Get AlterNet's Headlines Newsletter:
Email: 
no thanks

'Amusing Ourselves to Death' -- The Story of Donald Trump in One Scene

A satirical play starring two of America's biggest comic characters.

Note: This satirical play is titled after the 1985 book by Neil Postman

Cast

DONALD TRUMP

SARAH PALIN

Setting: The time is now in a luxurious living room, fully decorated with glitz.

TRUMP

(HE has a cigar and a drink and HE is watching himself on TV.)

An off stage voice announces, Sarah Palin.

(SHE enters)

Good to see you again.

(HE tries to land a blousy kiss on her mouth, SHE turns and tries to give him her cheek. SHE notices the TV screen as she turns.)

PALIN

Watching re-runs of your speeches.

TRUMP

Always room for improvement.

PALIN

Nods ‘Yes”

TRUMP

I bet I’m the only one who’s called you in this campaign so far.

PALIN

You’d be a winner.  

TRUMP

Look at the polls, Sarah, I am a winner.

PALIN

Like I said.

TRUMP

I am so glad you could come.  I’ve respected you ever since that campaign and what you did for it.

PALIN

We lost.

TRUMP

Not you. That wasn’t you losing.  That was McCain.  You kept the man afloat…like his life jacket while he’s being water-boarded or something.

Anyway, look, I want to get your advice.  I still have that, “Drill, baby, drill” in my head.  You standing there, your eyelashes batting away…”Drill, baby, drill.”

PALIN

But you don’t have the eyelashes.

TRUMP

But I do have the legs.  HE rolls his trouser leg up to show HER.

PALIN

Appreciative.  You do!  Okay, you got me.

SHE laughs.  Well, to be honest, it’s the polls.  I’m surprised, I’m pleased and I’m here to serve.  But we both know, it’s not gonna last, right?  

TRUMP

No, you’ve got that wrong.  This is not 2012.  I know how to keep pumping it up.  

PALIN

That’s where I come in?  Guess what underwear she’s wearing kind of thing?  Think of her naked and waving a gun? Is that what you have in mind, Don, on the pumping?

TRUMP

If you’re a winner, you’re a winner, what’s wrong with that?

PALIN

You offering me VP?

TRUMP

Running ahead of yourself.

PALIN

Are you serious about running for President?

TRUMP

What else?

PALIN

I thought maybe a book, financing for a new casino.  I thought this was just about you, not really about running against Hillary.  

TRUMP

It’s about running and winning, Sarah…beating whatever shit head they run, who will not be Hillary Clinton, I guarantee you.

PALIN

Puzzled and interested.  Tell me all about it.

TRUMP

HE leans into her.  She doesn’t have the looks, she can’t get the kids.  Excuse my French, she don’t bleed anymore, Sarah, and people see it.  It makes her weak.  This is all about strength and fear.  Trigger the fear in people’s hearts, make sure they’re afraid, and show them you got the strength to lean on.  Fear trumps (HE laughs) everything else.  Fear in a political campaign, fear makes for a much better season than reason.

PALIN

Okay.  Gotcha. So I learned from the best that you can’t actually win, I mean win win, without some actual policy.  “Drill baby drill” was a kind of policy, but I didn’t get enough good advice about that.  I never said where, I never said how, and I never said who’s going to pay for it.

TRUMP

What about the wall? I got the wall.  Kick the Mexican’s out—the wall right along that border. Did you miss that?  Isn’t that policy?

PALIN

Not really.  Like you said, you got the fear in it.  But it’s not real.  Who’s gonna let you build a wall.  And people come from all over, not just Mexico.  You gonna build a wall to keep the Russians out, or the Estonians, or the Goony-stans.  No, it’s all about Mexico.  It's not really policy about workers in America and it’s gonna lose you the Spanish vote.

TRUMP

Now you’re talking pandering, not policy.  

PALIN

You need both.  

TRUMP

I’ll get the Latinos.  They work in my casinos.  They hate Castro.

PALIN

You could use some Latinas too. You better watch the sexist stuff.  And I mean YOU, underlined YOU, have got to watch the sexist stuff.  Like what you just said about Hillary.  One of those other Repubs will get you.

TRUMP

That’s where you are wrong.  I am squarely in 2015.  Jesus, I’m like St. George, cutting of the head of Medusa, every one of those other candidates, like all her heads, I’m gonna cut them all off and burn them so bad, none of them can ever grow back.  You can leave that safely to me.

But right now, you tell me more about the policy thing.  You’ve got ideas?

PALIN gives him a look that suggests, ‘You kidding?’

Fire away.

