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Jerome Christenson: This way to the Egress…

Jerome Christenson: This way to the Egress…

From the COLLECTION: Recent Jerome Christenson columns in the Daily News series
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Give him a participation trophy. Buy him a Happy Meal. Turn on his night light and tuck him in with his binky.

Maybe he’ll feel better in the morning.

Jerome Christenson

Jerome Christenson

Not likely. After all, the Electoral College gave him a failing grade and the eviction notice for his government housing comes due January 20. He may not like it, but for most of us, the whole election thing is a done deal.

To me, it looked like the whole thing was settled better than a month ago. 1…2…3…40 million…80 million … the votes added up and one guy got more than the other guy. Now for all the years I’ve been around and, as I’m told, all the years before me, that bit of mathematical reality should have settled things. It should have been all over, but the shouting.

And, as it works out, it was. We’ve just had to put up with a God-awful lot of shouting, that’s all.

It’s nothing anybody who’s raised kids hasn’t experienced – the overtired, overexcited toddler, tantrum triggered by not getting his way, or the spoiled, over-indulged adolescent sulking finally confronted with an uncompromising “no.” It’s just odd to see it in an erstwhile adult – especially one who commands a nuclear arsenal.

It’s been bad enough watching the titular leader of the free world go around the bend, but it’s been even more disturbing to see so many folks following him into the swampy weeds of unreality. Unlike the votes, counted and recounted, it just doesn’t add up.

On the face of it, their whole argument’s been shaved by Occam’s Razor. That’s the principle put forth by the old English scholar William of Occam darn near 800 years ago — when there is more than one explanation for a situation, the simplest one is likely true.

So, let’s apply old Willy’s Gillette Blue Blade to the problem at hand: Which is the more likely, a nation-wide conspiracy involving the CIA, FBI, corporate conspirators, elected officials, the U.S. Post Office, and thousands and thousands of state and local vote counters, election judges and ordinary nosey folks keeping an eye on things that replaced tens of millions of ballots cast for one candidate with ballots marked for his opponent – and all done with nobody letting on about it at all to anybody … or … more voters voting for the guy with the most votes counted?

Well, we do live in a country where people believe in improbable things. There’s a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark down in Kentucky that folks will tell you is just like the real thing – right down to Pebbles Flintstone riding the dinosaur. We have people believing the moon landing was faked, the CIA blew up the World Trade Center and if you take a wrong turn in Antarctica you’ll fall off the edge of the flat, flat earth. We’ve got the Sasquatch, the grassy knoll gunmen, Area 51, and undead Elvis.

And now we have the Great 2020 Election Steal.

P.T. Barnum would be so proud. In fact, I’d wager that old Phineas Taylor would doff his hat to our showman-in-chief. The old 19th-century hornswoggler might have sewn together the South Sea Mermaid, shaved a few inches off General Tom Thumb’s stature and all-in-all created The Greatest Show On Earth, but even he, acute observer of “a sucker born every minute,” never conned the country into giving him the keys to Air Force One and a four-year lease on the Executive Mansion.

Well, that lease is expiring. It’s official now. “You’re fired,” is the American voters delivered the decision, and on Inauguration Day the direction signposted in Mr. Barnum’s great American Museum may well be affixed to the presidential bedroom door … “This way to the Egress…”

Christenson, former reporter and editor of the Winona Daily News, grew up in Caledonia, Minn.


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