One nation, under DonaldBy Tim Walker
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
That is George Orwell’s line, of course, straight out of his novel “1984,” and it makes me pause as I set down my paperback and look at the clock. I was 19 years old back in the year 1984, the first time I read Orwell, and my head was full of dreams. Ronald Reagan was in office, a Republican, I recall, an actor and a man so many were afraid of. What a joke. Of course, it isn’t 1984 anymore—today’s date is April 30, 2017, and it is Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Ronnie wouldn’t recognize his beloved country anymore, and those idiots back then didn’t know the first thing about fear.
President Trump himself hasn’t made any public appearances in over a month, of course, not since that third assassination attempt, the one that almost got him. He blamed it on ISIS, but everyone knows it was really homegrown terrorists, probably members of The Faction or Los Hermanos: both groups swore revenge on him after the railroad cars filled with “Undesirables” began rolling south toward Mexico (I’ll never forget those images of pleading, grasping hands reaching out for some sort of human contact as the trains began to roll away). Several of the rebels were captured by Trump’s Patriotic Guard when they claimed responsibility for that last bomb—their bodies still hang from the lampposts on Pennsylvania Avenue, right down the street from the White House.
Congress was locked up first, almost immediately after Trump took the Oath. I almost laughed—almost—at the looks on the faces of the top GOP members as they were dragged down the steps of the Capitol in leg irons. Paul Ryan was crying. “Treason” and “Crimes Against America” were the charges, and they’re all guilty, of course. We’re all guilty, in fact, every American citizen, for allowing this to happen in the first place.
Trump’s ego just could not accept a balance of power. He had to feel like The Man in charge, and so two of the three branches of government were silenced; they were “Stonewalling me and standing in the way of this country becoming great again,” as he said. So, once he had Congress in chains, Trump dismantled the Supreme Court. Surprisingly, they were treated with more respect—they were simply “retired from the bench.” With the Constitution suspended indefinitely and the Patriotic Guard in control, what good would a Supreme Court be anyway?
What we didn’t know during the campaign was that Donald Trump had powerful people backing him, people who controlled the secret power corridors of Washington, D.C. Angry generals, Black Ops agents—the people who had bristled under Obama’s directives, who had always hated being told what NOT to do, and who had been waiting for a weak, egotistical, stupid man who needed their support and who would agree to do their bidding in order to get into the Oval Office. They were waiting for Trump, so they could enact a military coup of our government and make that orange-faced buffoon their figurehead.
Trump’s tweets and video appearances continue on a daily basis, of course—not even IED’s could stop those—and executive orders have flowed from the bunker beneath the White House in an unending stream ever since Inauguration Day, a torrent of angry directives and twisted hate that it has been nearly impossible to keep up with. Constitutional scholars—those who haven’t been arrested—have long since stopped criticizing the President for violating his oath of office. Silence, it appears, is the best course of action for academia these days.
Hillary and Bill fled the country almost immediately after Election Day, once Clinton conceded and Trump began calling for their arrests—rumor has it they’re being protected by friends in the Saudi royal family, but who knows? The Obamas simply disappeared when it became clear that our country had elected a madman who was willing to stop at nothing in his quest to Make America Hate Again.
Skirmishes between the rebels and the Patriotic Guard don’t take place as often now, but it’s hard to tell with all of the newspapers gone. The Star-Spangled Banner, our so-called national newspaper, is nothing more than cheap propaganda, not even fit to line the birdcage. I’m sure people read it—hell, people will read anything, remember USA Today? But only an idiot would think that the endlessly happy stories and tightly controlled feel-good pieces reflect reality.
This was once America, the land of the free, as it was said so often—a nation under God. The Great Satan, our enemies once called us. Look at us now—look at what we’ve become. Thinking back, it all seems so clear… how is it that the voters back in November couldn’t see what was coming? The crowds who showed up for his rallies, all of them fell right into line as he whipped them into a frenzy of xenophobia.
I don’t know. It is what it is, and none of it matters anymore. The dream that was once the United States has become a nightmare, but I’ll have to finish this journal entry later. I have to leave now—I don’t want to be late for the Public Tortures.
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ and chili cook. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, Ohio, where he enjoys pizza, jazz and black T-shirts. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at
(this story copyright and reprinted from the Dayton City Paper, www.daytoncitypaper.com)