With a political novice possessing dubious business sense about to take control of the presidency, it seems fairly impossible for a liberal like me to be as politically correct as Clinton and agree to give him an “open mind.” The power and responsibility of the executive branch has been steadily rising for decades. The Republicans have unprecedented control of the Senate, the House, and soon the Supreme Court.
Trump’s unfavorable ratings (and these, keep in mind, are the polls before he won; I have a feeling these numbers will worsen now that people have to take him seriously) stand at
an impressive 58.5% as of November 7th. There’s a reason that people are protesting in major cities across the country, and it isn’t just because they think protesting will change the results. Protesting is a form of therapy for many voters’ anxieties right now. And let’s face it, Trump deserves protests. A man who insulted and fear-mongered his way to the presidency in addition to having no political experience, almost no policies, and a shit-eating grin a mile wide is bound to be divisive no matter what he does in office.
With that said, are there any decisions Donald Trump could make that would make me feel like he represents me? There are plenty of groups in America that feel personally rejected by the election results. With all that in mind, here are a few things Trump could do to stop my nervous twitching.
- Overturn Citizens United: Trump endlessly talked about how politicians are bought and sold by corporate interests. Why not extend that passion for justice to overturning one of the Supreme Court’s biggest mistakes in recent years? I know we’d need an amendment to the constitution or a majority vote in the Supreme Court in order to remove that stain of “money = free speech, therefore political donations should be unlimited” from our nation’s history, but Trump could support this idea. Trump would surely agree that politicians shouldn’t be seen as puppets, right?
- Disown the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazis: There are only two reasons he hasn’t done this adequately thus far: he wanted their votes, or he is colossally unable to distinguish political correctness from decency.
- Fix the Tax Loopholes: You know, the ones Trump bragged about using? Avoiding federal income tax makes him smarter than the rest of us, apparently. Well, Trump, if you are so smart regarding the tax code, then close some of the ones that you benefited from before running for president. Now that would be an olive branch to the working class voters you claim to champion. (Of course, I’d say the title of tax “genius” that Rudy Giuliani proclaimed you to be would better fit your accountant, but eh.)
- Act like Climate Change Effects You: Trump does have a fancy house in Florida, and I’m guessing a business man only believes in something when it effects him personally. So the sea levels must rise high enough to flood the ground floor of these gaudy, gilded penis substitutes that Trump calls classy architecture before he admits that climate change isn’t a “hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.” But then Trump choose Myron Ebell to head the EPA transition; that news is fresh today, and Myron is a climate skeptic. Dammit.
- Support the Freedom of the Press: People rightly point out how often Trump threatened the media at his rallies. Not just the institutions, either. Many reporters must have felt uneasy about being in an enclosed space with thousands of chanting Trump supporters and seeing the candidate point to the media’s representatives in the crowd and say, “These people back here are the worst. They are so dishonest…70 to 75 percent are absolutely dishonest. Absolute scum. Remember that. Scum. Scum. Totally dishonest people.” That is an actual quote, complete with the sentence structure of a 3rd grader. Now, Donald, here’s the deal. People are worried you’re going to crack down on dissenting voices, or that when a late night comedian disses you, you’re going to make a spectacle of it for the world to witness. You could be an orange balloon for all the thickness of your skin. So here’s what I suggest: act like George W. Bush. For all of his faults, W. tended to let the media have its way with him. Allow all of the press to cover you, including the KKK’s rag (they did risk their reputation by supporting you, after all, so scratch their backs), and don’t overreact when the politically-minded comedians take you to task without mincing words like Fox will. So when someone says that one of the joys of a Trump Administration will be watching your hair wall out and your orange skin sag like a rotten pumpkin three days after Halloween, I think you need to let it go.
- Release the Damn Tax Returns! I don’t care if the only sin of Donald Trump’s tax return is that he’s not as rich as he claims. The American public needs to know his taxes so that we can see how his business operates. Even after the election, Trump is still giving his business to his kids in a “blind trust” (in quotes because I don’t think Trump knows what a blind trust entails). Look at it this way: Trump called the Clinton Foundation a “pay to play” organization that gave any donor access to the Secretary of State. The Trump Organization would be run by his children, who could handle large cash deals and, as a private company, they’d be under no obligation to disclose that information. Trump could funnel his own shady dealings through his company or outside agents could use this through-line to gain influence over the American presidency.
Now, it’s not clear to me how much the obstructionist party really wants to govern at this point, or how much the Democrats in the senate will follow the filibuster-or-die policy utilized by Mitch “the turtle” McConnell over Obama’s eight years.
Hell, it’s not even clear to me if I’ll still be in America for the 2020 election in which hindsight is perfect and you lose in a landslide. I was planning a move out of the country regardless of its politics, but you are expediting my departure.
I’m not close to wishing Trump success. Obama is being far more magnanimous than I right now. I find myself cheerful at the thought that, with Trump, we’ll have at least two indicators of his favorability: 1) poll numbers, and 2) the nose-diving profits of the Trump brand.
I wrote this mainly to calm myself. Plus, I wanted to enshrine in print a revelation I had yesterday. Trump being the President doesn’t change who he is to me. Sure, he has more power, but do we honestly think he intimidates any world leaders? Do we think that having to give a State of the Union or comfort the parents of fallen soldiers will actually make Trump more eloquent or empathetic? Can I imagine a great border wall rising up just 30 miles from where I now sit? The answer to all of these is an emphatic “no,” and that means that the presidency hasn’t elevated his character. He’s still a pathological liar who had a cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and feuded with Rosie O’Donnell. He unironically called himself “the least racist person [I’ll] ever meet” and actually said this doozy: “I think I am, actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.” Trump is the ultimate example of a dog who barks obnoxiously and puts all his energy into obsessively chasing a car’s bumper until–Surprise!–he gets what he wanted. Given all the suddenly scary powers of the Oval Office, Trump is still an innovative businessman who couldn’t stop himself from slapping his name on bottled water. (Who does that? And doesn’t “Trump Ice” sound like the worst rapper of the 90s?)
We mustn’t forget that, given the way this man campaigned, he has not earned the obligatory respect that the job title alone used to give. The American people’s only obligation to Trump right now is to laugh at him. Humor is all that’s getting me through these early days, and it might be the shining light of the next four years. We need to repudiate Trump with laughter; laughter at his policies, laughter at his beholden yet wary Republican lapdogs, laughter at his voice itself, which somehow never got called “shrill” in the same way that Hillary Clinton’s voice did, and we especially need to remember to laugh in his face. Or at his face. We are talking about fake tan on a 70-year-old man. And the world’s most questionable hair style, which he has doggedly kept in the media spotlight for 30+ years. Never forget the hair. And never forget that if he had his egomaniacal little way, he’d try to put this profile on currency.