Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Build The Trump Presidential Library Immediately

The much larger, much worse reservoir of Trump vulgarity and abusiveness contained in the outtakes from The Apprentice were withheld prior to the election. People who had them were afraid of Trump's famous vindictiveness, and assumed like all rational people that he would lose anyway. There was a million dollar confidentiality threat written into all the contracts on the show and not everyone in show business is brave. Tom Arnold (Trump's retaliatory tweets about Arnold write themselves) has described the rapid fire vileness of Trump's tantrums in the Guardian and elsewhere. Such a rich trove needs to be preserved for our history, before our history comes to an end.

I think we need to build and stock the Trump Presidential Library right now. Now isn’t soon enough. It seems (at least to rational people, which may not be a good predictor) that Trump’s presidency might not last very long. It’s been solemnized by the college of party loyalists who decided to ignore the evidence of treason.

The reason the Trump era might end prematurely could be this treason suddenly blooming like a tropical corpse flower (but the aroma is already in the air and it hasn’t deterred the Republicans.)

The reason could be disgust at what we know about him. (That wasn’t enough to keep a near majority from voting for him.)

Or disgust at what more we learn, like his screaming vulgarity and racism and abuse on The Apprentice (which were edited out for public consumption the way the English language edition of Mein Kampf was expunged of the fuhrer’s promises to destroy the Jews and conquer Europe.)

Or it might be his corruption. The transition is already rife with it. The new corruptions outstrip the ones Trump has already boasted of from his sordid business career. Newt Gingrich has suggested that we rewrite our ethics rules to conform to Trump’s more flexible and capacious idea of right and wrong. (Reported by Politico, but the interview is everywhere.)

You could not write a political satire with enough irony and hypocrisy to compete with what we are watching unfold right now. This is where reality beggars fiction. George Orwell predicted some of this but didn’t have an imagination large enough or vulgar enough. This is the region of Roman emperors. This is Caligula and Nero material. We need a Suetonius or a Robert Graves. People have called the Trump juggernaut “Nixonian.” But Nixon was minor league by comparison.

I’ve been re-reading the Nixon years since November 9th. I read Evan Thomas’s BEING NIXON, which explained how Nixon developed the enormous chip on his shoulder. I’m reading John Dean’s BLIND AMBITION now. It reads like a novel, a mixture of Harold Robbins and Dostoevsky and Dickens. The machinations, the rationalizations, the dirty deals brokered to get money to cover up the earlier dirty deals, the vendettas, the rivalries. A chronicle of the intrigues and betrayals in the worst kind of Bourbon or Tudor or Byzantine court. But Nixon’s men were trying desperately to maintain a facade of respectability and legality; there is no indication the Trump court knows what respectability or legality are. Their hero is Putin, who murders his rivals and critics by remote control while scooping the profits and rake-offs and bribes and monetary ransoms from every part of Russia into his pockets.

This would make good television. Good bad television. Some enterprising producer may already be developing a Nixonian drama for one of the cable networks. (The profanity, clean by Trump standards) would require that it be cable. Like that review of the new Hitler biography that appeared in the New York Times, everybody would know immediately that we were being served Trump dressed as Nixon.

It’s a shame nobody is brave enough to produce a fact-based bio-drama about Trump. Trump would sue. Trump would phone Putin and ask for advice on icing his critics. (“Hey, Vlad, can I borrow an assassin?”)

The Trump Presidential Library might be the safest repository for all the hideousness, because Trump doesn’t read.

He might have the attention span to review his own outrages from The Apprentice, the “c-word”s and the “n-word”s and the ranting vulgar abuse of his children and his producers and his show assistants. He likes watching himself on TV. He wouldn’t see anything wrong with what he said or did. His response wouldn’t be suppression or a burning of tapes, like Nixon contemplated. Trump’s response would be “So?”

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