-backed insurrectionists attempted to disrupt Congressional certification of the Electoral College vote and finalize Biden’s election.
Those two have been leading lights in the false claim that the mob that attacked the Capitol, resulting in five deaths and a multitude of injuries and death threats against Trump’s own Vice President and Democratic lawmakers, was actually composed of left wing liberals who were trying to make Trump look bad.
And then there is the brilliant Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon Congresswoman, whose latest outrage was to try to block approval of equal rights legislation that would provide equal protection under the law to all, including LGBTQ individuals.
OK, that has nothing to do with Trump remaining in power, but it certainly represents the fact that Trump’s hateful attitudes are alive and well in the U.S.
Congress, and if my road trip experience is any example, elsewhere in the nation, as well.
Joe Biden said his election was about “the soul of America.” He was right. There is a lot of healing that needs to be done.