The Book Of Donald (2/4)
The louche messiah
Chapter One: A Kremlin miracle
As the Spring of 2016 approached, it became clear that the New Yorker Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee. Many struggled to explain this stunning development in rational terms. Only the most pious Americans realized that the will of the Lord was involved.
The people were much amused. Donald’s ideas and manner of speech were offensive, but the public found him unpredictable and entertaining. They were eager to hear what he might say next, so the news and social media overflowed with Donald. He offended entire groups with puerile insults: women, ethnic and religious minorities, and educated people. Those with experience in politics and government were convinced that he could never succeed, yet they, too, watched and listened along with everyone else, for he was nothing if not entertaining.
Many religious people assumed that Donald’s well-documented pride, envy, greed, racism, misanthropy, and lust would cause God to reject him. But Donald’s choice of the Evangelical Christian Michael Pence as his vice-presidential running mate suggested to some that the Almighty could be working though Donald, sinful though he might be. Michael became a reassuring presence, emphasizing that a president need not be a role model for Judeo-Christian values to become an instrument of the Lord. He exhibited the appropriate dispositions toward any profligate sinner who comes under God’s control: he would support and obey Donald, but never emulate him.
The Democrats celebrated their good fortune, believing that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, could not lose. But the Lord made Donald attractive to many voters, and Hillary he made unattractive. Thus Donald, the 1960’s draft-dodger, could insult a Gold Star family, boast about assaulting women sexually, and ridicule a disabled journalist in an infantile manner, while his supporters shouted “Amen!” His campaign speeches and rallies were exhibitions of narcissistic cant: every week he committed a faux pas that would have ended the campaign of any normal politician, yet the Republicans stood with him.
Lifted up toward Heaven
On the day following the election, a majority of Americans were astonished. Donald was so obviously unfit for the office, it was inconceivable that he could have attracted enough votes on his own merits. As the Lord had warned, many suspected fraud. And so the Russian role was revealed to satisfy the nagging suspicions of the American people. The genius of the Lord’s plan was that it offered a plausible explanation while making it impossible to know with certainty whether or not foreign interference had been decisive. Those who felt certain that Donald could not have won fairly were satisfied with the idea that Russia had brought it about, although they could never prove their suspicion.
The News Media were ecstatic. Whether they tended to praise Donald or denounce him, their audiences grew, as did their advertising income. The new president was every bit as entertaining as the candidate.
He treated the presidency as a part-time job, preferring to play golf at great expense to taxpayers. He held rallies where he spoke incoherently about his own greatness. He pitied himself endlessly, crying about “fake news” and people who criticized him. He was photographed on more than one occasion dry-humping an American flag. He hurled insults and pitched tantrums while the sober institutions of federal government took on the grotesque airs of professional wrestling. Wherever Donald appeared, cheapness hung in the air like the dense odors surrounding chemical plants and oil refineries. And the people shouted “Amen!”
Virtually every one of Donald’s major efforts would backfire, from his tariffs and trade wars to his attempts to shake down America’s allies, to his brutal treatment of migrants. It became obvious that he understood nothing about government, diplomacy, or macroeconomics, yet he boasted endlessly about his expertise in those fields, falsely claiming success almost daily. And the people cried “Amen!”
Donald evaded responsibility for his many misdeeds and blunders. A Republican Senate and Attorney General made certain of that. He operated in bad faith, yet in complete safety, and the people roared “Amen!”
For some, however, this was a serious business: Donald’s election was an obvious miracle, proof that God remains active in our daily lives. But the Lord had gone silent. He spoke neither to Vladimir Putin nor to Michael Pence, despite their daily prayers of entreaty. America’s religious leaders, especially Fundamentalists and conservative Evangelicals, petitioned Him strenuously, but none would enjoy a reply.
And so they cast about for answers, looking for signs of the Lord’s intent in random, everyday events. His purpose remained a mystery. Why had He elevated Donald? What would America experience under this new administration?
The Religious Right indulged their most alluring superstitions, imagining that God had raised up another mighty conqueror, another Cyrus the Great, an anointed leader and builder of empires, just as the Prophet Isaiah described.
Hints of the truth appeared in Wuhan, China in December of 2019: a plague that proved to be both deadly and contagious. In late January of 2020, Trade Advisor Peter Navarro and US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would warn the president that a catastrophe was approaching.
At first, Donald attempted to reassure the American people, claiming that he could easily control the plague. Within months, those words would be proved false and he would confront a national crisis demanding an extraordinary federal response.
Michael Pence and the spiritual leaders of the Religious Right finally understood the Lord’s intentions. Almighty God had lifted up Donald Trump, the C-list entertainer, the self-promoting serial bankrupt, the New-York Society parasite, and had given him everything he would need to become a great American president — one who would bring Divine Glory upon himself and his descendants and upon the Republican Party and their descendants for uncounted generations to come. Fundamentalist and Evangelical Republicans were filled with great faith and joy, saying, “Surely, the Lord will strengthen Donald’s body and mind, and fortify his will, so that he might conquer this Challenge of the Century and become Great in the eyes of God and mankind for all time.”
To be continued
Chapter Three: Hoping for the best
Chapter Four: Son of Billy