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Weary Pilgrim – Gap Year

So the way I look at it, we are all of us, and I do mean all of us, taking a gap year – this one started around March 15, and with any luck it will be a short year, ending sometime in January or February of 2021.

We are suspending our normal practices, meaning school, work at our place of work, eating in restaurants, attending football games, or any games for that matter, showing up at parties, and, well….doing what we used to do BC – Before Covid.

What it will be like after the Gap Year is another matter – there will be fewer restaurants once the vaccine arrives. Fewer clothing stores. Fewer colleges. And fewer jobs, I fear as well. Some things will simply disappear. ‘Whatever happened to….” won’t really be the question, because the answer will be ‘Covid’.

We need to take all this spare time so many of us have and get ready for the next step. Unfortunately, this means getting through November and December, and for all we know, January. This means going back inside. ‘Inside’ used to be a term for being in prison. Now we know why.

November will be particularly grim, because the country is going to have a tough time of it come election Day. If Trump loses (and it will take a few days to call it – the news folks screwed up big time four years ago, and they aren’t going to take any chances this time around), he will scream ‘rigged election!’ – he did it last time, and that was when he won! The Supreme Court, and for that matter, the armed forces, won’t have his back, unless there is clear-cut cases of voter fraud, and I tend to believe the news folks when they say that is unlikely. So, eventually Biden will meet up with Justice John Roberts and take the oath of office, and then off we go……OR – Trump wins again, and then we buckle up for four pretty tough years.

Did I mention I can see the future? In October, Trump is going to announce a vaccine that will be ready just after the election. Then Anthony Fauci will tell us it isn’t really ready yet, and the two will have their long-awaited public spat. (I’ll take the vaccine when Fauci signals the all-clear.)

If there is a contested outcome, and the Supreme Court decides for Biden, what happens if Trump simply fails to concede? Imagine a phone call between Biden and Trump where Biden promises Trump immunity for any federal prosecutions in the future in exchange for him taking hjs laundry out of the White House by January 20th. Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, and it cost him the next election.

But as much as I disdain Trump, the whole notion of locking up the loser of an election strikes me as the move of a Banana Republic. I just don’t see it doing much for the country. And that assumes various charges can and ought to be brought, and we really don’t know that.

While we are on politics, I am supporting the incumbents, both Mouton and Markey – Seth Moulton is a good friend – I don’t know Markey – but my general opinion is that, if they haven’t screwed up they ought to keep using what they have learned to our benefit. At least up to term limits, which we need but don’t have. Moulton is working on a long-term plan that would propose a combination of term limits and four year terms for congress. This is pie in the sky – but I bet it gains momentum – nowadays representatives get voted in, enjoy a week off, and then spend the next 103 weeks working on getting reelected. It’s silly. Just like the electoral college. The problem for solving both long term issues is that the people who benefit from them, meaning no term limits and using the electoral college to get elected, are the people who have the power to change them. Like I said, pie in the sky, uphill all the way. I wish us luck.

The debates, both presidential and vice-presidential, will be spectacular events. Big ratings. On a lighter note, imagine Melania and Jill Biden going at it. I am afraid it would be like bringing a potato to a gunfight. The ratings would be even bigger.

So for now we keep hunkering down. With almost 6 million cases of Covid reported in the US, that’s only 2% of the population – Some estimate that even 50% will get us herd immunity, but that’s still a long stretch away. It’s not a Gap Semester – it’s a Gap Year. Stay safe. And vote – for whomever you want. Just vote.


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