Hopefully our soon-to-be former president, also known as Individual-1 in a trial against Trump’s former fixer / attorney Michael Cohen through New York’s southern borough in 2018, will soon be put in jail in orange overalls.
Trump was accused of a crime in these files and has apparently been under constant investigation for shady financial dealings and political corruption since joining the White House. He escaped charges in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election because Mueller adhered to a Justice Department memo protecting the seated president from criminal charges.
Still, by the time Trump can get his ticket for the bus ride from the White House to the prison, he could potentially severely destroy American life, American institutions, and the nation’s relations around the globe.
What can we do to disarm him?
Do you remember Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show? Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, who becomes the star of the reality TV show from birth without his knowing it. He lives in a scripted world where everyone else is an actor who plays a role in constructing his reality. His mother and father are actors; his wife is an actress; The postman is an actor – they all occupy a huge studio set. The whole thing watches and is mesmerized and entertained by Truman’s every act and emotion.
Such a situation would be perfect for Trump. After all, he has already proven himself to be a talented reality TV star. Let’s take advantage of that and have fun with him.
We deserve it. He owes us legitimate fun and entertainment for all of the suffering he has caused us.
This is how it can work:
Let Kellyanne Conway tell you that the election really did go its way, and that just as he imagined, Mary Coney Barrett picked up the false call of Joe Biden’s victory. He will believe it. He loves when people tell him what he wants to hear and confirm his sense of how the world should be.
Then tell him to take a good long nap in preparation for a second term of countless and uninterrupted, selfish, shameful, and utterly inhuman businesses. Feed him a couple of Big Macs and pin him in place. He will be ready for it.
In the meantime, build and insulate an Oval Office and the surrounding White House.
He can go on with the same antics and decay, with the same crimes against humanity, believing he is president while in a make-believe world. He’d be a bit like King Friday the 13th in Mister Rogers’ Land of Make Believe – a kind of puppet. While Trump is famous for crying: “No puppet! Not a puppet! “When Hillary Clinton accused him of being Putin’s puppet, we would all finally see him as the puppet he always was.
And think about it: his behavior in the right context can actually be quite ridiculous and entertaining if it can’t harm us.
If he recommends drinking Lysol and or bringing light into our bodies to clear the coronavirus, wouldn’t it be fun and entertaining if we could see a political star on TV and not do any harm? What if it were framed as a comedy full of idiots and dramatic idiocy?
Wouldn’t it be exciting to hear a character talk about how windmills cause cancer? Citing tabloids as legitimate news sources? To keep talking about his TV ratings? There would be a dramatic irony with this last one, and we could all knowingly wink at each other.
I bet we could get Sasha Baron Cohen to direct like one of his Borat films.
I don’t think Trump would know the difference. He doesn’t care about governing. He just wants to believe that he is “winning” and he is willing to believe many things that do not match reality.
Seriously, we have to come up with something to keep him from causing damage for the next two months.
In order not to damage our real world even more, let’s make him a reality TV star again until we can put him in a prison cell.
Tim Libretti is a professor of American literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A longtime progressive voice, he has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, and the National Federation of Press Women and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.