It was almost too good to be true. For years, political comedians and writers had been out in the wilderness when it came to American politics, toiling for almost a decade to find anything remotely funny about the aspirational Obama regime. Collectively they would reminisce, sitting back and recounting the golden years: a Bush presidency that wrote the jokes for them, evoking memories of sell-out gigs where they would simply read out presidential address transcripts to a howling audience.
Oh, how they dreamt such a time would come again. Sat at their Buzzfeed desks, once prominent joke writers from this period of political absurdity knew the era of easy laughs was over, staring blankly at the first draft of their ’27 things you absolutely didn’t know about cuttlefish’ article.
But then, in the form of a lumbering, malting-haired, ginger cat with a collar marked ‘Donald’, the salvation arrived. It was unlike any previous salvation: shrieking about global warming being a Chinese myth invented to thwart the American export market, then calling for the Mexican government to build a wall along its American border to keep its undesirable citizens out of his sacred land of opportunity. Tomcat Trump had arrived.
Many of America’s most compassionate citizens were captivated by these purrs of lunacy, taking this poor, wandering stray feline off the street and giving it the support it needed to climb to the top of the Republican polls.
And who could argue with them? Here was a refreshing candidate so incongruous with the other politicians: politicians so out of touch with the world of reality, only in power as a result of huge corporate backing. The decision was simple – turn to the former reality television judge living off the pittance of his father’s $300m inheritance and make America great again.
However, in this cruel and merciless world, things would never be plain sailing for Donald Trump. Slammed for mocking a disabled reporter and for his proposal of a nationwide Muslim database, the presidential hopeful has seen his poll ratings plummet in the last week, exacerbated by tweets that used the Paris attacks as an opportunity to criticise strict French gun laws.
It’s the same old story; the liberal establishment has turned the public against the self-funded, underdog candidate with unconventional ideas. This is the control the rich and powerful have in the society we live in – the society that Trump is so viciously campaigning to change. As he sits in the squalor of Trump Tower a broken man after the debunking of his claims that he witnessed Americans Muslims in New Jersey cheering in the aftermath of 911, it can be hard to see a way back for the maverick Republican hopeful.
Overall, there is no happy ending to this rags to riches tale. Trump rose up with the “small $1m loan” from his father as the American dream incarnate, but like Gatsby, his quest looks to be destroyed by the old money of establishment politics. Though he came as a salvation to a few political comedians, Donald Trump will exit the Republican presidential primaries as a redeemer. He gave his international reputation and legacy for absolutely nobody’s tomorrow.
[Image:Russell Cheyne/Reuters, Paneiko]