News-Record & Sentinel, August 2020

Professor Ofswich is a campus curiosity.  Students call him “Doctor Offsides” for his (very funny) letters to the college newspaper mocking collegiate sports.  He lives alone with his mutt dog, Gruesome.  He has no friends, wants none and recognizes no professional colleagues.

Ofswich is a world-renowned authority on John Locke, particularly how his ideas of government by the people often lose out to dictators.  But for all his expertise in government theory, he hates politics, which he calls “freedom’s fatal flaw.”  He does steal Ronald Reagan jokes, though, especially the one about the three-legged chicken.

In 2016, Ofswiche happened upon Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention.  Trump was saying, “When I take the oath of office, next year, I will restore law and order to our country. Believe me!”  Ofswich snorted, “Law enforcement in America is local, you idiot!”  But then a thought made him smile: What if Trump really is ignorant?  What if he actually thinks he can do unconstitutional stuff as president?”      

The prospect delighted him.  Ofswich, you see, has always been more academic than patriotic.  When Trump won, he sent two 8×10 photographs to Trump Tower.  On one he wrote: “Benito Mussolini speaking to adoring crowds.”  The other was the iconic shot of Mussolini hanging upside down from a gas station, a hostile mob nearby.  Ofswich wrote on this one: “Mussolini with a different crowd.”  The return address was his.  He set his table for coffee with the FBI.

Since then, he’s watched Trump with interest – first, for entertainment but then, to his surprise, as an American.  After Trump’s acquittal in the Senate, Ofswich mused to his dog: “We both know the man’s a child and a coward – not the stuff of successful dictators.  But there he is, running a Washington puppet show.”     

Last month, he saw federal troops in city streets and the U.S. Postal Service crippled to muddle the election and set up a ‘national emergency.’  Ofswich stroked his beard.

“Gruesome,” he said, “Trump wants to be Putin, but he doesn’t have Putin’s discipline and intellect.  He’s the executive who can’t execute.  It’s all coming down to this:  Trump is Trump.  But America is America.”

Gruesome seemed surprised at his patriotism.  He wagged his tail. 

“It’s Thomas Paine time, old boy,” he said, “and I’m in.  After Trump, we’ll fix the Founding Fathers’ excessive trust in human nature.”  He was visibly excited.