Trump’s America. It’s the first time we’ve run a piece for this theme since the words became all the more true, cut all the more deep.
To many at his inauguration, Trump seemed to be what he was to a group of four supporters who carried around a life-size cardboard cutout of the man being sworn in as POTUS less than a mile away —a First Place ribbon, a trophy by which to pose. No more real than the head of a taxidermied buck killed and mounted in time forgotten, yet which hangs ceremoniously in the living room. All the violence and blood of the act that brought it there, that executes its permanence, ignored or abandoned.
What will the fate of that cutout be? Perhaps thrown out of a Chevy bound from DC to Chattanooga, or Columbus or Albany. Or left in the capital, urinated on and carted off to a landfill. Or taken home and mounted on the beach, his painted eyes motionless as pale, shirtless young men throw beanbags into holes cut into wooden planks, until they are too drunk to notice their leader has fallen down, been blown into the water and is floating out to inconceivable ends across the sea.
In a shameful irony, I noticed that some of the people at the inauguration selling Trump shirts, hats and signs were African, or immigrants from other lands doomed to this occupation by our unforgiving system of government. And what will their fates be, these people, these workers who do their best to do the right thing, to follow the rules and in doing so grossly attire an inconsiderate crowd to salute a disgraceful man?
What will their fate be, our poor, our masses yearning to be free, who we have so calmly abandoned? Will they be shipped away from this home to lands they have worked so hard and come so far to forget? Will they stand on the shores of other continents, looking to the distant days of capitalist humiliation and the selling of horrible hats to the willfully ignorant masses? What stories will they have for their families, if they’re ever able to find them? What story will you have for your family, when upon that foreign shore arrives a cardboard figure, having so impressively labored through the seas to crash his mass upon further lands, bodies, opportunity, greatness?