It’s Over, Dad

My father’s dying prediction has come true, at long last.

Courtesy Clara Jeffery

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

We had just told my dad he was about to die. He didn’t have years. Or months. “A few weeks,” his oncologist offered as the most optimistic course. Further intervention would not help. It was time to go home, and then to hospice. “Weeks?!” “I’m afraid so.”

My dad processed. And then he said, “I have a prediction: Trump will lose.”

What happened next was both excruciatingly slow and way too fast. It was not the last real conversation we had, but close to it, as mitigating pain and news of the virus crashing the world became overwhelming, as we said our goodbyes and he gradually lost the ability to speak.

In the almost eight months since, I’ve thought about that a lot. He wanted to live to see Trump lose, and he didn’t. He couldn’t have imagined the overwhelming magnitude of chaos and death that Trump has since unleashed on the country. He couldn’t have known that hundreds of thousands of American families have had to say goodbye—if they were lucky to be able to say goodbye—to a loved one because the president was too consumed with personal grievances and a desire to cling to power to do his damn job. But by then the oppressive awfulness of Trump, the cruelty, the racism, the corruption, the contempt for every supposed American value, was enough to have my father—a journalist, yes, but not a political animal; a Democrat who still heard the call of split-ticket voting, at least when it came to Larry Hogan—make this utterance within a few minutes of coming to grips with the fact that he had only a short, and painful, time to live.

When he flew in a day later, I didn’t tell my brother—a Trump supporter—about this conversation. I don’t think I’ve told anyone. Then and since, my brother and I have mostly abided by a largely unspoken agreement not to talk politics, though sometimes he texts me things out of the fever swamp, and I beg him to find better sources of info, and he dismisses me. And I’m glad, in a way, that my father hasn’t been around for all that, and that we held it together for the last week of his life, and since. And while I’m not a particularly superstitious person, recounting this conversation to anyone seemed to be tempting fate. Of course I know I can’t jinx the country, and yet…

But it’s time to say: “Daddy, you were right. It’s over.”  

Courtesy Clara Jeffery

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate