Who Will Be the Next American Fascist President?

The Stephanie Miller Show theme song is tuned to the current or soon-to-be-current occupant of the Oval Office and has since 2018 been “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Following the Nov. 7 declaration of Preznit-Elect Joe Biden, her tune returned to one they’d used previously, the manic “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. For me as a lifelong Democratic voter, longtime Miller listener, and current pandemic shut-in, it was heartening to observe the show changing its tune.

I think many of us are feeling that way, a bit more plucky these days, a bit more hopeful. Trump lost. Biden won. Goofus and Gallant finally got to have their knock-down drag-out, and Gallant is standing over Goofus like Ali over Sonny Liston in his clean white trunks, his arm cocked, his face meanly daring Goofus to get up. Victory feels good.

And, to some extent, we should. The Biden administration may just be able to right some things. Just as Preznit Carnage One-Term was able to unilaterally pull these Untied States out of the Paris Accords, Biden will be able to unilaterally re-enter. Same with the World Health Organization, and hopefully a slew of other foolish executive calls that have been made these four years. Biden can also—and already has been—leading brilliantly from the Bully Pulpit, masking up and holding campaign events responsibly, and he’s made sure he’s been seen in conversation with the keenest of America’s scientific brains. And I haven’t even begun to ponder what a Biden administration might be able to accomplish when more Republicans snap their denial of the Biden win, or even, dare I type it, if both runoff elections in Georgia are won by Democrats.

But is it too soon to walk on sunshine?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Trump will be successful in his sometimes hilarious attempts to sway the election results. I cannot anymore look at Rudolf Giuliani without A) seeing him in my mind’s eye flopped out on the bed in the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm fumbling around in his pants, or, as the kids call it these days, “tucking in his shirt,” or B) hearing the Benny Hill song in my head. 25 lawsuits; they’ve lost 25 lawsuits, and some of the arguments they came armed with wouldn’t convince a toddler’s mama to make with an extra cookie. No, Joe Biden will assume the office in January 2021, and I think this current inconvenience will resolve like a Picardy third within a week.

But like the Joker says to Eckhardt, man, think about the future.

Preznit Carnage de Bologna has been pretty ham-handed in his adventures. But he’s presented a buttload of raw material for the next fascist Preznit. And that person—and I’m not saying it will be Nikki Haley or nothin’, but yeah, I think it will be Nikki Haley—now has lots of time to war-game Trump’s most outrageous strategies, if one can call them that. How to gaslight without screaming like a harpy. How to call the media the “enemy of the people” without using those exact words, or to brand information that reflects badly on you as “fake news” without actually saying “fake news” because Ivanka has trademarked that phrase in Chinese already so you can’t have it.

Mitch McConnell was already in the process of breaking the U.S. government. And he thought he was clever and all, doing it with a tire iron jammed in the gears. Then along came Trump with a blowtorch. And his ingenuity for destruction, his fine ability for creating the carnage he warned of in his inaugural, which even George W. Bush reportedly said was “weird shit,” is but grist for the next, and more successful, fascist Preznit of These Untied States.

The band Consolidated had it half-correct when they sang of “Friendly Fascism.” I’ma enjoy Biden’s Inauguration like a peach pie.

But I’m still worried.

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