Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ Category

Against my better judgment, I guess I’ll add my two cents (worth barely that) to the fray.

I don’t remember exactly when it ruptured. The division had always been there. But rupture seems the more appropriate term for what happened. It was definitely during the election, but more precisely, it started to take shape during the primaries. When sad politicians, with their sneers and bird-like eyes, spread their blankets of rhetoric.

It seems like a long time ago, now. A time when we had our different opinions on candidates, but could still find that humorous, middle-ground. You know the one: “He did this/she did that… Yeah, let’s just agree that they’re both kind of nuts.”

It was around that time, when a friend commented on how it seemed as if real life had transformed into a Coen Brothers film. And hey, the Coen Brothers make some pretty entertaining flicks. So it wasn’t all bad.

Sure, you had your hard liners on either end, but show me someone stepping passionately onto their soap box, and I’ll show you a really boring dinner party. One that I’m probably trying to get out of. Back then, I was dodging political conversations like a republican during the draft. And just like those fellas of yesteryear, I was getting good at hiding from ugly truths.

Little did I know that the truth was much better than me at hide and seek.

Full disclosure: I’m the son of immigrants. Actually, all of my family here in the states are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. We’re the kind of family that learned to speak Serbian before we learned to speak English. And now, most of us speak both languages (less than ideally).

This was one of the reasons I was so surprised by the fact that some in our family were thinking about supporting Trump.

Given, I’m a socially liberal fella. So I’m surprised quite often. And when you-know-who started in on his anti-immigration rants, and ugly sound bites about women, I was fairly certain a lot of our family’s Trump contingent would pull back on the throttle. That didn’t happen.

Still, that was fine. To each their own, I thought. I knew some of the reasons they supported him over Hillary. She was the same old thing. Business as usual. And there was also the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the Clinton administration and UN led bombing campaigns. This was hard to swallow, especially when some of our family members had died, and many others became refugees. Add in a host of small business interests (all of them in one blue collar trade or another) and there you had it. Even if I didn’t agree with Trump or his ridiculous campaign promises, I understood why some of our clan liked the guy.

Anthony Bourdain recently wrote a great piece about this, except from a rural, middle-American perspective. The fly over states and all that. It’s mostly about how people become resentful when it feels like they (or their problems) aren’t being taken seriously. And looking back on it, this seems like one of the major factors in getting Trump elected. It wasn’t him so much as it was a frustration, or impotent rage over a system that many felt hadn’t just failed them, but had ignored them as well.

I don’t think a lot of those Trump supporters actually believed that he was going to try and make good on some of his wackier campaign promises. Maybe he was just sticking it to the man, in their eyes. Who knows?

But with recent events, the immigration ban in-particular, this Coen Brothers flick just got a lot less humorous.

Perhaps the one good thing that has come from this administration’s heavy handed, un-American policies, is that it has brought people from different backgrounds together in protest. And perhaps groups like the ACLU doing what they can, will inspire more.

People are getting involved and doing their part as Americans. They’re putting their money where their mouth is. Donations are starting to come in to the appropriate groups, while businesses that are trying to profit from unfair policies are being boycotted.

There’s a lot to think about in the strange days ahead. For instance, I’m kind of worried that the fiscal cuts that are coming could affect the arts a great deal, and that would be a shame. But who knows, maybe a lot of us will give a piece of our tax refunds right back to the programs that are affected. And maybe, this is how the fight will play out.

Maybe it’ll be through the voice of the majority, and just as important, through our wallets. Once politicians begin to see that the majority is spending its money with a political interest, maybe they’ll start to think twice. Capitalism isn’t owned by this administration. And once our money starts working against their policies, they’ll bend.

If we’ve learned anything from recent history, politicians will follow the money. If lobbyists can get their ear by lining pockets, we sure as hell can get their attention with how we spend our money. Just look at the contributions in the last couple of weeks to the ACLU. This could very well be an indication of things to come.

This administration’s rhetoric, along with the cable news play-by-play, are divisive in the worst sort of way. They’re making out by simply pitting us against one another. And unfortunately, it’s a big reason why we’re in this spot. We let them divide us. We bickered amongst ourselves, and they fed off it. This isn’t a football game. This isn’t about winning or losing teams. This is more nuanced than that. This is about coming together and reminding these entities that they work in our interests, not the other way around.

And those Trump supporters? We need them too. There’s no use patting each other on the back and talking about how smart and enlightened we are, while simultaneously grousing about how ignorant they are. So we make our tent bigger, and we bring them in. A lot of those folks have already noticed the destabilization that these new policies have brought about. Even if they don’t want to admit it yet. And I’m willing to bet many of them didn’t sign on for all of this craziness.

There were a lot of decent folks, who were simply dismayed by an ugly political system. These are hard working people that could very well change their minds. And we can help them do it. Perhaps some of them are just proud. People in general don’t want to be belittled and/or talked down to. That’s a common trait we all share. Sure, this seems trivial, but in all seriousness, trivial shit got us to this point, maybe it can help get us out.

Some of those people are on the fence already. I’ve seen it. I’ve had more than a few conversations with Trump supporters. In fact (This is our little secret), one in-particular is coming around. She watched the Woman’s march. She saw the news stories about innocent people being detained at airports all across the country, and she knows the wall is a ridiculous waste of money. It’s only a matter of time before she abandons this administration’s outdated way of thinking. And others will as well. And we will need those people. And they will need us.

United we stand and all that groovy jazz.

Well, that’s all I got. And if you don’t agree with my ramblings, that’s fine too. I’m just another dope pecking away at a keyboard in the middle of the night. Hell, I should have renamed this blog The Soap Box. Eh, it’s probably already taken. All the good ones are.

