By Gallagher and Schleicher
You know the drill by now: a terrible tragedy, followed by offensive, divisive presidential tweets, resetting the news cycle for a day or maybe just a few hours. Then Ivanka gets hold of Donald’s phone and tweets something intended to sound like a normal president. Repeat.
With the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and a beleaguered, exhausted America literally in flames, there’s been plenty of opportunity for this to play out, with Trump’s dog whistles to white supremacists and Antifa fantasies interrupted by the occasional expression of what might be mistaken for empathy. It is with these thoughts in mind that we imagine a Presidential Address to the Nation.
Not what Ivanka or Melania might force him to say, but fully letting Trump be Trump. The sort of speech that might horrify with what it reveals about him, but that you can expect as everyday fare in a second term, when he’s fully released the hounds. Here goes:
My fellow Americans, today I am speaking to you from a bunker deep under the White House about something that my pollsters are telling me is very important to you. People protesting the killings like those of Muhammad [sic] Arbree [sic] and George Floyd. Ivanka informs me that the loss of lives has impacted me very negatively and sadly.
I’ve heard that “Black Lives Matter” and I believe it. If we hadn’t been successful in suppressing the black turnout in some key swing states, I’d have lost and you could be ignoring me right now. Instead I’m president and I’ve got my handful of African-Americans like Ben Carson and the once and future Congressman Allen West, saying a lot of good things about me, sometimes even true.
The Department of Justice has studied police officers who do bad things and tells me there are five different kinds. One, the truly bad apples. Two, those who stand by while the first kind do bad things. Three, those are only about as racist as the average American but haven’t learned to put that in check in a crisis. Four, those who are trying and achieve it with the right training. And finally, five, those who speak out and affirmatively stand against racism.
I had to read that off the teleprompter just now because the reality is I can’t keep a list longer than three in my head at the same time. So I prefer these three categories instead.
First, cops who get caught on camera doing bad things. Second, those who don’t. You know I don’t like those who get captured. Not heroes to me. Oh, and third, cops who endorse me for re-election. I like the third kind. And if they think they will get away with racist killings while I’m president, they’re right. They should know that I’ll be blowing regular dog whistles until they believe me (or Ivanka takes my phone away).
To Americans tempted to riot, I’d say go ahead. Loot too. If I’m going to get back the votes of soccer moms, they’re going to have to end up more scared of riots than of the fact I let Coronavirus kill tens of thousands more than it needed to. The other good thing about rioting is it gives me an excuse to exercise a lot more power. Maybe even military power in the streets. Wouldn’t that be fun? This could be the 4th of July military parade I wanted.
I know some are concerned that the people doing the real destruction and promoting violence are really white supremacists who are hoping to start a race riot or even civil war. That may be, but let me remind you those are some very fine people, especially when wearing khakis.
If there’s one thing I’ve got in common with a few of the Bernie Bros, it’s that I see the value in burning the m-fing system down and starting over. I want to assure them that, to the extent they’re white and male, they’ll probably going to be okay after I’m done. (Though my buddies in finance have asked I ensure that those student loans are still enforceable, even in a dystopia, and I think that’s reasonable. Bankruptcy protections should be reserved for casinos and similar vices.)
For Antifa, I’d ask that you get better organized. If we’re going to treat you like a true terrorist organization, you need to formalize your operation. My friends in St. Petersburg have been carrying your weight for too long—time to do your own organizing! In the meantime, I’ll have to find some already-organized groups to label as Antifa-ish. Maybe March for Our Lives or the Democrat Party.
Well, that’s pretty much it. Those of you hoping for a plan haven’t been paying attention. Chaos IS the plan. The more the better. When it’s all done, I’ll still be sitting on top of the rubble. Along with maybe some very loyal friends and the couple of family members I still trust. (Jared, I know you’re “Anonymous”—that’s why I keep giving you major assignments I know you will flunk.)
United we stand, but divided you are down on your knees, just where I like you. Provided it’s not during the national anthem. If you think the last four years have sucked, just wait for what’s next. A couple of more Supreme Court justices in my pocket and there’s no stopping me.
May God continue to bless the United States of America, but most especially me. He owes me, bigley.
David Gallagher (London) and David Schleicher (Waco) believe that sometimes storytelling and humor are essential to break through the noise to make a point in the most dire of situations. Gallagher tweets @TBoneGallagher. To receive their columns via email sign up here or email them: ContranymTimes@gmail.com. Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ContranymTimes/.