Fellow Americans, hold me for a minute.
Because I officially CAN’T with this election.
I think each of us has had a moment in the last ten months where we felt like we were living in the greatest, weirdest reality show ever staged. A reality show that we were all watching, and all part of, and that for once might live up to the hyperbole about being “the most important election” in the history of ever.
It was very surreal, because the race was being dominated at every turn by a cartoonishly rich, orange-haired, orange-skinned human with a habit of bragging about himself and a gift for trolling the media.
At least once a week, the glamour that he had cast over all of us would fade for a minute and we would remember how weird this is, and how things like this aren’t supposed to happen. Short-fingered buffoons don’t magically become presidential nominees by insulting women, Latinos, Muslims, prisoners of war, the disabled and the pope, right? Candidates who are despised by a majority of the country and who mail journalists pictures of their own fingers circled in gold sharpie don’t win primaries in record-breaking numbers. That’s not a thing that happens, here in the USA? Please?
But there was never a single event that broke the spell completely, where we finally threw up our hands and said, “What kind of bizarre fever dream world are we living in?”
Not when Donald Trump WON the first debate by proudly asserting that he hadn’t called all women fat pigs, “only Rosie O’Donnell.” (That was kinda weird, but we went with it, because it was the first debate and Marco Rubio would probably win every primary).
The spell wasn’t broken when New Jersey governor Chris Christie dropped out of the race after eviscerating Rubio, the party’s Last, Best Hope, and formally became Trump’s Wormtongue, standing behind Trump at rallies serenely nodding as Trump made fun of him, and having to tell reporters, “No, I wasn’t being held hostage.”
It wasn’t broken when Ted Cruz said, “Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”
It wasn’t even broken on April 26, a day that began with Trump suggesting that Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination and ended with Trump sweeping five northeastern states.
But this week we were introduced to “John Miller,” and I’ve had enough. Obviously a vengeance demon has been screwing with our timeline. Clearly Trump has cast an augmentation spell to make everyone adore him, and we’re living in the reality where he’s a world-champion basketball player and the star of the Matrix film trilogy.
Because how else do you explain this? Trump spent years in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s calling up reporters, disguising his voice, and pretending to be a weirdly Trump-loving press agent who bragged about Trump’s friendships with celebrities and sexual exploits.
This is a thing that happened. This was done, repeatedly, by the presumptive Republican nominee for the office of president of the United States, a man who has won MORE primary votes than any Republican in history.
The Republican nominee, a man nearly ten million people voted for in the primary, spoke to People Magazine disguised as his own publicist and bragged about how Trump was a “good guy” who was “doing very well financially” and who Madonna wanted to go out with.
And—what’s real anymore? I already don’t know. I feel like a man who just challenged another man to a swordfight, who’s now watching my opponent peel off his face to reveal he’s someone completely different.
And it gets worse, much worse, because in addition to Trump secretly being his own press agent, today comes the news that Trump might have been the anonymous source who leaked the story about Trump being his own press agent to the press. The man who tipped reporters off to a story that might have embarrassed Trump, was Trump.
And suddenly I realize, I don’t know what’s going to happen in this election.
Because Trump could be anyone.
Because clearly this election is the hackneyed young adult mystery that America has been clamoring for, and we’re about to elevate the protagonist / villain of a GK Chesterton nightmare-novel to the highest office in our country.
And then what will happen? There are no longer any limits except Trump’s imagination.
He will give the press a series of clues written on napkins that, when put together in the right order, outline his foreign policy. The press will have to work together day and night in a snow-shrouded hotel just to figure out whether Trump wants to raise tariffs on China.
He will hide the nuclear codes in a jasmine-scented library, in a wooden duck named “Ping,” and send the secretary of defense on a scavenger hunt to go find it.
When the country is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, he will lock his cabinet in the Oval Office and force them to work out their differences while trying to solve the murder of a Savannah belle and only speaking in Southern accents.
Someone stop this man. Break the augmentation spell. Go back in time and retrieve the sports almanac. Find the monks who transformed an energy key into Trumpian form and MAKE THEM TAKE IT BACK, this is not a joke, America, we need our timeline back.