Go ahead, elect, appoint, anoint—whatever it is you do with Prezzidents. It won't matter. Because it didn't matter who was President, and will matter even less who plays “The Prezz” on reality TV for the next four years.
As far as actual Presidents, we had Bush, who told lies about Iraq and Afghanistan (to name a few), who was owned by a bunch of Wall Street insiders and whose foreign policy team was stocked with murderous Neocons. And then we had Obama, who told lies about Libya, Syria and the Ukraine (to name a few), who was owned by a bunch of Wall Street insiders and whose foreign policy team was stocked with murderous Neocons. The only difference is that Obama promised a bunch of things—you know, “Change!”—and they didn't happen. Bush played dumb, Obama pretended to be smart, but both are just sleazy. To find a President who wasn't a sleazy slimeball, you have to go all the way back to Jimmy Carter. But it didn't matter that he was President either; everything he did was undone by the next sleazebag in line.
But Trump is different. He is actually a good fit, as an ornamental figurehead, for what the United States has become in its senescence and decrepitude. Here is a short list of things that make him an ideal pick for the role of “the Prezz” on reality TV.
1. Trump is just a brand—a picture of his likeness with the word “Trump” over it, and a salesman's cant: I am a smart guy, I know how to strike deals, blah blah blah. And, it turns out, by this point in time the United States is also just a brand—a stripey flag and some verbiage that rings increasingly hollow: indispensable nation, freedom and democracy, world policeman, blah blah blah. Now, the United States did at some point stand for something: the rule of law, the right to mind your own business, the ability to get things done. But now it stands for lawlessness. How many Wall Street types got jailed for their transgressions in recent years? None. They don't even get juvenile detention; they just get off by paying a fine. How many unarmed people got shot by police lately? Lots. Do the cops get any jail-time for what amounts to murder? No. It also stands for a surveillance state that would make Stalin blush: your right to privacy has been eliminated. And the ability to get things done has moved overseas; all that's left in the US is a bunch of corporate scams—in medicine, in education, in housing, in energy, plus a hyped-up “tech bubble” based on short-lived imported widgets and bits of software cludged together by overcaffeinated hipsters. Do any of these things make you want to jump up and down and yell “Rah-rah?” or “USA #1?” Well, no, so all you have left is the stripey flag; go and wave it about then!
2. Trump is damaged goods but manages to put on a brave face and act successful anyway. A lot of his vaunted deals have gone bad, and quite a lot of what he had built has gone bust. If you look at his “wealth,” most of it is intangible and ephemeral—an attempt to put a market value on various bits of puffery and hype. Now he is suing bankrupt Trump Casinos for continuing to use his name and thereby tarnishing his brand. That's the winning attitude! When you lose, be sure to lob a hand grenade over your left shoulder as you run away. Again, this is a perfect fit to the United States, in its current state: located at the epicenter of the Black Hole of Debt that is rigged to blow at some point, and with an economy that's been shrinking since the beginning of this century—two facts that no amount of accounting fraud can disguise. Add to that a legacy of very damaging and embarrassing foreign policy fiascos. Why is there a refugee crisis in Europe right now? Because America—that's why! If the US didn't run roughshod and ruin Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria or the Ukraine then there wouldn't be a refugee crisis in Europe right now. A country whose fortune and reputation have both been ruined needs an ornamental figurehead who can bluster and bloviate his way out of looking like a loser.
3. Most of what Trump proposes is illegal. I haven't researched this exhaustively, but I did sit through a couple of speeches of his, and made a tick mark every time he offered to do something, if elected, that contradicted existing domestic legislation, international law or international treaties. I made a lot of tick marks. Again, this is a perfect fit: the United States is a country that flouts international law on a regular basis, refuses to prosecute and jail members of its financial elite and routinely violates human rights through practices such as torture, indefinite detention and extraordinary rendition. It also attempts to make its laws binding on the rest of the world through acts such as FATCA, which require banks around the world to furnish it with information about their clients even when the transaction does not concern any US interest or person. So, a Prezz who doesn't know legal from illegal wouldn't be a problem at all. In fact, a Prezz who is hornswoggled by outdated notions of upholding the law and the Constitution may be at a disadvantage in riding out the unfolding national fiasco.
