Labor Day has come and gone and with it the traditional starting bell of Silly Season.
In this cycle, though, Donald John Trump has been running for reelection since the day of his inaugural. Whether this is because he lost the popular vote or just because he’s a guy with small hands, I am not informed.
The latter reason would be aggravated by comparison to Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009. Most differences, it seems to me, can easily be attributed to Obama being the first black president of this young nation. His inaugural, therefore, carries more historical significance than the typical swearing-in.
Obama did Trump’s ego no good when he went out and raised the record sum of $53 million to pay for the parts of the festivities not picked up by other contributors or the taxpayers. The biggest bill the taxpayers normally have to eat is for security, always a concern in this time when one path to fame is thought to be killing a famous person…but by the time of the inaugural, the Secret Service had already seen Obama collecting record numbers of death threats.
The fundraising for the party puzzles some people when they are informed that the entertainers normally do not get paid for performing. Whether this applies to the last piccolo player in the back of the orchestra pit, I don’t know, but if they had asked me, I would have told them to pay all the second string pickers at least union scale.
This is perhaps because I write from Austin, where we — like Nashville — have musicians tending bar or sweeping up at closing time who can go autoharp to dobro with anybody. Art is getting to be a luxury item. Art teachers are among the first to be laid off just as coaches are among the last — perhaps so they will not encourage more artists in a city that has not only musicians, but photographers and writers and I bet you have not read my memoir.
Obama’s record fundraising for his inaugural would still have been inadequate if he had to pay all the headlining pickers. It’s fair to say that the musicians could feel the winds of historic destiny beating about their brows when they put together very limited set lists that often contained a historical undercurrent.
Bettye Larette and Jon Bon Jovi, A Change is Gonna Come.
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising.
Garth Brooks, We Shall Be Free.
There were more like choices, but I’ll cut to my personal favorite:Tao Rodriguez-Seeger and his grandfather Pete along with Springsteen raving up the song that ought to have been and still ought to be the national anthem because non-professionals like yours truly can sing it, This Land is Your Land, sung with the forbidden stanzas.
The Star-Spangled Banner also has forbidden stanzas. Woody Guthrie’s disrespect private property; Francis Scott Key’s embrace racism as a founding value. I stand by my preference.
The program also contained a raft of Hollywood luminaries doing dramatic readings mostly from history, a subject that fascinates Mr. Obama. Mr. Trump finds the study of history to be time wasted or, if not, he has a funny way of showing his respect. Who were the good guys in World War I? Didn’t Finland used to be part of the Soviet Union?
Still, Mr. Trump took on the $53 million Obama raised and spent as a challenge. Donald Trump raised $107 million for his first inaugural. Trump saved money cutting all that history bunk.
He also probably pruned the guest list, but the entertainers put Obama in the shade, leading Trump team to employ a friend of the First Lady to produce a documentary of the event. After millions of dollars disappeared and the documentary never appears, I suppose I can quit waiting for the soundtrack album.
It’s about time to start the inaugural engine up again, as soon as Donald Trump gets reelected and the grand juries get finished with the disappearing money from his first inaugural. Deciding the election may take long enough for that to happen.
From Mr. Trump’s point of view, this election calls for — demands — an October Surprise. I expect people putting needles in their arms around Halloween with a cure for Covid-19.
What makes me think people will do that?
How can you ask when some people were prepared to inject Lysol for the same purpose?
For Joe Biden to win, he needs a majority in the Electoral College and a landslide level win — 55 percent or more — in the popular vote. Anything less will allow Trump to claim the election was stolen credibly enough for his base.
The coastal elites are trying to thwart the will of the people, the call to arms will go, but the people have one brave man in the White House ready to join them in taking up arms to defend their freedom.
After the election of 1800, I never thought I’d see the day the military would once more have a role in a U.S. election. (In 1800, several states mobilized militias, but they never engaged each other.) Trump might be willing to call for help from the militias, but the idea he would lead them is hilarious. If my amusement is justified, we might have the only election in the history of the world (so far) decided by a bone spur.
Previously Published on Medium