Trump may be a kind of jester, gaming our lives, but there’s nothing, sadly, amusing about it.
Even as the James Webb Space Telescope captures images of a “Rarely Seen Prelude to Supernova” as it searches for the beginning of Time that made a future possible, some rearview GOP-ologists demand a future that would return us to a Druidic past in which a worship of fire replaces Lady Liberty’s torch and Paul Revere’s lantern.
In an era of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Boosters and Mars Exploration Rovers, these antediluvian types want to force those of us who believe that the Federalist Papers deserve more attention than MGT’s Verbal graffiti into a gimcrack time machine so we can enlist in Thomas Hobbes’ “war of all against all” (Leviathan, 1651).
They would trade the hybrid for the horse and buggy without the promise of nostalgic hayrides during autumn pumpkin festivals. The Hysterics (not a singing group) aren’t inviting us for a Bermuda Buggy Ride or, gazooks, a Mexican Hayride. They would administer political litmus tests and send us to Timbuktu if we turned blue.
The Trumpists (not a barber shop quartet, though their rhetorical razors are sharp) keep sounding an alarm to alert us to their delusional visions of aliens: asylum seekers, liberals (undefined), communists (obsolete even in Russia), and cartoon images of sex-crazed Professors who teach Moby Dick (guess why?), detect an anti-insecticide theme in The Good Earth, and promote “Little Bo Peep” because of its voyeurism and its alleged connection to Michael Powell’s “noir” Peeping Tom.
I’m all for a return to the past, especially in utopian literary visions of the future: Plato’s Republic, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), and Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611) — “O brave new world, That hath such creatures in it!”
Reds and Blues will disagree about the nature of the “creatures” they would want to inhabit a new American world, but this battle should be fought with ideas, not 12th century longswords and halberds.
I’m not going to convince any Bayou alligator hunters (who think Democrats want to drain their swamps) to exchange their rifles for butterfly nets, but maybe Dr. Phil would be able to help them make a distinction between prehistoric reptiles and duly elected officials (though, admittedly, some are snake-oil merchants).
Moses, somewhat bewildered after seeing the Burning Bush, traveled to the future to seek the advice of the legendary Rabbi Akiva (c. 50-130 A.D.) and then returned to Mt. Sinai to inscribe The Commandments – the foundation of Judeo-Christian civilization.
The Former’s proposed future would return us to an unevolved past that predates Magna Carta and would replace putters with pikes, Sutton Place with Sutton Hoo (the Mar-a-Lago storehouse of the Anglo-Saxons), the artifact-rich 6th-7th century A.D. burial site.
The Former has confused Bunker Hill, where the Minutemen fought and died bravely to get out of a hole, with one of his failed links and would shank America into an undemocratic sand-trap deeper than The Coffins Bunker at St. Andrews.
Trump may be a kind of jester, gaming our lives, but there’s nothing, sadly, amusing about The Former, even as he is a lampoonists’ wish-fulfillment and a gift from Thalia (the Greek Goddess of Comedy) on April Fools’ Day.
The X-President is no “Dennis the Menace,” just a menace!
Mr. Trump mistakes Mar-a-Lago for Camelot. He needs to take a few courses in Knight-school: Introduction to Chivalry; Beginning Falconry (not Fakery); Courtly Manners.
Howard R. Wolf’s first published article was an analysis of “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon and The Conventions of Courtly Romance.” He is the author most recently of an essay on “Contemporary Relevance in the Fiction of Henry James” (Trajectory, Fall 2022).
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