Keep Calm and Trump On

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By Gallagher and Schleicher

Despite the noble efforts of White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine general John F. Kelly, there is an emerging “morale problem” among those supporting and working for our current commander in chief. Some fear the gut-wrenching stench drenching our capital city does not originate solely with the three super-sized corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Staffers live in fear of the boot, conservative pundits bemoan damage to the movement and Vice President Mike Pence has been spotted in the Oval Office with a tape measure and an interior design consultant. Meanwhile, Trump golfs with a blithe spirit not seen since Nero fiddled.

A Trump voter confided to us she’s come to view him “like one of those trick candles that you can’t blow out, except it’s an industrial fire.” To add insult to injury, she confesses that “children are laughing at my red MAGA hat.” Another Trump voter suggests meekly that the president’s staff take away “that godd– f—ing phone and flush it down the commode so that SOB can tweet no more.”

Such angst is premature, disloyal and based solely on “facts.” A more subjective analysis underscores the same alt.reality that propelled Donald past 19 others into the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. We find ample reason to continue pretending at winning. Bigly.

For starters, there’s “the lag” — the time it takes for large groups of people to assess complex information. While Trump reaches historically low approval ratings in record time, the lag virtually guarantees at least several more months of Trump support from a plurality. Even now — per a Fox News poll — he’s only five points less popular than Obamacare.

Plus the novelty has not yet worn off. In that same Fox poll, two-thirds of Americans judged him as least “somewhat unstable.” No other president has offered such reckless unpredictability in a way that seems both scripted and yet ad-lib (As Seen on TV™). With “fake news” charges inoculating his base from realizing it’s their country he’s destroying, his ju-jitsu media prowess means over 60 million Americans remain hopelessly devoted to you-know-who.

Speaking of media, launch of the new pro-Trump television channel ensures a safe place for viewers to go when legitstream media makes them feel as if they’re melting. Such “communication tools” are more than handy: they drown out criticism, fuel social media and better blur the lines between real journalism and propaganda. When we can’t win, we can pretend. And we need never go more than an hour without an image of our dear leader.

Threats of nuclear war? Cataclysmic natural disasters? One need not be Juan Perón to see the potential for campaign rally stops, campaign product placement and sound-byte “fire and fury” bonanzas, as one reassures those suffering that everything is just fantastic.

OK, not an entirely cloudless sky. Torch-bearing Klansmen in khakis and vehicular homicide don’t make for good optics. And one can only declare them morally equal to “Antifa” so long as the public doesn’t realize U.S. deaths at the hands of extremists are 74 percent from the right. Even defending the bravery of bronze statues will only get you so far. Try adopting a puppy instead.

Tax reform and infrastructure investment seem as doomed as health-care reform. (If only we had elected a dealmaker!) All the while Mother Nature becomes more and more difficult to ignore. Perhaps we shouldn’t have grabbed her by the permafrost. Not to mention the question of what happens to a Dreamer deferred. Perhaps Langston Hughes knows?

That Russia thing won’t go away either. But so long as Melania and the others don’t cop a plea and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn’t waiting at the other end, we can cross that Bering Strait when we come to it. In short, don’t worry; be happy. America is getting greater every day in every way, one tweet at a time.

Most importantly, science is on Trump’s side. Astrophysicists confirm dark energy has more power than gravity, is omnipresent and at an ever-increasing rate inevitably is tearing the universe apart. With odds like that, even a bankrupt casino owner is guaranteed a triple-crown reel.

David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London, tweeting @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is an attorney who splits his time between Waco, D.C. and Houston, tweeting @TheContranym. This piece originally appeared in the September 12, 2017 Waco Tribune-Herald, where the Davids are on the Board of Contributors.

Why We Write (a note to our critics)

By Gallagher and Schleicher

Two spiteful letters to the editor about us in a single day! We take this opportunity to defend ourselves [graciously saving our critics time and energy by pre-including their comments below in brackets].

We continue to be humbled and #blessed by the support of the Waco community [#asif] for our missives of wit[less] wisdom and wisecracks. The 20 people who drove by and flashed a peace sign especially touched our hearts. [It actually was 40 people, each giving a ½ peace sign.]

We appreciate the Waco Trib explaining its reasons for running the columns [the one about providing conservatives with a common enemy hit the nail on the head]. Many have asked, “What keeps you guys motivated to write?” [and “Will you ever shut up?”]

We want to assure our readers [all three of them?] that we shall keep our noses to the grindstone, our satire sharp as knives [more like a spork], and keep spreading the joy. [If it’s joy you’re spreading, why does it require a shovel to unload it?]

You probably assumed we are paid by the word [please say it’s not true] but we can confirm we are not offered a penny for the columns [Phew–makes us respect the newspaper more.] 

So how is it that two grown men, each with a happy family, full-time job, normal sleeping habits, and a very long to-do list, bother to spend time regularly sharing ideas between Waco and London on how to best write a Trump spoof du jour? [Please, dear Lord, don’t let their column run daily.]

First, as the paper’s editor explained earlier, it’s part of our therapy. We’ve been dismayed since the election by the forces it unleased and a path we fear ends in authoritarianism, chaos or both. [You’re just mad you lost, when the polls said you’d win.] 

We’ve lost elections before, but none left us feeling like as if the doctor had just told us our democracy has a terminal illness. [Snowflakes!] What Trump says and does, it’s not normal, and we refuse to treat it as such. [Snowflakes!] If it angers you read these words, it might be you who is a snowflake. [Ouch.]

Humor can be a rusty and dull instrument [emphasis on the dull], but we find it to be the best way to manage pain that others say they share. And if we didn’t use humor, we are certain you would not have read this far. [Cripes, have I wasted another morning reading another piece full of their tripe?!?]

We don’t assume we will change everyone’s mind. [You got that right.] But you may laugh once in a while [don’t hold your breath], and from laughing, think, and from thinking, reconsider a previously-held view.

There are more of us, even in Waco, than you might imagine. Progressive blue castaways in what seems a sea of red opinion. At least until more turn out to vote. [Like the 3 million who illegally voted against Trump?!?] Castaways who watch Stephen Colbert with curtains drawn, or hope the neighbors didn’t see last week’s New Yorker on the coffee table. For them our posts are a nod, a textual acknowledgment that they are not alone in a Texas that seems less friendly than ever.

Most Americans are not happy with the President’s twitter fever [he tweets the truth!] and Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde speeches for and against extremism. [Can’t go a whole column without a condescending literary allusion, can you?] We hope to make the day more bearable for those who fear to look at news updates on Facebook.

A few of you are kind enough to tell us we do and to urge us to keep writing. [Really? #fakenews!] If we irk others along the way, so be it. [At least you’ve succeeded at one thing.]

So strap in, buttercups, there’s more where this came from. [Our new puppy is so grateful to hear she’ll be seeing more of your columns. At least until she’s housetrained.] Ouch.

David Gallagher (@TBoneGallagher) is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London, England. David Schleicher (@TheContranym) is an attorney who splits his time between Waco, D.C., and Houston.