By David Mangene
Hello again, my radiant Rubenesque beauty! It’s been a dog’s age since I last wrote. I do apologize, for there is no good reason for my absence. None beyond that I could hardly stomach the thought of writing another word about this President. But this evening, all is different. This evening we stand on the precipice of an election so historic it could alter the course of our world. Or then again, maybe not. One never knows on this ‘fake-news’ planet of ours.
Dominique, my pragmatic little petunia, the whole point of me writing all those letters to you back in 2017 was to inform you about the goings-on in Washington. For you Europeans, trying to figure out American politics is a little like trying to figure out quantum physics. How could anyone ever figure that out? Hence, my letters. I still want you to understand my country.
First and foremost, my lily fragranced friend, tomorrow we shall choose a new President. Actually we’ve been choosing for many weeks, with citizens sending in ballots. As you will have seen, the race is between Trump + Pence and Biden + Harris. Being Dutch, you will have noticed that the two main gentlemen, Trump and Biden, are rather, shall we say, on the mature side. Or as I heard one of your fellow Europeans so bluntly put it last week:
“David, why are there only grandpas running for President?”
It’s a fair, albeit slightly ageist question, yet one I’d like to address. Although it is true that both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are indeed grandfathers, we Americans prefer to refer to their advanced ages as mere signs of their plentiful experience.
“But, David, if Biden wins, he will be 82 when he leaves office!”
Why yes, that is the truth and may I commend you on your mathematical skills, dear Dominique. In your country, such senior citizens would be gently encouraged to surrender the political spotlight for younger specimens, but this is Donald Trump we’re talking about. He couldn’t surrender the spotlight to the Lord himself, let alone go quietly into the peaceful realm of retirement. And, as the culture goes, if Trump is young enough, then so is Biden.
So, yes, they are old. Well, older. But don’t you like the comforting thought of your own grandfather running the country with his sensible, rational, grandfatherly ways? Imagine your beloved Grandpa, cutting the meat at Christmas, gently dispensing pearls of wisdom by teaching you the way forward in life? What’s that you say – your own grandfather suffered from Alzheimers at an age younger than both Trump and Biden? Well then, maybe you and your fellow Europeans have a point. Our candidates are getting a little long in the teeth. Perhaps the next cycle will bring some youth.
Speaking of youth, did you see how President Trump felt so young during his Corona virus treatment that he referred to himself in several interviews as extremely young? Wait, let me provide you the proper quote:
“I am a perfect physical specimen and I am extremely young…”
Ahem. So yeah, there’s that. We are only as old as we feel, n’est-ce pas Dominique?
On to more pressing matters. You have recently expressed confusion at the difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College. As in:
“how can one candidate actually get millions more votes than the other and still lose?”
That is an intelligent query – no surprise coming from you, for you have both the brains and the beauty. My answer shall be as simple as it is crude:
I have no fucking idea, my
You could ask this question to the best and brightest and, with very few exceptions, their answers will feel as confusing as an instruction manual in Mandarin Chinese. In other words, nobody knows. Mark my words, Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris will win the popular vote. Likely by millions of votes. But we’ll have to see how the Electoral College plays out over the course of several days, weeks, or even months. What fun!
But Dominique, lieve schat, all is not lost. We Americans are a plucky lot (that’s British for ‘brave people’). We’ve been in a tight spot before. And, as far as democracy goes, it’s never over till the fat lady sings. May I remind you of the late American folksinger Pete Seeger and his spirited work, We Shall Overcome? Or Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech? Or any of comedian Sarah Cooper’s spot-on imitations of Trump? (She is a National Treasure!)
My point is this, oh bootylicious European one – please don’t give up on us yet. Nobody likes a good comeback like Americans and we are still in the game.
So tomorrow, we go to the polls and cast our votes in this, THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES! Who will win? We don’t know, dearest Dominique, we just don’t know. The polls say Biden and Harris, but can those polls be trusted? Lord knows they were wrong last time. Truth is, I’m sitting here biting my nails. But let’s say, for argument, Biden wins. In that case I will be happy as a clam. I voted for him because I believe he will restore decency and much needed normalcy to the American experiment. And four years from now, I believe he will pass the torch to Kamala and hell yes to that.
But if Biden loses, and Trump shocks the world yet again, perhaps by claiming fraud and tying it up in the courts, or just by flat out winning – look out for trouble. Things could get a little edgy. After all, we Americans also love a good fight, what with all our Red vs Blue, Democrats vs Republicans, Crips vs Bloods, Red Sox vs Yankees tribal hatred. And nobody can deny there’s a lot of guns on the streets. The worst case scenario is quite dark indeed. I shudder to think.
For now though Dominique, my peaceful lover of the precious Polder model, as evening falls on your side of the atlantic – please hear this: if after the votes have been counted, and the pundits have gabbed, and the electorate has spoken, and Donald J. Trump is still in the Oval calling the shots – in that case, please roll out the red carpet and meet me at the airport because your Dearest David is coming to town for good.
With all my love,