Trump Versus Reality

Nov 13 2016

[The following is a work of fiction. It is an excerpt from a recorded dialog between president Barack Obama and president-elect Donald Trump behind closed doors in the Oval Office, as imagined by a student of physics. Without irony, the student believes it gives reason to hope for Donald’s leadership.]

[Sound of doors closing on the recording.]

B. O.: “Donald, let’s skip the pleasantries. I’m gonna say to you what I think any rational and decent person would say to you, in my position.”

D. T.: “What’s that?”

B. O.: “Don’t do it.”

D. T.: “You’ve gotta be kidding me. I’ve won, Barack.”

B. O.: “You’re right… You’ve won. You’ve won the contest, Donald. Now, you get to claim the prize. What’s that prize, Don? Do you have any idea?”

[About two seconds of silence]

B. O.: “Don, I have a hunch that you’re only looking to take the world for a ride as long as it benefits you. You have to understand the state of division this country is in, Don.”

D. T.: “It doesn’t matter! I’ve won, Hussein! The people love me, because I’m the real change! I can have anything I want.”

B. O.: “Don, Benito Mussolini ruled over a country for 26 years that descended into the bloodiest war in human history. He was caught attempting to flee to Spain, shot dead, and beaten and hung from his heels afterward. He had a might sight more political experience than you. I give it two years.”

D. T.: “You got a lot of gall! You got a lot of gall, Mr. First Black President of America, you damned puppet of your party–”

B. O.: “Don, what’s the current amount of the national deficit?”

D. T.: “Excuse me? I mean, it’s trillions, trillions–”

B. O.: “How many?”

D. T.: “Ten!”

B. O.: “It’s a hair under twenty, Don. Who’s the prime minister of Zimbabwe?”

D. T.: “What does it matter? Pick some irrelevant African country–”

B. O.: “He’s got nukes, Don! You don’t know this shit! Nobody knows this shit! I know fifteen college dropouts who could make ’em in their fucking basements, Don!”

D. T.: “What are you talking about?”

B. O.: “I hate to say that I didn’t expect you to know barely the first damned thing about nuclear physics! Don, universal proliferation is unavoidable! It’s already happened! I was serious about the college dropouts! Some of ’em even graduated, Don, with fucking doctorates! Where’s your doctorate from, Don? How many years you serve as governor? I couldn’t say this in front of the press, but it’s just you and me, pal, for an hour or so, so have a damned drink.”

[Sound of a bottle hitting the desk.]

D. T.: “I’ll have two.”

B. O.: “So will I!”

[Sounds of drinks being poured.]

B. O.: “Donald, you wanted the prize, but you didn’t want the responsibility that came along with it. None of us will survive without you, now, Don. You thought you could get away without the responsibility. None of us will survive unless you can perform the function, Don–not me, not you, and not a single person we love. It doesn’t work that way, anymore. We’re in the damned Atomic Age, now. We’ve only had the bomb for about 71 years. Our fathers are older than the bomb. Mugabe can get away with it, maybe, but we’re the presidents of the United States. You’re not getting out of this, Don. Now you gotta work to save your own skin. They hung Mussolini by his heels, but I give you two years. We clear? You’re bullshit’s not gonna work on me. We both know what you’re doing.”

D. T.: “What are the nuclear codes?”

B. O.: “Donald, let me take you through basics, first.”


B. O.: “So, that’s where the light switches are.”

D. T.: “Oh my fucking God, oh my fucking God, I don’t know what I’m gonna do!”

B. O.: “It’s gonna be okay, Don. I bet you don’t know how the Electoral College works, either.”

D. T.: “What am I gonna do? Am I gonna die?”

B. O.: “Hopefully not, Don.”

D. T.: “I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”

B. O.: “You’re gonna do your best, Donald. Now, let’s go out and talk with the press.”

D. T.: “Wait, wait a minute. I can’t do that, yet. I need a minute.”

[About 4 seconds of silence]

B. O.: “Donald, you’re the president of the United States, now. You can’t show fear in the face of anything. You can’t let anything get under your skin, anymore.”

D. T.: “I need to think about what I tell the press, for a minute.”

B. O.: “Tell ’em we talked about the good and the bad. Tell ’em we talked about ways we have to protect them. Don’t let that beautiful face of yours crack. Most importantly, keep it to a minimum.”

D. T.: “Alright.”

[Sounds like face being gently slapped.]

D. T.: “Hopefully I didn’t ruin my makeup. Alright, I got it together again. We keep this short. Let’s go.”

B. O.: “Let’s.”

[End of recording]

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