America has no designated survivor

Columnist Bob Groeneveld is in the garden tackling ivy and that got him to thinking about politics.

We’ve got ivy growing along our back fence.

We didn’t plant it there. It wasn’t our choice.

But we really had no choice. A former neighbour thought it was a good idea, and we were stuck with it.

So we learned to live with it, and despite its faults, we made it an attractive privacy barrier.

It requires a fair amount of maintenance to keep it under control. Although there’s loads of the stuff already all over the place, we keep our little patch trimmed short, clipping the flower clusters so birds don’t spread the seeds all around.

We could build a wall. Or we could replace the ivy… maybe with something that could turn out to be even worse.

And that takes us to Donald Trump, the noxious weed currently lining the planet’s backyard.

Trump has the compassion of a Komodo dragon, the attention span of a mentally challenged goldfish, the emotional stability of a teenage boy entering puberty, and the strategic understanding of a paramecium attempting to escape an overdose of vinegar.

And yet… is he really all that bad? Does the world really want to see him ousted as president?

Consider the line of succession. First to replace a misogynist billionaire who tolerates racism and is okay with cancelling basic access to healthcare for millions of people is a religious misogynist who has worked in Washington long enough to comprehend Trump’s inexperience… and yet goes willingly along with Trump on everything.

Next in line after Vice-President Mike Pence is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whose ruthlessness is superseded only by his agility to sidestep his values and principles to please his ambitions for power.

It gets worse. Next is Senator Orrin Hatch, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by Steven Mnuchin… eventually we run into the eminently recusable Jeff Sessions and Education anti-secretary Betsy DeVos.

Besides, if Trump goes down over Russia, most of these folks are likely to go down with him.

America needs a Designated Survivor. Unfortunately, the heroically competent President Tom Kirkman – the perfect anti-Trump – is played by Kiefer Sutherland, who can’t enter the reality television of the American presidency because he’s not only Canadian, but he was born in Britain.

Then there’s House of Cards President Francis Underwood: crooked as a corkscrew, but deviously clever…

Well, maybe the ivy’s not so bad after all.

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