- Politics and Social Issues
Trump Goes to Heaven
‘The Donald’ is on the move. Around him, it’s all dark . . . except for a spot of light far in the distance. But he’s on the move, and headed for that glowing speck that gets bigger by the second. In no time, he’s there . . . and then he breaks out into a glorious space bathed in a golden swath of light, as if the brightest sun has just blinded him for a moment.
‘Where am I?’ he wonders. ‘Did a terrorist bomb just go off . . . or am I on I-376, exiting the Fort Pitt tunnel and heading into Pittsburgh?’
The Journey Continues
It’s neither of those, or any number of other logical answers as it turns out. Donald Trump is on a road made of golden pavers and hears the sounds of a crowd just ahead. People are beginning to cry out, lots of people, and as his eyes adjust to the brilliance of the scene he spies a mass of onlookers gesturing and shouting at him. What the spectators are saying he can’t quite make out, though he assumes they are cheering for him as usual, and so he waves at the people lining each side of the road and passes by them, on his way to—god knows where.
Crowds at the Trump rallies were large and enthusiastic, heaven knows, but nothing like what’s going on here. This is new. This is different. This is really heady stuff! If only those dunces at MSNBC and FOX News could see him now. Puffed up, he strides along, blonde hair askew and waving to the onlookers, first with his right hand and then with his left. But just about the time he starts to tire of all the adulation and waving at the cheering throngs, the crowd thins out and then it vanishes altogether.
The road runs uphill now, steep enough that he pants some, a little out of breath and regretting all those steaks and French fries he’s been eating, as well as the countless beers he’s consumed while lounging in his pajamas in front of the bevy of television sets in his penthouse. ‘I knew I should have cut back’, he tells himself as he trudges on, forced to take one step after another as he ascends the upwards sloape.
Soon, fortunately for him, the road begins to level off again, and ahead he sees an enormous tower. It’s bigger by far than anything he’s ever constructed and the name ‘TRUMP’ isn’t at the top—although it deserves to be, he tells himself, what with all the sparkle that bounces off the outer surface of the golden structure. Once he gets close enough, he sees that in fact there is a moniker on top of the tower after all, but it consists of two words, not just one. The sign says . . . HEAVEN’S GATE.
There’s a broad entrance at the base of this magnificent edifice and Trump goes through it and finds himself in a courtyard of sorts, empty except for a large desk to one side, a handcrafted colossus any C.E.O. would pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit behind. Someone is seated there now, facing him, and a fairly familiar figure at that, given the hundreds of jokes about heaven that he’s heard—and told—at one of those countless dinners he’s been forced to sit through, even if many of those affairs were held in order to bestow on him various accolades and rewards that celebrated his many accomplishments.
The person behind the desk is dressed in a simple white robe and sports a long thick beard of undetermined color and texture. Before him is a large book, and in his right hand he holds an expensive fountain pen that resembles a Waterman . . . or a white gold Tebaldi perhaps. But there’s no mistaking the identity of the desk-holder. It’s St. Peter for sure, without a doubt.
“Hello,” the robed figure says, looking up. “I see you made it.”
“Yes,” Trump says. “My name is—”
“Oh, we know who you are, all right. We’ve been watching you for some time actually, hoping you’d come to see us. And so, now you have. Welcome to ‘Heaven’s Gate’.”
“I thought that was just a movie title. Whatever happened to those pearly gates I’ve heard about?"
“Actually, they’re gold and alabaster. But then, you can’t believe everything you read, now can you?” St. Peter twirls his pen for a second. “But then, we’re wasting time and I know how valuable time is to you. Like you’ve said, ‘time is money’, so perhaps we’d better move along.” The gatekeeper writes down ‘Donald J. Trump’ in his book and then says, “God is expecting you. In fact, the Deity has asked for a personal audience, just as soon as you’ve arrived, so let’s not keep the Boss waiting, shall we? Come, this way.”
The Welcome - Surprise #1
St. Peter leads the guest over to a smaller entrance across the courtyard and opens a door. “You can wait in here. God will be with you shortly.”
