In the past, I wouldn’t have felt a need to preface a piece like this with an explanation, but these are difficult times for humor. The hardest thing about writing this satire was my fear that my statements would not be understood as sarcastic. That is perhaps the one thing I share in common with Trump, who is famous for disclaiming his most outrageous gaffes by saying, “Of course I was being sarcastic.” Let there be no doubt with this essay: Of course, I’m being sarcastic.
I wasn’t sure about Donald Trump, but then we were visited by the pandemic. I now think we have an incredibly perfect president for our time—perhaps the most perfect of all. With a crisis in which pantywaist scientists and bleeding-heart medical experts and blamestream media “reporters” are telling us we have to listen to them or die, we’re lucky to have elected an alpha male who only listens to people who agree with him, so we can go about our lives as if this won’t affect us. Because he’s only looking out for us, right? America first!
Actually, I think he is us. At a time when almost all I can think about is saving my own life, hoarding scarce supplies, and avoiding outsiders, we have a leader who feels exactly the same way. If I’m feeling a selfish urge—and maybe find myself feeling a teensy bit guilty about it—he comes on TV and says or does something so self-serving that I forget my own shame. When I tell myself I really should be doing something for others, that it’s my responsibility as a member of society to step up and make a difference in this crisis, he lets me off the hook. When he said he had the ultimate authority for ending the lockdown, and then backtracked and said, “It’s up to the governors,” I breathed a sigh of relief.
Some losers out there look at Trump and see a con man, a bully, a sad sack failure of a businessman whose resume peaked at reality game show host. I wish they could see what I see: the rightful leader of the free world, a transcendent thoroughbred champion with the fire to win at all costs. He promised that we would “win the pandemic,” and we have prevailed: sweeping to global victory in both numbers of cases (2 million+) and deaths (114,000). And still racking up points on the board. But by putting numbers in their place, pointing out the hoaxiness and trickery involved in scoring this virus (too many tests!), he managed to snatch victory from the jaws of the dead and the dying, the defeated, exhausted healthcare workers, the demoralized doctors, the immune-compromised, and a terrified senior voting bloc. We should be hoisting him on our shoulders, instead of complaining because he had to step on a few backs to get there. America first!
He has a beautiful sense of humor for uncertain times. When he playfully wondered if it might be OK to drink bleach and douse ourselves in UV rays to get this demon out of us (sounds like my last trip to Vegas), I couldn’t understand why nobody got the joke. After all, who doesn’t want the person charged with everybody’s wellbeing to lead with stinging sarcasm? His kidding about cures that are proven not to work makes me feel better about not following all the confusing medical advice, such as washing my hands. Really? I know when I have germs on me and when I don’t. First they give us low-flow faucets, then they tell us we have to wash our hands all the time. Well, which is it?
Donald Trump helps us see that guidelines are really just suggestions to be ignored. He pretended to stand behind the federal guidelines but then encouraged US to liberate our own states. Isn’t that a mark of true genius? Holding two contradictory thoughts in your mind at one time? He reminded us that it’s our country, love it or leave it, and we have the power. And not just the power to look out for each other. We have the power to gather, to breathe on each other without fear, and to wave our assault weapons around. He gave us permission to intimidate people who prioritize the common good over our rights, to scare them by bravely ignoring arbitrary health orders.
The rule followers are the ones who keep telling us to sit back and respect our leaders and applaud the healthcare workers and protect the most vulnerable members of our population. But Trump reminds us that this is war!! And everybody knows that in war, you have to question authority. He was made for this moment, our brave commander-in-chief. When he talks about the “Invisible Enemy,” first, you think he means the virus, then you see the brilliance, that he’s really talking about a diverse, inclusive culture that gives everyone a voice, even the perverts and the weak. Trump reminds us that those people can keep themselves PPE’d and sequestered while we’re free to go out on a Saturday night and tear it up because it’s our Constitutional right. People who are too sick and old to get exposed to a little virus can just stay out of my local bar.
Yep, Donald Trump makes it all right for me. I’ll take his lack of sympathy over having a long swab shoved up my nose any day. Testing or no, we’re reopening the economy. We’re getting back together for real, and we’re breathing the same air and keeping the faith and spiking the numbers. Some are even marching against police brutality, ignoring one virus to fight another, which is our God-given right, as he reminded us when he held up that Bible. At least I think that was his message. When he said, “It’s a Bible,” I don’t think he was being sarcastic. Surely not this time.
Anyway, my faith is still strong. The Covid is barely here in our county and it’s going to magically disappear. We need to get back to church and eat from a common potluck and hold hands and sing loud and pray. We need to get back to supporting our local businesses the American Way, through an impersonal financial transaction rather than neighborly charity. We’ve got to get out and spend our relief checks.
Because everybody knows it: We’re all going to get The Covid anyway. Might as well get it over with, with a nice haircut. We’re not going to build up herd immunity if we never get exposed. God gave us an immune system, so let’s use it.
What better time to have a president who inspires us by being an incredible specimen of health? From now on, forget about wearing a mask. Trump doesn’t wear one, and that’s enough for me. Sure, he has his staff tested every day, but he says testing is no good anyway. He’s test proof, bulletproof, stain proof, and I think his hairspray makes him waterproof. He’s like a Kardashian. He wears this really weird orange makeup and just acts like it’s totally normal to look the way he does. It’s the chip on his shoulder that he dares you to knock off.
I’m betting on his vanity and toxic masculinity to shield us from harm. He won’t give the virus the satisfaction of covering his beautiful visage. Never mind that everyone else around him now has to wear a mask and keep the proper social distance. Or that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine even though medical experts are saying don’t. Or even that he ran down to the bunker at the first sign of trouble from Black Lives Matter. People who wear masks and shelter in place and wait for studies are sissies. Where’s their faith in our fearless leader?
What he’s taught me to believe in during this pandemic, more than anything, is the supremacy of my rights as an American. Exercising our freedoms to the fullest extent is what he wants us to do. He sticks up for my identity and my privileges as a citizen of this great nation, and validates what I believe with simple catchphrases I can remember. Those weepy-eyed progressives and do-nothing professors in their I’ve-never-held-a-real-job towers need to remember: if we’re going down, we’re all going down together.
That’s how Donald Trump reminds us that the U.S. is all of US. And that’s what makes America great.
So let’s grab this thing by the horns and take it viral.