Go with the flow in the Donald’s first term

By Ron Leir

It’s 2020, and the political and physical landscape of America as we know it is changed forever.

For one thing, I can no longer drive from Jersey City to Kearny via Rt. 7 because the road has been permanently submerged, ever since global warming caused the overflowing marsh waters to crest.

When the then-Presidential aspirant promised to “clean out the swamp,” I thought he was talking about Washington, D.C., but I guess I misread him.

Not to mention that the surging of the Hackensack River has engulfed the newly-completed Rt. 7 replacement bridge, rendering that monstrous structure useless.

And the raging Passaic River has swallowed up Riverbank Park (farewell, butterfly and community gardens, dog park and Futsal soccer field) and surged through the recently finished shopping mall.

Some consolation, though, did come from the fact that the federal government did not have to negotiate with the corporate responsible parties for the Passaic’s cleanup since the President abolished EPA, thereby rendering the long anticipated remediation project moot.

But there was plenty of money available from the Department of Homeland Security to build walls for high-ground fortresses allowing each remaining “community” to isolate and protect itself from unwanted encroachments by whatever neighbors remained.

Gatekeepers in place, passport controls at the ready and harsh penalties for those attempting to attack and seize control of GMOs.

It’s like “Mad Max” with government backing.

I have learned to be content inside the protective custody of those walls and to know that we need no longer rely on those dusty generals to take it to the enemy.

I have studied as a willing Apprentice at the feet of my entrepreneurial master to unlock the secrets of how to make America great again.

We shall set our Brand upon the world for sell we must, be there tariffs or no tarrifs.

For misguided liberals, there are re-education camps where the inmates are hooked up to a government server and are compelled to Tweet out messages celebrating the alt-right.

For each day remaining in his new term of office, Paul Ryan is permitted to sit in the Senate chambers while wearing sackcloth and ashes to repent of his misguided straying from the leader of his party.

Those guests invited for an overnight stay at the House of Trump are reminded it’s a “pay or you go” arrangement – particularly for leaders of state from NATO countries.

Putin is always welcome … but never bare-chested … and no hacking of private servers permitted – unless it belongs to a Democratic Party agent.

There’s lots more I was ready to share but the newly reconstituted Supreme Court has censored it as part of its reinterpretation of the First Amendment.

  • ••

Okay, that’s enough fun and games. Now let’s get something straight: Peaceful protest is one thing but senseless violence and property damage as an expression of dislike of the majority’s taste in presidents is something else indeed.

There is no excuse for that kind of behavior and those responsible should be locked up and made to provide restitution for the vehicles vandalized in the streets of Portland, Oregon.

And nobody should be pulling people out of their cars and messing with them, either.

  • ••

Finally, just because the Donald outdueled Hillary for the top spot in the U.S. government in the Electoral College stakes, let’s not kid ourselves. The victor doesn’t exactly have a mandate from the people because nearly 47% of the country’s eligible voters didn’t bother going to the polls or casting an absentee or provisional ballot.

Moreover, in the popular vote, Trump got (47.3%) 25.5% of the vote and Hillary collected 25.6% (47.8%) as of the most recent count. Those numbers may still change but it will be moot since only the Electoral College tally counts.

But what do those results say about us as a nation? Clearly, it shows how a majority of us feel about our political leaders – why bother? And I guess you can’t really blame them, given how our government performs, or rather, doesn’t perform.

Athens, the cradle of democracy, urged its citizens to “participate in decision making” as a civic duty but didn’t enforce that rule, Wikipedia reports.

Around the globe, as of 2013, 22 countries had compulsory voting in place but only these countries, plus a Swiss canton and one Indian state – Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Ecuador, Indian state Gujarat, Luxembourg, North Korea, Nauru, Peru, Singapore, Uruguay and Schaffhausen canton in Switzerland – enforce it to varying degrees.

In North Korea, everyone over age 17 must vote but only one candidate appears on the ballot. Dissenting votes can lead to consequences for voters.

 

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.