If you grew up as child in the 1980s you were pretty sure that you knew how you were going to die. It was likely to be in a brutal, flesh-peeling nuclear winter and the responsibility for that was going to land squarely on the shoulders of Ronald Reagan, a man who seemed determined to end the Cold War in a hail of atomic bombs. Reagan’s faith, which assured him that the next life would be better than this one, and the fact that he was quite obviously in the throes of a clinical dementia caused by Alzheimer’s Disease, only cemented this certainty.
Now, 25 years later, the Soviet Empire is no more and Reagan is celebrated as one of the great American Presidents of all time.
Reagan, of course, was an actor before he was a politician, and as we all know, actors make for great politicians and politicians make for bad actors. This is not a good thing, but it is the thing.
Kim Campbell, the first and only female Prime Minister of Canada (who enjoyed the job for just over 100 days!) said, to ruinous effect, “An election is no time to discuss serious issues.” What she meant, I think, was that the time for homework and substantive rumination was over. Campaigns were not for policy deliberation, but for the crisp delivery of message. It was actor time—memorize your lines, speak simply, confidently, memorably and be a goddamned star.
And so in this electoral glitter time when nobody really expects much thought to be taking place, Donald Trump has decided to lumber onto the political landscape.
We all know Trump as the orange-haired host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” a show so surreal and unlikely as to have it’s own kind of magic. When I think of him, I imagine some ancient Roman deity, perhaps Vulgus—the classy God. Larger-than-life but still deeply flawed, Trump is as compelling as he is repellent. Sitting on his “Apprentice” boardroom throne, flanked by the oily progeny who cling like gargoyles to the phallus skyscraper that is their father, it seems he should be wearing a toga and not a suit. The truth, anyway, is that he’s always been more of an alternate-universe “Star Trek” episode than a Wall Street movie.
At any rate, it’s from his abundantly over-exposed TV enterprises that Donald Trump is now threatening to launch himself into the run for President of the United States of America.
Casinos and beauty pageants will come to Afghanistan.
The deserts of Iraq will become a giant golf course.
Air Force One will sport the Trump logo.
Finally, America will be known for her taste.
Of course, such an assault could only take place with the assistance of Fox News. Having cut Glenn Beck— who gave voice to the completely incoherent rage of privileged yet inadequate white men across America— Fox has decided to bring Trump aboard, so that privileged white men will still have the champion they so clearly need.
Every Monday Trump will be appearing on the show Fox and Friends to remind the world he has not yet personally seen Barack Obama’s birth certificate and that this gives rise to QUESTIONS. It could be that Obama was born in Narnia and worships pillows.
We. Just. Don’t. Know.
Actually, nobody takes the ghost-story accusations of birthers— of which Trump is some variant— seriously any longer, but such conspiratorial chatter always brings the cameras and reporters running, and it’s publicity that feeds The Trump, and so he continues with his spiel.
Trump, trying to position himself as some sort of Republican, has been giving interviews with the Christian Broadcast Network in an effort to court his core constituents. I came across this snippet while reading an article in Salon:
Trump: Well I get sent Bibles by a lot of people.
Interviewer: Where are all those Bibles?
Trump: Actually, we keep them at a certain place. A very nice place. But people send me Bibles. And you know it’s very interesting. I get so much mail and because I’m in this incredible location in Manhattan you can’t keep most of the mail you get. There’s no way I would ever throw away anything, to do anything negative to a Bible, so what we do is we keep all of the Bibles. I would have a fear of doing something other than very positive so actually I store them and keep them and sometimes give them away to other people but I do get sent a lot of Bibles and I like that. I think that’s great.”
This, in my opinion, is some seriously Presidential shit.
He keeps his Bibles in a certain place, which is probably where the President keeps his birth certificate, too.
When the location of the Trump bible repository is revealed— which I believe to be in a storage locker full of the overstock of his failed vitamin company, his cache of Marla Maples sex tapes and stolen change room videos from Miss America pageants— then I think his demands to see the President’s birth certificate should be given the respect it deserves.
But the truth is Politics, Shmolitics.
Trump has never had an ounce of gravitas to him, and his value has and always will be, as Fox News knows, as NBC knows, as Trump and everybody else who has ever heard of him knows, entertainment.
And so “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is in need of an obvious face-lift, should now become a contest to see who becomes Trump’s running mate for the upcoming election. Obviously, all the corporate tie-ins would remain, but thematically the business-skits they typically enact for the camera would be given a political, GOP twist.
For instance, remaining on the women’s team from this season, we have a Playmate, a Real Housewife of Atlanta, the deaf actress from the 80’s, Latoya Jackson and Star Jones— a formidable slate from which to choose a VP.
Competing against them is the men’s team, bluntly named Backbone, as if a hair band from the 80s. They’re comprised of a country singer, a crazy actor, Meatloaf and a crunkstar. They’re unpredictable, in my opinion, which depending on the situation can be either a political advantage or disadvantage.
No matter, it’s certainly a deep talent pool from which to choose.
The first task I would set upon them would be to BE TOUGH ON CRIME.
After huddling and talking to into their phones, I’m sure both teams would conceive of a prostitution sting. The women’s team would dress as provocatively as their bodies would allow and go to an airport hotel bar— via helicopter— where they would try to entice men to pay for sex, and then, Gotcha!
Similarly, Backbone— via limo— would go to a strip club, where they would try to convince dancers to have sex with them for money, and then, Gotcha!
Whoever doesn’t get arrested, would become Trump’s running mate. My money would be on Star Jones here, a woman whom I bet would just destroy Joe Biden in a debate!
They would be an unbeatable ticket, and they would usher in a new and beautiful era in both reality TV and politics in America.
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