PALIN

I’ve got two ideas for you.  One is about your campaign, which I will get to.  And the other is about policy.  You gotta have deep policy.  It’s got to address those insecurities you were talking about, but in a believable way, in a way that people can believe in, and can see how the country can afford it.

TRUMP

Look, I warn you.  I won’t let the fingers of foolish philosophers pince and poke at my campaign.  With you or without you, I won’t stand for that!

PALIN

You talkin’ to me?  Do you know me?  Do you remember me seeing Russia from my house?

THEY both laugh.

TRUMP

Go ahead.  Show me the springtime, woman.

PALIN

You are a handsome man.  

TRUMP

You mean that?  You playing with me?  I’ll kick your ass, you start playing with me.

PALIN

There is no Dick Cheney here.  All Dick and no Cheney.  I don’t mess.  I grew up huntin’ bear.  If I’m comin’ the bears are runnin’.  You come anywhere near me and I’ll scratch the eyes right outta your head.

TRUMP

Fair enough, fair enough.

PALIN

Good choice.  Let’s make you the statesman.  

TRUMP

All ears.

PALIN

You can’t attack the safety net.  Everyone knows we gotta have a safety net.  Doesn’t have to be the one the Commies want.  We can have our own American style safety net and it can be affordable.

Here’s how it goes:  Since Occupy, public and pundits have been talking about inequality, race, reparations, and trafficking.  You can have an equal opportunity solution to all of that, all in one policy.  So think about the reparations thing—what that really means is making people feel like they matter, and like they can have their dreams. Trafficking is like that too.  You gotta give people their dignity and their dreams.

TRUMP

So?

PALIN

Equal Opportunity Slavery.  We’ve gotten to thinking about Slavery as a Black thing.  But it doesn’t have to be.  It can be a safety net…cheap and effective.  People on hard times get to be slaves, you know, for 3 or maybe 5 years, and then they get something like the GI bill, so people can start over…get and education…you following me?  

TRUMP

Genius.  Fucking genius.  What about the Campaign advice?

PALIN

Now you’re listening, Mr. Trump.  

TRUMP

I am, I am, Ms. Palin.

PALIN

You remember Reagan, right?  

TRUMP

What do you mean?

PALIN

I’m thinking about when he was shot.  If there is an attempt on your life at a public event, you will be in like Flynn. Reagan all over again.

TRUMP

He almost died. That could be dangerous.  I could get hurt.

PALIN

Not a chance.  I saw a plan like that for McCain.  Pity is, he wouldn’t do it.  It was a good plan.  Think about it…you’re up there making your speech about the new economy and the new safety net, about Equal Opportunity, and we get a shot ringing out from the back of the room, a near miss. There’s no live amo, nothing to worry about, just the cheers and the adulation of the man who escaped the bullet.  Suddenly you’re not just a pop asshole anymore, you’re a solid hero.  You’ll be like Patriotic Candy, all over the country.

TRUMP

You’re sure it’s a well-vetted plan?

PALIN

Sure as a hog in shit.  Once it’s done, it will be like the doggone Son’s birthday cause you will be dancing up there like flowers at a wedding.

TRUMP

Can you get if for me, the plan?  Can I see it?

PALIN

Is snow white?

TRUMP

Laughing.  This is good.  You know the right guys to bring in?

 

PALIN

Not a problem.  It’s done when you say it’s done.

Beat

There’s just one more thing.  I’d like to see you wearing the flag of Israel alongside our flag.  Show solidarity.

TRUMP

What about our other allies.

PALIN

That’s the point. Who’s not there makes who is there really important.  Any question you get, Israel is always right.

TRUMP

Considering for a moment. Yeah. They got a wall too.  Bibi built a wall just like I’m talking about.

PALIN

Exactly.  You gotta keep it real.  Birds sing a whole lot sweeter than books can tell you.  And dreams grow a whole lot better than the profs know about.  

TRUMP

That’s almost poetic, Sarah.  

PALIN

We had great speech writers.  Most of them had degrees in English literature.  Nice kids.  I liked the guys.  You know, it was surprising to me how many of them had fathers in real estate.  

TRUMP

We win this, Sarah, you can have your own real estate.  Buy you a big, big, giant of a house on the beach somewhere.  Keep that tan up.  Meanwhile, we can keep you bronzed up at one of my places.  Genius, Sarah, genius, fucking genius.  From here on end, my spa is your spa.  Capich?

END OF PLAY

 

Colin Greer is president of the New World Foundation in New York. Among his books is A Call to Character (HarperCollins, 1995).
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Election 2018
Environment
Food
Media
World