Trump goes inside and looks around. The room is larger than expected, compared to the average-sized doorway he’d just come through. There’s a modest desk and swivel chair near another door in back, but no other furniture, except for several comfortable-looking chairs that are upholstered in a white satiny material. On the small desk is a simple placard with the words, ‘The Art of the Deal.’ The walls are filled with a kind of three-dimensional map that decorates the circumference of the room. It’s the sort of thing one might expect to see at Hogwarts in a Harry Potter film and it depicts all of human history, as well as the eons that led up to the creation of Planet Earth and the subsequent arrival of animals and human inhabitants. The last panel on the far wall is blank however, leaving room for . . . who knows what?
Just as ‘the Donald’ is about to wonder what comes next, the far door opens and a small brown-skinned man in casual work clothes enters the room. Looking over, he says, “Bienvenido, Señor Trump.” He motions toward the white chairs. “Por favor tome asiento.” The guest is startled and looks confused, but does as invited.
Seated, Trump says, “I was told I was going to have a meeting with God.”
“But, well . . . you see, I wasn’t expecting—”
“No, of course not. You had a different understanding of El Señor, no doubt.”
“Actually, I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I’ve always thought of God as being, well—”
“What? More like yourself, perhaps?” The Hispanic gentleman offers a sardonic grin and adds, “A common mistake. But then, I should have guessed. After all, didn’t you tell people once. . . now, let me see, how did you put it? Oh, yes, I remember.
‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best . . . they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists . . .’”
“Well, I might have said something like that, but then I say lots of things and the press always twists everything. But all the people who like me say it’s because I tell it like it is. Besides,” Trump says as he gets up and moves across the room to look at a part of the map that resembles the border area between the U.S. and Mexico, “I also said, ‘And some, I assume, are good people.’ "
"Now, considering the blacks . . ." Trump says, "that’s another thing altogether.” When he turns around, he sees that the figure in the chair has different facial features now and very dark skin. He has the look of an Ibo tribesman it seems, or someone from Nigeria, although Trump has never really met one of those. “Wait?” he says. “Where did that other guy go?”
“Chill out, bro’. Ain’t got no cause to go all uppity on me. Everything straight here.” The dude motions for Trump to sit down again and waits till he does. “I hear you been raggin’ on us blacks some, lately.”
“Listen. I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
“Don’ be dissin’ me now, man. You in the wrong place for that kinda #*≤‡. We got ears. We know what you bin’ up to.”
Trump flushes a bit and nods. “All right, then. But I didn’t mean any harm. Some of my best friends are—”
“Yo, spare me, bro’. You really preachin’ to the choir up here. I remember what you said a while back about the brothers and your mula—‘Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.’ Remember that, my man?”
“Yeah, but I was only kidding. I was really just joking about the Jews, that’s all.”
“Careful, my man. Trash talkin’ that crowd is a whole other thing up here too, if you catch my drift.”
“Okay. So I admit I can get a little reckless with my words now and then. But I mean well. And you gotta admit, I can hold people’s attention.”
“Sho nuf. Like when you talked about Muslims, maybe? How’s that workin’ out for ya?”
Trump looks away, trying to collect his thoughts, and when he looks back again the chair opposite him is occupied, not by that same black dude anymore but by a woman wearing an azure-colored Hijab. “Hey, what’s going on?” the Donald’ says. “Who are you?”
“Allahu Akbar. God is the greatest.”
“Now, look. I’m religious. I mean, I go at it a little differently that you people. But I sip the grape now and then, and I eat the Church’s crackers. Why, my favorite book, next to my own, is—”
“Oh, this one, you mean?” She puts her hand on a large leather-bound volume that’s suddenly appeared on the desk. It bears the title of ‘Latest Revised Translation’ and sits right next to a decorated copy of the Koran.
“That’s it. But you can’t hold my beliefs against me, just because I believe a little differently than all of your people.”
“Us Muslims, you mean, all those people you wanted to keep out of your country, I suppose—‘just for a while’, you said. I suspect we’re the same people you and your ‘lyin’ buddy Ted’ wanted the police to keep an eye on in neighborhoods and mosques?”
