Trump’s Stink Covers Us All

The odor of his presidency threatens to overwhelm a vulnerable nation

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“Miasma” (illustration by Jim Moore)

here is a stink on the Presidency that has become a stink on all Americans. I’m sure you won’t like reading that, particularly if you as vehement a Get-Trump-Out person as I am, but you and I and all of us are covered in the stink just as surely as if the national septic tank that is Trump backed up into all our communities at the same time and washed over everyone and everything.

A majority of us did not vote to be covered in the effluvia that descended that golden escalator not so long ago; but covered we are now. All of us.

If you think I’m wrong, just think back to the last time you drove over a road-killed skunk, or passed a freshly fertilized pasture, or endured the stench of a chicken or hog processing plant even with the car windows rolled up. That stink stayed in the car a good long while, didn’t it? Same with the Trump election. The stink lingers.

Some odors never wash out

The smell of fear

When I was in junior high school in Lincoln, Nebraska, the route our bus took from home to school passed over a slaughter yard. The bottom of the bridge was so close to the slaughter house we could hear the cattle bellowing before they were killed, and the smell of the place rose up in sickly waves on warm spring and fall mornings and filled our bus with the odor of wild-eyed death.

Well that odor of wild-eyed death is streaming across America now, and I’m not speaking ill of the more then 90,000 Americans who have died of the novel coronavirus. They are victims and often needlessly tragic ones at that.

I’m talking about the stink of Trump and his administration and enablers whose hands are bloodied with those deaths. I’m talking about the man whose recklessness, ignorance, stupidity, meanness, inhumanity, vulgarity, shamelessness, villainy, misogyny, duplicity, brutality, and unadulterated hatred of all that is not him and his spawn.

The source of the stink

Trump is the source of the smell of the wild-eyed death that coats our country today.

rump is the odoriferous one who has the unmitigated gall to refer to his predecessor as “incompetent.” That’s rich. That’s really rich. The President who sang “Amazing Grace,” is the incompetent one? The President who, despite my own differences with some of his policies, nonetheless grieved as we grieved over the graves of children taken by gunfire, is the incompetent one? The President who smiled, joked, cracked wise even with those in the media who criticized him is the incompetent one? The man who spoke with confidence, using complete sentences to form thought-provoking paragraphs upon which whole world-class speeches were elevated is the incompetent one?

Well, in the words of Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does,” and there is a lot of stupid in a man who calls his predecessor incompetent. There is a lot more than stupid, though. And all of it stinks.

“Stupid is as stupid does”

There is his unerring ability to spread his brand of stink into as many corners of the country as he and his morally-blinded, ethically-disabled hoard of vandals can reach. And it does not matter if you and I don’t live directly in the path of those Trumpian vandals; it is only enough that we live near their foul leavings, their fetid detritus of lies, hatred, and disunion.

The smell is in everything

The stench of their mere proximity, and the vomitous odor of their inane clamoring and fear-branded fealty seep into our daily dialogue, ooze through our thoughts, and coat the fibers of our common bonds.

Trump’s obsession with and racist hatred of Obama drives him to tear down anything and everything associated with the 44th president. Trump’s usurpation of power to rid government of whistleblowers, inspectors general, and contrary Congressional witnesses are clanging warning bells of his dictatorial sickness.

Trump’s oft-displayed and ego-inflated dismissal of women journalists or women of color, courage, and strength who do not swoon in his inflated presence floats on the surface of his sulfurous swamp like a bloom of algae. You don’t have to be downwind of Washington to smell the rotten eggs that have been laid by Trump and his minions.

The stink of lawlessness

To Trump, the rule of law means nothing. To Trump, the rule of Trump means everything, and if lawlessness emerges from that rule, so much the better for the chaos he sows; he will find a way to reap profits from it. For Trump, it matters not that the Office of the President now stinks in the noses of the world community; he cares nothing about the duties and responsibilities to which he swore an oath.

Trump is a gas-lighter extraordinaire, and he practices that nefarious art against his own followers, stirring up fear and distrust, urging them to arm themselves against the deep state, tipping their centers of gravity toward anarchy, pitting them against their better angels and fellow citizens. That is what he does and has always done: putting the stinks of fear and hopelessness and victimhood into the pot of poverty and ignorance and giving it a good stir before pouring it out across the countryside.

A good airing in November

In five-and-a-half months, voting as the good and decent people we know we are, we will have a chance to cleanse Trump’s stink from the fabric of our humanity.

We can expel his dank scent from the shadowy corners of our society where the odor of Trump has congealed into hatred. And we can fumigate the soul of the nation, soaked and sullied but not yet ruined by the tragedy of the Trump presidency.

Journalist, former Capitol Hill staff (House and Senate), former Cabinet speechwriter, editor, photojournalist and bird photographer. Top Writer Quora 2016–2017

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