President Coyote

Watching the presidential debates, it occurred to me that Donald Trump was Coyote. His legacy would be disruption of the Republican Party and, what troubled me, of our political norms.

By ‘Coyote,’ I’m referring to the character in various Native American tales – specifically those in which Coyote is at once tricky, buffoonish, eager, self-involved, persuasive, unreliable, and unfortunately consequential. Regardless of his intent, he engenders chaos, entropy, and lost opportunities.

Then ‘we’ elected Coyote to be president. Surprise! Watching him effect a responsible posture as he betrays his supporters has provided some satisfaction. And it’s beguiling when friends dredge up instances when Trump/Coyote supported abortion rights and called for government action against global warming. Could he actually be reasonable?

He could appear to be – for a week or so. But the record shows that he’s self-involved and unreliable. One day he wants to appear statesmanlike; another he wants to menace. It’s always about him.

So take no heart in what President Coyote says or does – he could change tomorrow, for capricious reasons.

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