It’s a true fact: this week’s column was meant to begin with my snotty Memorial Day entry, which you’ll find below. Then I was going to segue into Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride and go from there. It really just ate away at me, though, that I had the weirdest authentic Trump moment of all time and I was going to bury it halfway down the article. And with that image! That amazing, iconic, unedited, un-DC-Funk-Parade-foam-fingered image. So we’re doing things a little bit out of order, because, my friends, on this roller coaster that is life, the weird is in the driver’s seat, and all the rest of us are being pulled along remorselessly, with our hands and feet firmly secured inside the carriage at all times.
So what we see above is — and I swear I’m not making any of this up — president Trump, king Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, and president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in a darkened room surrounded by fascinated onlookers, placing their hands on, um, a magical glowing devil orb as part of a ritual to end all terrorism forever.
No, that’s true.
Former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson won the Libertarian Party presidential nomination last week, beating out John McAfee, Austin Petersen, and a host of other people, most of whom were vastly more libertarian and all of whom were vastly more entertaining than Gary Johnson. I’ve had unkind words for Austin Petersen in the past — and no doubt will again in the future — but in the aftermath of Johnson’s victory, he was all class, pledging to support the nominee anyhow, and presenting him with a fine gift: a replica of George Washington’s personal flintlock. A clearly emotional Petersen informed Johnson that "you have my sword, and you have my gun" as he delivered the gift, in a touching moment no doubt intended to unify a Libertarian Party fractured by an unusually acrimonious primary season.
Gary Johnson then threw the flintlock in the trash.
Apparently, Johnson was "frustrated" that Petersen only pledged him unconditional support and also gave him a valuable and symbolically-charged keepsake and also clearly attempted to unite the party behind the nominee. This, in Johnson’s eyes, was insufficient penance for Petersen’s great sin: he is skeptical of Johnson’s hilariously unlibertarian running mate, former Massachusetts governor William Weld.