Till next time, be kind and keep going.

 

 

The motorcade of black Range Rovers gleamed unnaturally under the neon beams. Thousands of red, white, and blue lights flickered overhead. A fifty-foot sign stood high above them, it read Trump.

Vladimir Putin and his envoy of advisors and bodyguards, exited their vehicles and quickly made their way up the stairs and into this new White House. If one were to look closely at the Russian president just then, they would have noticed a smirk. No one did though, as all of his entourage were either shielding their eyes, or squinting as they went.

A disheveled man with haunted eyes, greeted the party at the door.

“Hey, how are ya? I’m the uh, the Secretary of Things. The Donald’s waiting in his circle room.”

“You mean oval office?” asked Putin’s advisor. A tall, well-dressed man.

The Secretary of Things began to cough uncontrollably. He pulled a cigarette butt from his pants pocket and proceeded to straighten it out and light the burnt end.

“It’s uh, more of a circle… but whatevah.” replied the Secretary, once he managed to take a pull from the mangled butt.

He led Putin and the group further into the building. They navigated a maze of dusty corridors, adorned with garish self-portraits of various members of the Trump clan. The constant ringing of slot machine bells could be heard in the distance. The group finally stopped at a giant set of golden doors. Across the center of the doors, in letters made from blood diamonds the size of baby-fists, read one word: Trump

Putin and his group entered the oval office (or circle room). The décor was a hideous plaid laden 70’s vintage. A ten foot oil painting of the Donald stood over a freshly stuffed panda bear, on the far wall. Under it, President Trump sat at his desk. He was deep in concentration, as he fervently flipped through a copy of Star Magazine. Vice President Pence sat on the couch nearby, passionately devouring a taco salad.

The Secretary of Things began to cough uncontrollably once again.

“Jesus, Joe!” exclaimed Trump, when he broke away from his issue of Star Magazine, and finally noticed his guests.

“Oh. Hey V-diddy!” Trump stood and greeted the Russian President.

“Glad to see you could make it. Can I get you a coffee or maybe a voucher for the buffet?” Putin took a seat on the other side of the desk.

“I did not travel all this way to make, how you say, small talk.” replied Putin, coolly.

Vice President Pence, eyebrows raised, set the remains of his taco salad aside. “Um, if you’re not gonna use that voucher, I can—“

President Tump cut him off. “No! Goddamn it, Pence. You’re eating us into another recession!”

President Trump then fell into his chair, let out a sigh, and once again turned his attention to Putin.

“Let’s get to it. I promised the American people that things would start to change around here. And when I moved the White House to Atlantic City, they knew I meant what I said. Now, let’s talk business.”

“You’re speaking of Syria?”

“No.”

“The sanctions?”

“Nope.”

“What then?!” asked Putin, visibly annoyed now.

“Pooty… I need to build a wall.”

“I do not understand.”

“Well, ever since I got rid of all those undocumented workers, I’ve been getting gouged on pricing. My voters wanted a bigger wall, and I’m trying to give em the biggest fucking wall since an Irishman laid a brick.”

“But you have a wall already… and it is very large.” Putin said, confused.

“I know that Pooty. And it’s a great wall. The best. But I need another one… in the north.”

Putin shook his head in disbelief. “For Canada? But why? They are how you say, white.”

“Listen half my damn country moved up there. And I don’t want any of those traitors ever coming back! So I’m gonna build the biggest goddamn wall in the world to keep em out! It’s gonna be the best!”

“And, uh, I need to keep what’s left of us, in.” added President Trump, nervously. Trump leaned in closer now, and his demeanor softened as he continued.

“But I gotta be honest, these damn construction costs are killing me.”

“And what is this to do with Russia?” asked Putin, clearly enjoying where this conversation was headed.

“Look, I need some people that’ll be grateful for the opportunity to do some honest-to-god work. And not because they need more money, or benefits, or any of that other crap.”

“So you want undocumented workers?”

“Exactly!” Trump said, smiling back. This guy’s not so bad, he thought.

“But you had them.” Putin replied, confused once again.

“I don’t dwell on the past. I move forward. And I know if anybody has a line on some cheap laborers, it’s my ruskie buddies.”

President Trump emphasized the ruskie buddies part with a wink and a playful nod toward Vladimir Putin.

He did it again. And then one last time.

Putin began to chuckle, and then that chuckle turned into maniacal laughter.

He wiped away his tears as he spoke. “Ahh, yes. I can help you with this. Do you know of gulags?”

“Sure. It’s like a stew, right?”

At the notion of stew, Pence’s eyes lit up. He thought a stew would fit quite nicely into his now empty taco shell.

“Eh, not exactly. Let us just say it is where I like to keep a lot of my work force.” replied Putin

Trump smiled triumphantly, but Pence sighed and looked down once more at the empty taco salad shell that sat before him. Why was it never enough, he wondered. 

“So then you’re in!” exclaimed Trump.

“What does Russia get in return?”

“What are ya looking for, Pooty?”

Putin shrugged. “Hmm, maybe some border problems go away. Maybe we get some good PR for once, and—“

Putin stopped suddenly, as he realized what he really, really wanted.

“Oh! Maybe we can work out something with Disney or Nickelodeon? Russia has much love for the singing and dancing of the children.”

President Trump slowly stood from his chair. “I’ll do you one better! How about I give you a tour of the labs where we make all those little weirdos.”

Vladimir Putin rose from his chair as well. A cold, wolf-like grin spread across his thin lips. President Trump extended his hand.

“Hell, by this time next year you’ll have a warehouse full of adorable song and dance bots.” declared Trump.

“And you will have another very large wall.” replied Putin.

The two men shook on it.

And that’s how Russia got Mikhail Mouse.