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Point of View: From the Mountaintop

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:55

Read my quips: Everyone knows he’s a sleaze and a snake, period. You don’t have to read the Mueller report to know that.

But the game is not over, many Americans being frightfully capable of being fooled twice. That the economy is rolling along is nice, though you do wonder how much people are making and how many jobs they are working.

Still, it’s a truism that, although presidents don’t have much of anything to do with it, a strong economy favors the incumbent at election time. But maybe the economy won’t be as strong come November 2020. And maybe, finally, his tax returns, which he’s trying desperately to hide, will by then have been exhumed. One can always hope.

As for the Democratic candidates, you want one who is calm and doesn’t take the bait, and who is intelligent and genuinely concerned for the general welfare, not his or her own. Oh, and let’s get rid of the Electoral College while we’re at it, a vestige of the past, a skewer of the people’s will. If this is a democratic republic, then let it be one person one vote, as it should be.

And then there’s Russia, about which Mueller has been sounding, in his studious way, the alarm, which includes Trump’s presumptive accession to it. An unprecedented “invasion,” said one of the judiciary committee members in the other day’s hearings, not mere “meddling.” And yet few eyebrows are raised, and so it goes.

My late stepfather, citing Gibbon, periodically warned in his later years of the end times in letters to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, when, in his words, this liberal (my word, not his) society would go to hell in a handbasket (his words) because of its, in a word, decadence.

The warning signs he cited and mine may differ — the empire’s downfall, as I recall, began when the Praetorian guards began auctioning off the top job to the highest bidder — but in the end we may share the same fear.

And now we have a prince, nay, a would-be emperor of decadence leading us, and I’m looking, but not cynically, for an honest man. Or woman. For both actually.