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Doctor, my eyes

STEPHEN HUDDY

Williamsport

Long before its numbers morphed into “The Year from Hell,” 2020 served as a measure of how clearly one envisions the surroundings.

Three weeks before the election, let’s check that vision.

Mr. Trump was elected as a perceived antidote to a dismal Hillary campaign and the Washington establishment (“The Swamp”) that would accompany it. Trump was stunned with his winning, and has governed accordingly for the past four years: An uninterested carnival barker making it up as he plods on. He selected cabinet members and advisors (“the best people!”) who have been indicted, jailed, fired, publicly disgraced, or simply quit.

Trump didn’t drain the swamp. He relocated it to the West Wing, where it thrives.

With 20/20 vision, this should come as no surprise. Before his pudgy fingers ever touched a Sharpie, he, with help from Junior and Eric, had already run his father’s fortune into the ground in spectacular fashion.

Given his bankruptcy of several casinos, hotels, an airline, a vineyard, an “exclusive” steak brand, Trump University, and a mortgage company, what convinced anyone to believe this man could manage a toothpick factory, much less the greatest nation in the world?

Business skills? Obviously not.

Entrepreneurial skills? During his Manhattan reign, Trump was one of the most litigated developers in the country.

Ethical clarity? He is the only president forced to admit to raiding his own charitable organization (Trump Foundation) for political and personal gain, with the entire privileged Trump crime family now barred from running any charitable enterprise. The Trump Foundation has been dissolved; the Donald paid millions in damages.

Oh, but that’s all in the past, right? Uh, no, that was only 11 months ago! This president has been outright lying to this country for years. How are those “beautiful” China tariffs working out for America’s auto workers and farmers? Maybe you’d rather focus on that “big, beautiful border wall” Mexico is “paying for,” or that long-awaited “beautiful” Trump healthcare plan?

How about the COVID vaccine to arrive by election day? Maybe your taste runs to the most recent ugly Trump contradiction: Living U.S. troops can have Russian bounties on their heads with impunity, but dead U.S. troops are “suckers” and “losers” (confirmed by Fox News).

Grifting? How about Trump’s claim (without a scintilla of proof) that he is one of the world’s richest people, and yet pays less in federal income tax than a McDonald’s hamburger jockey?

That’s when he pays taxes at all. And someone longing for 20/20 vision might have an interest in to whom (countries, banks, oligarchs) this president has personal (not corporate) debt of $420 million. Foreign policy concerns, anyone?

Or most egregiously, two days ago he stood on the Blue Room balcony, unmasked, and again lied about COVID: “It’s disappearing,” he crowed to his assembled enablers, as the death toll rocketed past 214,000 American lives.

Whatever 2020 means to you, fine. But it is well past time to show this president and his family the door. His tsunami of deceit (over 20,000 fact-checked false or misleading statements to date: Washington Post) and the absence of any future platform other than more of the same, should shake you to the core.

We are a strong nation still, but not unbreakable. Exhausted by Trump’s pathological vanity, flagrant incompetence and infantile belittlements, we will be yet stronger for daring to envision — momentarily — a future like the past four years, and then voting decisively to prevent it.

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