“Now, wait a minute. That last part, that wasn’t my idea. That was his suggestion.”
“But you liked the thought of cracking down on Muslims, didn’t you? After all, we are all terrorists, aren’t we?”
“No. I didn’t mean that, exactly. I mean, some of you are good people, I guess.”
“Un huh, and I suppose that’s why you said once, ‘The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem. Everybody is wise to what is happening, very sad! Be honest.’ ”
“No. That was only about Muslim terrorists. I was talking about terrorists, not every Muslim.”
“Why, of course not. Anyone could tell how much you respect people of the Abrahamic faith, just by hearing you talk. But what if I did this? Then what?”
The woman removed her veil and in that instant her skin turned a familiar white and her hair changed from a rich black to glowing blonde. Her face was transformed too, not only in terms of her features but also by the meticulous application of eye shadow, eyebrow liner, and makeup. Her lips were full, a luscious red now, thanks to a coating of kissable non-smear lipstick, and her dress was no longer covering her from head to foot. Now it was low cut enough to show a whole lot more.
“Hey, I like that look,” Trump said. “You look just like—”
“What? Like one of your wives? Or maybe like one of your other women perhaps, all those younger ones you said you used to pick up in bars and clubs and then sleep with? I read what you said once."
‘I’ve never had any trouble in bed, but if I’d had affairs with half the starlets and female athletes the newspapers linked me with, I’d have no time to breathe. . . . I was especially carefree [in the early-mid 1970’s]. I had a comfortable little studio apartment in Third Avenue in the city, and I maintained a lifestyle that was fairly commonplace then but that now, in an age when people are worried about dying from sex, is hard to even imagine . . . But I was out four or five nights a week, usually with a different woman each time, and I was enjoying myself immensely.’ ”
“Now listen. That’s not fair. I’ve been faithful to my wife, to all my wives actually, just at different times. Look, it’s not what you think. Like I’ve said, I cherish women.”
“Yes, so it seems, the same way other rich people cherish works of art, or cars, or any number of their possessions. But respect? Well now, that’s quite another thing. But let’s move on. I won’t take any more of your time now to discuss some of the actual words you’ve used for women, like calling us ‘fat pigs’ and ‘dog’s or ‘disgusting animals’ for instance. Let’s just get on with this negotiation, shall we? Is there anything else you’d like to say to me now, before we finish up?”
“Just this, I guess. I know that some of the things I’ve said and done you might not like, but I’ve always meant well. I’ve tried to be up front with everybody and say what’s on my mind. And if I’ve offended you or anyone else, well, I can change. I promise. Didn’t I say I could be ‘presidential’ anytime I wanted? And as for making amends, well, like I’ve said before, I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong (first). I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong. That’s all I have to say, so let’s leave it at that.”
“Yes. Well, Mr. Trump, as you wrote in your best-selling book, it’s important to close the deal. When the time is right, you have to pounce on that moment and make the sale. Isn’t that so?”
“Well, then, I think there’s one other aspect of making deals that’s received short shrift from you in that regard.”
“Oh? And what’s that?”
“The single most important thing about any negotiation is knowing that you always hold the abandonment card. If a deal doesn’t smell right, then you walk. So . . . goodbye, Mr. Trump.”
The Final Surprise
The gorgeous model got up from her chair and started back toward the side door, but before she’d gone even three steps the Hajib was back on her head and the rest of her body was draped in the loose-fitting gown that covered even her ankles. Another few steps and that long dress disappeared, only to be replaced by decorative chains and leather ‘gansta’ trappings on black skin. Then yet another transformation took place as the figure morphed again, this time taking on the clothing and appearance of a migrant farm worker . . . or a Florida tradesman perhaps who’d been hired to lay cement roofing tiles on houses, or help construct a swanky penthouse tower for a minimum day’s pay. Soon after that the door opened by itself and then the person who’d sat in the other chair vanished, as if by magic.
And seconds later, so did Trump.