4. The stuff that comes out of Trump's mouth may sound childish, but it is stuff that Americans actually think and want to hear said in public. There has been a sort of self-appointed language police at work in the US, which has forced people to become very timid when speaking out, for fear of offending someone. Trump is not afraid of offending anyone—and that's very healthy. The language police, on the other hand, is a very unhealthy bunch of humans: it is not outraged or offended by actual outrages and offenses, provided these are talked about in politically correct ways—because it is all about setting limits on language. Politically incorrect use of terminology by public figures causes it to start tweeting like mad until the public figure in question tweets a public apology. But Trump does not apologize. Are you offended? Don't be so fragile! Never been so offended before? You should get out more! Of course there should be strict limits on hate speech. There should also be limits on obscenity, so that our children don't grow up sounding like goddamn sailors. But when it comes to expressing opinions on controversial topics—of course somebody is going to be offended, or the opinion wouldn't be worth expressing. And so Trump is an actual breath of fresh air when it comes to free speech—or what's left of it in the US.
5. Trump seems like a bit of a fascist. He is really popular with white supremacists, anti-immigrant vigilantes and formerly privileged but now disenfranchised and disgruntled members of white working-class society who complain endlessly about “ferners” taking away their “jerbs.” Now, this may not seem like a big positive, but it's bad to repress one's feelings forever. It results in all kinds of bad things, like domestic terrorist insurgencies. It's better to give a voice to these people, give them a candidate to vote for (remember, it doesn't matter who gets to play “the Prezz”), watch their champion completely renege on his pledges to them—which he will, because his money comes from elsewhere—and they will end up as politically spent as Occupy Wall Street and go off and blubber quietly into their soapy, watery beer. But what, you may ask, if Trump really is a fascist? Well, it still doesn't matter who gets to be Prezz. Plus it's a bit of a fascist country anyway, you know—the out of control militarism, the rampant corporatism, the ubiquitous surveillance state, the rigged, broken justice system, the gaping chasm between the über-wealthy and the rest—these are all halmarks of fascism. So electing a somewhat fascist-sounding Prezz is just a matter of calling a Hackenkreuz a Hackenkreuz.
So here are five perfectly good reasons why Trump would make one fine Prezz. But he needs a running mate. Now, wouldn't it be a fine thing to have a woman Vice-Prezz? It's been two election cycles since a spectacularly dumb bimbo—Sarah Palin—came within a few percentage points of the Vice-Prezzidency; maybe it's time to try again. And so I propose Kim Kardashian as Trump's running mate. Not Kim Kardashian herself—she doesn't amount to much—but, more specifically, her amazing ass. She has a stunning derrière that I am sure will make America feel proud again.
Further, I propose that Trump marry her ass, and make a sort of national royal ass-family. She'd be the Vice-Prezz and the First Lady-Ass—killing two birds with one ass, if you will! Yes, it would require another tweak to the marriage laws to make it possible for a man and a woman's buttocks to join in holy matrimony. But the Supreme Court seems game for such tweaks, and, as an added benefit, when time comes for Mr. Trump to divorce (as it invariably has), the Pope would be only too happy to annul such a union.
Lastly, I recommend that the royal couple dispense with the usual White House nonsense—the press conferences, the sound bites and all the rest. Instead, the rebranded “Trump White House and Casino” should operate as a reality TV show.
In the first episode, Trump summons the Federal Open Market Committee and tells them: “You're fired!”
In the second episode, Trump summons the Joint Chiefs of Staff and tells them: “You're fired!”
In the third episode, Trump summons the Justices of the Supreme Court and tells them “You're fired!”
And so on to the UN Security Council, the G7 and the College of Cardinals.
Wait, wouldn't that be illegal, you may ask?
In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “Ya betcha!”