Next month Donald Trump turns 77 years old and, while that isn’t exactly the Methusalah age it once was, he’s still, as the saying goes, no spring chicken. In the United States elderly persons are divided into three life-stage subgroups: the young-old (approximately 65 to 74 years old), the middle-old (ages 75 to 84 years old), and the old-old (over age 85). Trump is already well into the middle-old stage.
Obese people seldom make it into the middle-old stage, let alone out of it. Think of it yourself, how many obese 80 year old people do you know? Trump is now just 3 scant years away from 80. So he’s probably already living on borrowed time.
I don’t like to speculate about when people will die, not even Donald Trump. But last time I checked the death rate was still one per person. Which means America may be facing, sooner rather than later, the question of what to do with his body once Donald Trump mercifully goes the way of all flesh.
Trump’s life is shockingly unhealthy. He eats crap all the time and he hates fruits and vegetables. He gets virtually no exercise. (Golf in a motorised wheelchair called a “golf cart” doesn’t count.) He probably abuses drugs, certainly adderall and possibly cocaine. His life is consumed with hatred and vindictiveness. He’s deeply despised by millions and he faces Everest-sized legal woes.
So as, technically speaking, Donald Trump is a former president, he is, also technically speaking, entitled to a state funeral in Washington DC. Whether or not that happens depends on several factors. One factor could be down to the wishes of his family.
Another factor could be down to the wishes of the nation. Should a state funeral be mooted by anyone in Trump’s immediate family, there almost certainly would be a hue and cry of outrage from various quarters such as the world has never seen before. Huge protests may result, particularly on the day of the funeral.
But Trump has always been a coward in life, so there is little doubt he will be a coward in death. He doesn’t like to go anywhere he’s likely to get booed. So I suspect his funeral will happen at Mar-a-Lago, and only with invited guests in attendance.
The last president not honoured with a state funeral in Washington was Richard Nixon, despite his personal wishes. His family prudently decided that it would be best to have his final funerary rites performed instead at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California. There Nixon was eulogised by no less a person than President Bill Clinton, and his funeral attracted little in the way of public outrage. Something tells me Trump’s funeral is going to be very different.
For one thing, Trump has been found liable in civil court for sexual assault and subsequent defamation of his victim. He has also been criminally indicted with 34 serious felony counts. By the time Trump dies the news could be far, far worse, depending on when he dies.
Whenever Trump dies I doubt anyone is going to be truly happy. One can expect the usual reaction from his low-information low-IQ idolaters. The rest of us are going to feel a sense of incomplete justice. Right now Trump faces at least a good 15 years of serious legal trouble, not counting possible consequential prison sentences. Most of his victims — and they number in the millions — will be left with a certain sense of justice denied. I doubt he’s going to live another 15 years.
But whenever he goes, even if Trump should die in prison, it will have little impact on where his family chooses to inter him. Lee Harvey Oswald is buried in an ordinary cemetery, the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas, to be exact. He even has his very own marker that says, simply, “Oswald.” Of course his family was poor and Oswald then had no cult followers. That happened later after the silly JFK assassination industry absurdly turned him into a martyr.
Speaking of martyrs, when Trump dies he will almost certainly achieve instant martyr status among the pitifully stupid. His grave, should there be one, will become an overnight shrine, no doubt the final stop in a long, tedious and ludicrous pilgrimage. Try to imagine the sublime, unintended irony of a marker that says, “Here lies Donald Trump.” Even better if it ends, “for the very last time.” And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.