Expressions

How Did I Get This Far?: a short story

BY KRISHAN PATEL
Staff Writer

“No one is more surprised by this than I am that I managed to get this far. Believe me. I have no idea what I’m doing, yet I’m somehow the Republican nominee for President of the United States, running against my former friends, the Clintons. I’m in too deep. If I drop out now, I’ll be even more of a laughingstock than I am now. Even my own supporters will think I’m a coward.

“You’re probably wondering how this all started. Well, to understand that, I have to go way back. No, not to the day I announced my campaign and called most Mexicans rapists. Even further back than that. I was done hosting The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC for the season, and I wanted to be paid more for my tremendous work and to boost my brand. In order to do that, I had to build up an even larger public profile than the one I had already crafted as a TV billionaire playboy. An idea came to my head. I had ran for President in the past as a candidate for the Reform Party, but considering that you probably have never heard of the Reform Party, you can guess how that turned out. I decided to run again, this time for the Republican nomination. I already had built up my right wing political profile as the champion of the birther movement (Obama is obviously a Muslim, I mean, just look at him), and seeing how eagerly the Republicans lapped up anything on FOX News, I already had a pretty loyal fan base. But first, I needed money.

“After being turned down by about every single big donor on the right, one of Mitt Romney’s previous advisors gave me the tremendous advice to reject big donors in general and self-fund as a public cornerstone of my campaign for good publicity. Ivanka, a beautiful woman who I would probably be dating if she wasn’t my daughter, convinced me to make protectionist trade policy as part of my platform to give me the impression of having some substance. At first it didn’t make sense to me, as I take advantage of free trade to make my own products overseas, but she promised me that no one would care. And boy, was she right.

“I know you’ve probably seen this all on the news for yourself, but you need to hear it from my point of view, okay? So, I literally started my campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and promising to build a wall that was clearly impossible to actually build. I half-expected my candidacy to end then and there, but only liberals put up a fuss, and most of them treated it like a joke. Even many Republican latinos were fine with my comments. Later, I insulted the service of all American veterans who were prisoners of war. My supporters didn’t even flinch. It was then that I realized that no matter what I said, a certain portion of the country would love me unconditionally. I decided to have fun with it and push the limits of what I could do before my eventual drop out of the race. Needless to say, that didn’t go exactly as planned – I had miscalculated the situation bigly.

“I started to just say whatever came to my mind at the moment. Truth, lies, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that it was hugely entertaining and that people paid tremendous attention to me. I realized that I could lie my way through almost anything. I improvised my way through an entire Republican debate by just yelling over everyone until I got tired. I claimed I knew more about ISIS than the generals did. Of course, the only thing I actually knew about ISIS was that they were Muslim bad guys who lived somewhere in the Middle East, but that didn’t matter. Hell, I even made fun of a reporter for being disabled on live television and nobody cared. I realized that I had to push the limits even further.

“One constant I knew about politics is that upholding the Constitution is the most important job of the President. So I decided to wipe myself with it instead. I called for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. I expected that to be it. Campaign over. I could go back to selling Trump products and watching TV in my gold apartment in Trump Tower with Melania. Only, my campaign wasn’t really over. In fact, my poll numbers went nowhere but up. And they went up bigly, believe me.

“I knew Republicans hated Russia, so I started praising my friend, Vladimir Putin. And I couldn’t believe it, but instead of criticizing me, my supporters decided to praise Putin too! I started encouraging violence at my rallies, telling people to hit each other, and instead of being disgusted, my supporters found some way to justify it. Next, I publicly endorsed torture on live television. I literally said I would bring back waterboarding and do even worse things to prisoners who haven’t even been proven guilty, and people still defended my statements! Even I was amazed at what people let me get away with.

“Now it was at this point that nearly every liberal in the country and even some of the Republicans had called me racist in one way or another, so when David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, a group my father was a part of, endorsed me, I denied even knowing what the KKK or white supremacy in general were. It was at this point that the KKK and the Neo-Nazis realized that my campaign was sympathetic to the white nationalist cause, and I decided to stop dog-whistling racism and just say it outright whenever I felt like it. I mean, I’m not actually racist, but the blacks and the latinos are a tremendous problem in the inner cities, believe me.

“Now I had to go to another GOP Debate. Marco Rubio insulted my hands, so I said his penis was small and I bragged about the size of my own. Yeah, I know. Don’t interrupt, just please listen. It seemed like a funny idea at the time, okay?

“I insulted a judge working on my fraud case for being Mexican. How the hell was I supposed to know that he was an Indiana-born ex-prosecutor who battled Mexican drug cartels in court? It’s not like I handle my own cases every time I get sued. And people sue me a lot, believe me.

“I thought this would be the last straw. I thought it was over for me, done. I could finally go back to my old life. I would be forced out of the GOP and Lyin’ Ted would get the nomination instead. Instead, Paul Ryan put up a fight with me for like, three seconds, then endorsed me. I was officially nominated by the Republican Party to be their nominee at the 2016 Republican National Convention. It was at this point, as I got on that stage, that I realized that I could somehow actually become President. I panicked. I started trying to purposefully throw the election.

“As soon as the Democratic National Convention started, I committed an act of treason at a press conference and asked Russia to hack the United States government to benefit my campaign. The next day, I said I was being sarcastic, like that made it better. Apparently, that was enough for everyone to forgive me. Do other Republicans not know what sarcasm is or am I just crazy?

“Then I insulted the Muslim parents of an Army Captain who died in combat, sacrificing his life to save the soldiers in his unit against terrorists. This had to do me in. Or so I thought. Apparently, you can get away with anything as long as the people you insult aren’t white Christians.

“I then decided to get myself arrested by the Secret Service if that was what it took to get me out of this. On August 9, 2016, I suggested that my supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she wins. Instead of arresting me, the Secret Service tweeted that they were investigating me, contacted my campaign, and then dropped it. I swear, this country is a freaking joke.

“I then decided to start rambling the most blatantly false crap possible. I literally called Obama the founder of ISIS. Instead of forcing me to drop out, the GOP just looked away. I swear to Go-, I mean, I swear, these guys have no standards whatsoever.

“At this point I actually began trying to become President. Of course, I still lost the first debate to Hillary Clinton. I also insulted a former Miss Universe on Twitter at 3:00 AM, but she was terrible, believe me. Now that that fiasco was over, I didn’t think this election could get any worse for me.

“Then the Washington Post, part of the rigged liberal media, released that tape of me talking about women with Billy Bush. It was just locker room talk, of course, but that was the end for me. And the rest of what happened, you’re probably up to speed on.

“And that’s how I accidentally started a misogynistic, racist, white ethno-nationalist political movement that’s threatening to tear America in half. I’m just so lost right now. Please tell me how to make this better. What in the world do I do? Should I beg God for forgiveness or something?”

The minister shook his head in disbelief after listening to the incoherent, jumbled rant, looked Mr. Trump dead in the eyes, and said, “Donald, I don’t even think God has it in him to forgive you.”

Donald Trump sighed with disappointment, though he wasn’t surprised at the answer. “Go figure.”

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