July 4, 2016, weekend
By Arthur H. Gunther
So, “The Donald” won the presidency, and now we all wear red baseball-style caps with the imperial slogan (“Let’s Make America Great Again”), purchased exclusively through the Trump Store.
Seriously, if the former TV reality star, casino operator, office space builder and bankruptcy court attendee wanted to sell hats, to “make the deal,” to get his Trump moniker out there once again, any number of us ordinary folk would have lent him the start-up cash. No need to fly to all those places, play golf in Scotland and invent new catch phrases that stir emotions, not brain cells. Trump could have stayed in his gold Manhattan Tower and raked in the moola and spotlight. Done deal.
That probably was his initial intention, but events carried him away. People, enough of them anyway, liked his red hats and the slogan. It fit on the cap, didn’t have too many words to pronounce and no big ones, just right for the times. And who would object to the saying? Americans naturally believe ‘America is Great,’ so adding “Again” is like the second orgasm. “Hoo-rah!” America underlined. Senses satisfied, no need to explain, to question, to prove the validity of the statement. Feel good.
The Donald then began selling so many red hats that he had to make sure they were made in the USA, not in Mexico, perhaps by Mexicans who hopped over the border, yes, but the label read “USA,” so no mention of Mexican complicity. He even had to wear a red cap every day, though it mussed his swept-to-the-right hair comb.
Things simply got out of hand. The people, his people anyway, wanted more slogans, maybe for wall plaques or bumper stickers. Or dare we say, tattoos? Trump had them ready. He even proclaimed one in Belgium. “Belgium is a Beautiful Place,” he said. Um, yeah. Sure is. Who can argue? Not much to think about there.
Somehow, The Donald offered enough slogans to win the presidency, and the people in red hats were pleased. The first Cabinet meeting began with a common chant, red hats removed in reverence: “Make America Great Again.” Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, now Minister of the Red Hats, was tasked to come up with the next emotionally satisfying but blank-headed slogan. The masses need that, to keep from thinking. Even non-thinkers understand the mojo.
The Donald, in red hat hitting golf balls on the green at Trump White House a few days after the inauguration but utterly bored with the job, which he never wanted, was heard to offer a non-slogan thought: “Did I have to sell all these caps? I could have avoided this real work and still made the deal. I never needed the presidency to do it.
“Eureeka!” the sloganeer extraordinaire exclaimed. “I have it! In 10 days I will proclaim that all hats will be brown, carrying the quote ‘America IS Great Again.’ I will close the deal. Then I will resign and go home to my Tower. Hey, Chris, clear the George Washington Bridge!”
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org