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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Time Travel and the Presidency of Donald Trump

Walker Percy wrote Lost in the Cosmos to be the "last self-help book you would ever need." In it he spoke of the person, people, who launch into the stratosphere and remain in orbit until they manage to make re-entry. I think maybe Donald Trump and a myriad of followers have taken that course. He could become the next President of the US.

I once posited a time-travel scenario that could explain a few political realities most rational thinking human beings have pondered for many years now. This is how it goes.

Either time travel is not possible or time travel is possible. No vagueness there. If time travel is not possible then you can stop reading now. If it is possible, then our future selves will use it. Indeed they may have been using it for a long time. They would choose to use it wisely in order to not screw up their timeline and make their world a worse place to be.

They would have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, or so one might think. They would know about when the world went terribly wrong and be able to deduce when the fubar took place. They would also have multiple tries at getting it right, sort of like Groundhog Day the movie. Well anyway. They would go into their past and make little changes to the time line to effectuate the outcome they want. Any changes they make would be only what we had ever seen and knew so WE would be totally unawares.

Now consider this. The final outcome of the 2000 Presidential election rested on one or two goofy precincts in Florida and maybe one in Ohio. A few hundred ballots ruled either valid or invalid turned the outcome from President Al Gore into President George W. Bush. The complexion of the Supreme Court decided the final outcome.

Here's the intrigue. Our future selves saw the outcome of President Gore, whatever that might have been and decided that President Bush would do what needed to be done, whatever that was. Who am I kidding, we saw what he and his Administration did. But. But was that the lesser of evils? Only they would know. But now that they made the change, they don't know either.

If time travel is possible, and 8 years of Bush was the preferred outcome, I shudder to think what President Gore might have wrought. The scenario doesn't stop there. If the easy swap of a few ballots produced a worse outcome, one with which our future selves could not live, they would have fixed it and we would never have known. Therefore, the Bush Presidency was the better outcome.

Now I have to think about this. Maybe, just maybe, we needed 8 years of George W. Bush in order to get 8 years of Barack Obama. Certainly the Bush Administration directly led to the attitudes of the electorate and their voting for the first African American president in this nation's history. By my same logic about future people knowing the outcomes of decisions of today, President Barack Obama is (was) the preferred choice, not Mitt Romney.

Going one step further, if Donald J. Trump becomes President, it will be the preferred outcome of a world who knows the outcomes of each possible president. Alternatively, time travel is not possible and that scares me the most. It is either that or the world is so screwed up in the future that they think the paths we are on now are the correct ones – whatever that path is. Finally, Maybe we need to have President Trump in order to create what is next after him. Again I shudder.

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Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.