Presidential Funerals; How Will Trump Be Honored?

The last time we buried a President was George Herbert Walker Bush in 2018. The five living Presidents—all—attended his funeral. At Mr. Bush’s funeral, all the pomp and circumstance had been afforded him as it had been for all former presidents, even Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace. As per his request, he [Nixon] did not lie in repose in the Capitol Rotunda; his state funeral was in Yorba Linda, California, at the Nixon Library. I sincerely do not wish anything bad on former President Trump; but how will we and what will be appropriate to honor Donald John Trump? I know the topic will be rife with wisecracking and indifference, but somewhere, someone is seriously contemplating what the nation will do.

As a last decent gesture, the Nixon family welcomed the living presidents and world leaders but felt it inappropriate for Nixon’s body to be brought back to Washington, D.C. If Mr. Trump is arrested, charged, and convicted of election interference in Georgia, is that a disqualifier? Is it a disqualifier if the DOJ presents conclusive evidence that the documents he took from the people of the United States fell into the hands of foreign or domestic enemies? The somber mood of a state funeral broken with a recount of the President of the United States having committed espionage is not too far out of the realm of possibility. The Trump sycophants would be up in arms, figuratively and literally, should their hero be shown to have feet of clay.

The nation made the mistake of accepting Gerald Ford’s pardoning of Nixon with the portent of healing the nation. Nixon disappeared quietly into retirement, but the lack of judicial punishment is the chief reason people point to as why Ford failed to win the election after taking the helm from Nixon. Talking about someone’s possible death is not easy, but Trump is age 76, and every day is a gift (ask Joe Biden). I must admit I have reached the age that I found it prudent to make plans of my own. I have a neighbor, and I answer his question, how are you? With, “ I woke up on the right side of the dirt. We smile, but we also know there is more truth to that question-and-answer chatter than we want to admit.

What do we do with Donald Trump?  

Should Mr. Trump leave us ignominiously, like Elvis on the throne with peanut butter and banana or a Big Mac, sandwich in hand, the debate of what to do will start. Knowing what we know about Mr. Trump, he will leave instructions that his spokesperson describe attendance as the biggest ever. Marching bands, klieg lights, and fawning, crying Republicans, putting on a show for his congregation. What does the government do if Mr. Trump is a convicted felon? Does he lie in-state, or will the state be well rid of a liar? I imagine the love letter to him from Kim Jong-un framed in gold, rimmed in neon, with a concession stand selling copies.  

Continue to Vote for Change.

  • August 24, 2022