When we dropped my younger child – Jeremy, you remember him – from college, I turned to my wife, “I remember there were things we both liked to do together before we had children. But I cannot remember what those things were for my whole life. It is time to do these things again. What the fuck were they? “
(I hear a choir of you screaming, “Sex”. It’s not funny.)
I see it the same way with President Donald Trump. We wake up every day to see what he’s done – to the liberals, to the country, to the world – and struggle to keep up with the breaking news. The crimes of a few weeks ago are gone, obscured by the crimes of today. Trump was indicted barely a year ago. It seemed so significant at the time; I hardly remember it today.
Obviously, attracting attention can be either good or bad. Neil Falconer, 35 years older than me and a mentor years ago, used to say, “Be careful when you attract attention. You can grab attention by running naked down Fifth Avenue during rush hour. Not all attention is a good thing. “
That certainly applies to Trump. He attracted attention when he was doing good things. He drew attention to himself when he did crazy things. Most of all, it just attracted attention.
We now have three weeks full of excitement: who else will Trump forgive? Will he try to forgive himself? Will he announce he’s running for presidency in 2024? When will he make this announcement? Are we going to kill a few more terrorists in the next weeks of January? Are we going to bomb Iran? (I expected the last two before the election. But there is still time.)
Trump wants attention. For the next three weeks it will be easy for him to put it on. He will.
It’s so exciting.
It’s so exhausting.
And I’m not sure if it is good for us as a country to offer one of the most accomplished people in the world the largest stage in the world to get noticed.
What now in any case?
With luck, we won’t hear from President Joe Biden for weeks. We can go back to taking care of paying the mortgage, raising the kids, writing the assignment, getting clients, and all the other things that keep a lawyer busy.
In the meantime, Trump will do his best to get our attention from the sidelines. He will make announcements, criticize the government, praise or torture other Republicans, and do whatever it takes to stay in the spotlight.
And the lawsuits! The civil libel, sexual assault, and whatever the New York Attorney General is up to. They will be the tests of the decade! And the criminal case. When the Manhattan District Attorney investigates Trump about something criminal, we’ll wake up every morning wondering what happened in voir dire, what the evidence shows, and if this is all another witch hunt. That will be the process of the century!
But sooner or later this will fade.
Newspaper sales will decline; TV ratings will fall; Social media will calm down a bit.
And we all need to think about what we did to entertain ourselves in the days before Trump.
Mark Herrmann spent 17 years as a partner in a leading international law firm and is now Deputy General Counsel in a large international company. He is the author of The Curmudgeon Guide to Legal Practice and Litigation liability strategy for drugs and devicesand (Affiliate links). You can reach him by email at [email protected].