In Praise of Donald Trump
Yeah, I know, but first hear me out. As a comedy writer, making fun of Donald Trump would seem to be the go to move, and believe me, for a while I was right there. The problem was that so was everyone else. I’d get on stage and say, “Donald Trump is our president” and before I could offer the joke I’d worked hard to craft, the audience would already be laughing, not in anticipation of my quip but because they were all making up their own comedic contributions.
Between his tweets, his narcissistic boasts, his delusional assertions of obvious falsehoods, and his laughable declarations that everything he’s done so far is the best, or most, or greatest ever in the history of this country, if not the entire universe, there is a wealth of material with which the amateur comedian can experience the feeling of constructing an adequate joke. When you add in the ridiculous hair, the orange complexion, oversized suits and ties worn disproportionately long, much like a clown’s oversized shoes, all that is required to poke fun at Trump is to merely point at him while throwing up your hands and saying “see?!”
No longer does being able to deliver unexpected and well thought out witticisms require using a skill set developed by years of training and experience. Trump has done to comedy what auto tune had done to the music industry, allowing in anyone regardless of their level of talent. Don’t believe me? My accountant has a 5-minute Trump set.
As someone who writes political humor and has a career to protect, I realized that I needed do something that would separate me from the new huddled masses, yearning to joke. As often with comedy, the best course of action is to do the unexpected, to go against the tide, or in this case, to present the commendable deeds of Trump.
And that starts with acknowledging that Trump has been in office for almost ten months and he has yet to start a major war. Sure, that’s a pretty low bar but every morning when you wake up to discover that you haven’t been consumed in a nuclear holocaust during the night, you have to admit, “way to go, Donnie!” And when it comes to international relationships, for the first time in my lifetime, Russia is not our bitter enemy but rather our new BFF. Pretty cool. Of course England, Australia and Sweden are a little irritated by us. Sweden? These are the people who put up with ABBA and Ace of Base for twenty years, and yet we’ve annoyed them in mere months?
You also have to admire Trump’s doggedness in sticking to his original strategy. Most politicians, after they win an election, leave the campaign and focus on doing the job they were elected to, but not Donnie, no siree. A year after the election he continues the 2016 presidential campaign, traveling to rightwing strongholds, where he entertains sycophants with attacks on Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and issues that no one outside of Donald Trump really cares about.
At a rally in Kentucky Trump promised coal miners that he was going to put them in the ground, possibly not the best choice of words, but he showed them that he wasn’t going to give up on an industry that had no future. Make America 1850 Again! And to Trump’s credit he’s even thought this out. When asked what America would do with all the excess coal, since it really has no use for it, he explained that under his plan, come December, every family would find a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking. And in yet another backward looking idea, he’s going to hold a rally in Rochester, NY in front of the old Kodak Tower where he’ll promise to bring back Kodachrome. Make Paul Simon great again.
Finally, there is his brave stance regarding health care where he’s determined to make sure that that millions of Americans no longer have to be concerned about paying for healthcare, by removing the option of their even having it. Think of how great it will be for those Americans when they are relieved of burden of health insurance and no longer have to worry about scheduling yearly check-ups or spending long mornings in a doctor’s waiting room, just so he could look at “something weird.” Instead, when they discover a bump, or a break or something weird, they can just google the symptoms and find out what Christian Scientists do for that same condition.
Of course, for those who really, really want to have the illusion that their health insurance policy will cover something besides the CEO of Anthem’s summer vacation, Trump’s said that he’s putting together a plan that will cover all Americans at almost no cost whatsoever. Of course not being a “Cadillac” type health care plan, there will be a few esoteric things that won’t be covered, such as emergency care, hospitals, doctor visits, medication, or any kind of “procedure,” but under his plan every American will have access to a homeless guy who will tell you to turn your head and cough. Way to go, Donnie!