So the lines are drawn in the sand. In a battle for the ages the Republicans made it clear how they plan to reelect The Don. Let’s call it the “Great American Mind Fuck.”
I got to hand it to them. Turning over the production of the convention to the creators of the “Apprentice” was clever.
Producer: So what do you people have in mind for the show?
Campaign consultant: Well on a macro scale, we want you to create a character like you did on “The Apprentice.”
Producer: You mean turn a failed businessman, and a huckster, into the pillar of success and an American icon?
Campaign: Nailed it! So what we need,is a two pronged approach: a sort of high road, low road.
Producer: There’s a high road?
Campaign: A pretend one. Like in the Wizard of Oz – the yellow brick road juxtaposed with the witch and the flying monkeys. You in?
Producer: Am I in? This is brilliant. This will be my greatest creative endeavor yet.
Campaign: The flying monkey part will be easy, but it’s selling the president as a man for all people, a man of empathy, a benevolent protector, a father figure who will protect his American family.
Producer: Agreed. The flying monkey part I can do in my sleep. Protecting America from hoodlums and socialists; protecting white suburban women from the menace of undesirables who will destroy the sanctity of their cozy lives. Who do we have on board to spread the word?
Campaign: We’ve got those gun toting McCloskey’s from St. Louis who have become American heroes.
Producer: Great! We will script them to say:
“Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.”
“These radicals are not content with marching in the streets. They want to walk the hall of Congress, they want to take over, they want power. This is Joe Biden’s party. These are the people who will be in charge of your future and the future of your children.”
Campaign: Fabulous stuff. We also have mad-dog House member Matt Gaetz of Florida is ready to say that the democrats want to “disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door.”
Producer: Now we’re cooking.
Campaign: Can I tell you something off the record, a little secret? The president is having his campaign people go to the demonstrations, and to use John Lewis’ words, make “good trouble.”
Producer: Brilliant strategy.
Campaign: Totally! When the president first suggested paying people to agitate and provoke violence we were like, isn’t that going too far? He just smiled and said: this is war and you ain’t seen nothing yet. To quote him: When I get through spreading terror and fear, people will be begging me to come save them.
Producer: That’s some dark stuff.
Campaign: Usually I would say it’s just political warfare, but in the president’s case, this is the 2nd coming of the civil war.
Producer: That’s chilling, but America loves that kind of stuff. Vigilantism, maligning of the other, stoking racial animus. Makes for a good story.
Campaign: You got it. A good story. America is built on that shit, and we intend to exploit it.
Producer: Now that we have the flying monkey down, let’s talk about the golden child.
Campaign: Golden child! I just love, love, love it.
Producer: What’s with the love, love, love stuff. Can’t anybody in your camp just say that word one time?
Campaign: It’s an osmosis thing.
Producer: Right, an osmosis thing.
Campaign: So about the golden child. How do we turn the flying monkey in to a teddy bear? You know, turning the cheat, deadbeat, con artist into America’s greatest businessman?
Producer: How do you reveal that behind the flying monkey is a teddy bear? How do you get enough black people to believe he isn’t a racist? How do you get enough white women to believe he is not a misogynist and a sexual predator? Enough Latinas to forget the fact that he put people in cages and separated children from his families? Convince people that the man has done a great job with the pandemic, despite the contrary? How to get people to not see him as a mean-spirited bully who cruelly makes fun of people?
Campaign: Yeah, how do you do that?
Producer: You pay Melania a lot of money to say:
“I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice and never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin.”
“We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things.’’ Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking.’’ And that is because he’s an authentic person.
Campaign: Wow, you think she can do that with a straight face?
Producer: She hides her cards well. Just make her an offer she can’t refuse.
Campaign: Are you saying we should off her if she refuses?
Producer: Ha! No, no, no. This isn’t the “The Godfather,” it’s more like “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Campaign: Phew, you had me worried there. Though who knows what he would do if she defied him. So what’s next?
Producer: You get black people to extol his virtues. Anyone come to mind?.
Campaign: Yeah, Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboy’s Herschel Walker just loves the president.
Producer: Perfect. You get Herschel to say:
“It hurts my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald,” he said. “The worst one is ‘racist’.”
Producer: Now we need the empathy card. Who do we have on board for this?
Campaign: Dan Scavino, his longest-serving White House aide. Ja’Ron, the most senior black official in the White House
Producer; How about Dan says:
“I wish you could be at his side with me to see his endless kindness to everyone he meets.
And Ja’Ron that’s a good catch. You get the black issue and empathy from the same person. He says:
“I just wish everyone could see the deep empathy he shows the families whose loved ones were killed due to senseless violence.”
Campaign: That’s awesome. What else you have in mind?
Producer: How about a live naturalization ceremony. Black, Latina, even a Muslim woman in a hijab, one-by-one granted citizenship. The catch is you don’t tell them they will be part of the convention, as they might not want to do that given the president’s comments about Muslims and ‘shit-hole countries’.
Campaign: Fucking genius! Last thing: How do we handle the pandemic?
Producer: You mostly ignore it and when you do mention it you talk about how it is something in the past.
Campaign: That’s a tricky one.
Producer. Agreed. But if you have the president give his acceptance speech in front with the White House as a back- drop with a thousand people all sitting close together without masks. Show America everything is back to normal.
Campaign: But people could die.
Producer: That’s the price of messaging when you are in a war. Always going to be casualties.
Campaign: That’s pretty dark.
Producer: He’s your president.
Campaign. My president? Aren’t you going to vote for him?
Producer: Are out of your mind? The man is a menace and dismantling democracy.
Campaign: So why are you doing this?
Producer: For the same reason Melania will say those words. And I think I will finally win my first Emmy.