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With the National Reckoning only a few days away, I wish to take the time to mourn the passing of Lyon Tyler. The 95-year-old Tyler was half of a brother duo that constituted one of the most amazing factoids in American history. Until a couple weeks ago, Lyon Tyler was alive in the year 2020. His grandfather, John Tyler, was president of the United States in 1841, nearly 180 years ago! Not only that, he and his grandfather were born 135 years apart (John Tyler was born in 1790, one year after George Washington first took office.) How crazy would be it have been to be alive well into the 21st century, knowing that your grandfather was born in the 1700s?
One of my grandfathers died a week before I was born so I never got to meet him. Lyon Tyler missed meeting his grandfather by 63 years (John Tyler died in the early days of the Civil War).
It gets stranger: Lyon Tyler's great-grandfather (also named John) was Thomas Jefferson's roommate in college. In parts of the South, you have guys who play on the same adult-recreation softball teams with their great-grandfathers.
While Lyon Tyler is gone, his younger brother, Harrison (a mere pup at 91 years of age), lives on. I'm assuming that Harrison was named for William Henry Harrison, who was gracious enough to die a month into his presidency, allowing John Tyler to take over. The common misconception is that Harrison caught a cold while delivering his inaugural address, but later studies of his doctors' notes conclude that he probably died of typhoid, seeing as how the White House water supply was downstream from the sewer system.
These days the crap flows in the other direction.
When Harrison was sick, the doctors applied hot suction devices to his chest and then did some bloodletting. (The woman voodoo doctor whom Trump invited to D.C. would probably approve.) When things didn't get better, they treated Harrison with a boiled mixture of crude petroleum and Virginia snakeroot. I don't know if he had to drink it or if they just rubbed it on his body. Either way, it didn't work.
Just to show you that some things never change, I give you Sean Conley. Supposedly, he's a medical doctor, but for the world, he will forever be the clown in the white lab coat who unleashed Trump to undertake the Superspreader Tour. I wouldn't let that guy treat me for a hangnail.
A couple other weird things:
• Not counting presidents who died in office (which, statistically, has happened a lot) and those who then finished out the term (as with Harrison and Tyler), the majority of elected Presidents only served one term. It hasn't happened since the first George Bush, but if Trump is a one-termer, it wouldn't be an anomaly.
• Before the 12th Amendment was passed, the top two vote getters in the Electoral College voting, regardless of party, became President and Vice-President. Can you imagine President Joe Biden and Vice-President Donald Trump?
• Finally, I have a couple Republican friends with whom I still communicate. They say that Trump would have easily won reelection if not for COVID. To that, I take great exception. I think that after the virus hit, he was presented with a huge political opportunity.
I want all of you—including people who despise Donald Trump as much as I do—to imagine how different things would be if Trump had risen to the challenge instead of shrinking and shirking like the pissy little bitch that he is. Imagine if he had taken control of the supply lines, used the military in a number of positive ways, set aside political differences in dealing with state governors, shown actual empathy for suffering Americans, and ignored the stock market (which always seems to turn out OK).
Imagine if he had simply been presidential, instead of ducking responsibility, lying to the American people, pointing fingers, dumping everything on the states, and fomenting insurrection. He would have been guaranteed another four years.
New Zealand has a population of about 5,000,000 people. When the virus hit, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acted swiftly and decisively. Eight months into the pandemic, New Zealand has had 25 COVID-related deaths. (Having a parliamentary form of government, New Zealand is at least as democratic as we are, so don't try that lame-ass argument.) Extrapolating that out to the population of the United States, if Trump had acted in a similarly decisive manner, instead of having 225,000 dead Americans, the number would be...just under 1,700.
Of course, since Ardern is a strong woman, Trump would label her as "mean" and/or "terrible." But he should also note that New Zealand held an election a couple weeks ago and Ardern was reelected in a landslide.