Whew! I’ve never been on a roller-coaster in my life, but I think I now have a good idea of how it must feel. Needless to say, I’m delighted with the landing. As I write this, I wait to see what President Trump’s actions and words will be. Given the crowds outside the White House, I think it will be the better part of wisdom to get out Marine One and fly him back from his golf game (they didn’t). At least the mood of the crowd was not hostile.

I was particularly interested in the remarks from a longtime White House reporter and several others who were very worried about the amount of mischief and damage Trump could get into in his remaining days in office. That mirrored my concerns as well, and I don’t take any comfort from that agreement. The man is just vindictive enough to set about seeing just how much damage and trouble he could make for his successor in the time he has left. Could he also be considering using that threat as blackmail to demand a pardon from any possible charges of legal wrongdoing? The man’s thinking is so screwed up, anything is possible.

I’m left with some unanswered questions. For instance, who is paying for all of Air Force One’s flights to all those political rallies? If it isn’t the Trump campaign, we need to raise holy hell. To spend taxpayer money for his purely political trips is wrong. I’d say the same thing about all the extra security costs of having those rallies on the White House lawn and elsewhere. Were they charged to his campaign?

I suspect that his term took one of the biggest bites out of the national budget for transportation of any president. Who is paying for transportation to his far-flung golf games? Are there no decent courses nearer to the White House? Before he gets away, we need to review all his expenses to make sure they were justified and proper. If we don’t have a protocol on how security expenses are approved, we need to get one. Trump sure didn’t set any records for penny-pinching. I’m not sure most folks know that when he travels via Marine One helicopter, the second one is also in the air for security reasons.

An auto trip also includes several escort cars and scores of law enforcement people traveling ahead to secure the route. A responsible president would take these matters into consideration when planning outings. These are your and my tax dollars and we have a right to demand they be spent wisely and with frugality in mind. I don’t think you-know-who has a frugal bone in his body.

I will be watching to see if Trump tries to milk all he can out of the federal budget before he leaves. I hope the White House employees glue or nail down all the many treasures in that building or take a complete inventory after he leaves. I’m sure he’d like a souvenir to take back to grace his home.

Finally, I was relieved to learn that most of the states which had never had a large mail-in ballot process ended up handling this new process so well. I’m sure a number of secretaries of state are equally relieved. My compliments to all those workers who performed so diligently and well to give us an honest, well-run election.

Trump’s fears were completely unfounded. It will be interesting to see if other state legislators initiate mail-in ballots such as we have here in Washington. I believe the process proved to be effective and honest, even in those states that weren’t well prepared for it. I find in amazing and heartening what dedicated humans can accomplish when they work together and in harmony.

This election also proved how effective our democracy really is.

Hat’s off to all who made it so.

Lenna Harding lived her first 20 and then the past 43 years in Pullman. A longtime League of Women Voters member, she served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board. Reach her at lj1105harding@gmail.com.

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