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The Lowest of Bars-Justin Cates, Contributor
One favor that Donald Trump has done for future presidents is to set an incredibly low bar for competency. The next president could come stumbling in like Chevy Chase’s ancient caricature of Gerald Ford — sputtering out sentence fragments and lighting things on fire — and be deemed completely competent by the press and electorate alike.
Of course not everyone will feel this way. There are oddly those among us who still hold the presidency in some degree of reverence. But almost all presidents are bad in some way, though admittedly few have been quite so criminally negligent – or actively criminal.
Leaf through the history books and you quickly see that nearly every administration in our nation’s history has been embroiled in some type of incidental malfeasance or outright, active corruption.
We’ve had many ruthlessly ambitious men occupy the office and even some actively incompetent ones. Many have done poorly in the position, but generally they’ve held their own.
Even a paranoid and fundamentally evil man like Richard Nixon managed to create the EPA in between defrauding Americans.
No, Donald Trump’s crimes are rooted in his own powerful insecurity, genuine incuriosity about the world, and a complete inability to understand and recall even the most basic concepts. This is fine if you’re a glorified realtor with gaudy decorative inclinations. It is however perhaps the worst set of characteristics possible for a commander in chief.
The man is like an anthropomorphic bingo card of all the worst traits of world leaders throughout history.
As such, the demystification of the presidency is undoubtedly the only part of Donald Trump’s legacy that will be remembered with any degree of fondness by those with a functioning brain stem.
Thankfully, this will not happen again for at least a while. American’s are notoriously reactionary when electing presidents — which of course is how we ended up with Trump in the first place. We will elect sober, boring people without vision. Career politicians born in committee hearings who have been angling for the top job their entire lives, scared to say anything worth remembering for good or ill.
And yet…it will be a breath of fresh air. A sense of normalcy will wash over us as we return to the mediocrity of focus-grouped sound bites and canned debate attacks. Because just as the one-eyed man is King in the land of the blind, the middling politician is a Godsend in the age of Trump.
Just so long as they can clear the lowest of bars.