Is the presidential election really over, finally, or is this Electoral College business simply another clever ruse to trick us? Like first lady Michelle Obama, I think I've lost all hope. "See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like," Obama told Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview lamenting the way the political thing turned out.
This was the same Oprah Winfrey who visited Michelle Obama in the White House during the president's first term. Michelle talked on and on about the wonderful pies made by White House bakers, yet reportedly, she did not offer Oprah even a single thin slice of delicious White House pie. But that was long ago.
And now, hope seems to have fled altogether. "What else do you have if you don't have hope?" the first lady told Oprah. "What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?" You mean, if you don't give your kids eight years of top private schools and lavish vacations all over the world, including stays in luxurious Spanish castles with friends and a houseful of retainers?
I wouldn't know. Still, I feel you, Michelle, because once, I had hope too.
I once hoped the presidential campaign and the lamentations about the presidential campaign would end. But that was back in November, weeks and weeks ago, when the votes were counted. Yet the nightmare continued, on and on, with much wailing and shrieking and whining and crying and screeching and whimpering. It wouldn't die, crawling upon the snow like a relentless, severed hand from some White Walker in "Game of Thrones."
"It's over," said a guy I half-invented to help with an awkward transition. "Hillary Clinton will not be president. Donald Trump will be president." Now, after all this time, you dare tell me that "it's over"? I'd like to trust you, but you might be peddling fake news. Most Americans hoped to put presidential politics behind us weeks and weeks ago. But the nightmare continued.
You know the kind of nightmare; the kind where you wake up, relieved the terror has passed and you walk into the kitchen for a glass of milk. And there you see your dog sitting at the table in Pajama Boy pajamas, drinking coffee and smoking French cigarettes, cursing in Armenian. Then when he sprouts the head of an angry John Podesta and grabs a meat cleaver, it starts all over again.
Terrifying? Of course it is, because this one won't end either.
First came election night, and many TV talking heads with their weeping and wailing and refusing to see the numbers in front of them. If only they'd read that column I'd written back in March, stating categorically that Hillary Clinton would not, could not win the election, since she was the face of the status quo in an insurgency year. But I don't fly in their echo chamber, and so they weren't prepared, and then came even more caterwauling as the panic spread like a virus, hopping from liberal news people to liberal showbiz people.
Several minor celebrities threatened to ruin our very lives by taking their awesome talents to Canada and into exile. If Lena Dunham and Whoopi Goldberg actually leave the United States over Donald Trump's election, well, let's just say my life is over. Then came that famous Jill Stein/Hillary Clinton recount. It failed, followed by the Vladimir Putin Mind Lock gambit. Somehow, through the power of his mind, Putin forced Hillary Clinton to run a terrible campaign and insult millions of voters so much that they couldn't stand her.
Putin also made sure she had no message. He just sucked all her good messaging right out of her and left only the bad messages. Bad, bad Putin. And just when we thought it was over, liberal Hollywood actors — led by Martin Sheen — rallied one more time. They tried pressuring the electors of the Electoral College, by using a subversive document: The Constitution. They weren't using some "living document" of their political fantasies, either, but the actual Constitution written by those old, dead and presumably discredited white European males.
"Our Founding Fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue," Sheen said in a TV commercial, "and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is to an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications." In other words, Hillary?
Sadly for the Clintons, things didn't work as planned, which must have hurt Sheen's pride, as he had played that wildly popular president on the liberal TV fantasy show "The West Wing." I'd rather picture him, not as a TV president, but in my favorite Sheen role, as the Soul Hunter.
Sheen played a space alien with a gigantic, pulsing bald head and a glowing avocado pit in the middle of his forehead in "Babylon 5: The River of Souls." He raced around the universe, saving the souls of important leaders until they were needed in some future sci-fi time. I couldn't find the script, and YouTube was charging a whopping $1.99 to watch the movie, but I did find a quote on the IMBD movie website.
"Faith is good," said Soul Hunter Sheen. "But sometimes faith is blind." Like hope?
John Kass has covered a variety of topics since arriving at the Chicago Tribune in 1983. Kass has received several awards for commentary and journalism, from organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi, , the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Press Club of Atlantic City, the Chicago Headline Club's Lisagor Award for best daily newspaper columnist. In 1992, Kass won the Chicago Tribune's Beck Award for writing. to readmore of his reports, Click Here Now.