Thursday, February 18, 2016

America's Trial by Trump: The Sermon on the Stump

The solid support Donald J. Trump is gathering in the GOP primary campaign is often expressed in terms more appropriate to the anointing of a savior.

If there aren't explicit religious connotations in the loyalty he inspires, there seem to be persistent signals from his fans that what he represents is independent of ideology or traditional political allegiances. It's all about him, which is the way he likes it; his savior status carries with it no claim of divine endorsement. That is among the many qualities that set him apart from a certain illustrious predecessor.

That charismatic forerunner had his Sermon on the Mount, opening with the Beatitudes. A Trump knockoff of the famous homily would have to be called Sermon on the Stump, opening (naturally) with the Anathematudes. In context, it would be preceded by some cheerleading, led by Sarah Palin, to warm up the crowd, something like this:

"One Corinthians, Two Corinthians, Three Corinthian boys!
Four Corinthians, Five Corinthians, let's make some noise!"

Trump opens his sermon with the Anathematudes.
(The Donald takes the stage, his hair blowing in the breeze like a twitchy squirrel's tail.)

Cursed are the poor in spirit, for they are low-energy losers.
Cursed are they that mourn my popularity, for they must not want to make America great
Cursed are the merciful, for they want to admit Mexican rapists and Syrian refugees to
            the United States, even though some of them must be Muslim terrorists.
Cursed are the pure in heart, because they don’t get why we need waterboarding —
            and worse — to win the war against ISIS.
Cursed are the peacemakers, for they don’t care that our military is a disaster.
Cursed are those which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for they probably deserve it,
            and most kinds of righteousness have nothing to do with the art of the deal.

(Cheers swell from the throng)

You are the salt of the earth — I thank you, I love you, I love you!
But if the salt loses its savor, that's what you get when you vote for Ted Cruz.

(Loud booing)

You are the light of the world, as long as my poll numbers hold up and you turn out to vote for me,
     even without your doctor's permission to leave your sickbed.
Your righteousness, if that's your thing, must exceed the righteousness of the scribes of the media
     and the Pharisees of the incompetent political class.

(Shouts, including expletives)

And I say unto you, do not swear at all, except for vulgarities about my opponents, which I will 
     pretend to reprimand you for, then repeat.
But let your assertions on my behalf be a simple Yea, Yea, and for my rivals be Nay, Nay.
     Vote for Trump is what I'm saying. Details to follow.
You have heard it said to love your neighbor AND to love them that hate you.
     Who does that? Are you nuts? We will defeat our enemies. We will bomb the you-know-what out
      of them. Meanwhile, keep your eye on that neighbor, too.

When you support my campaign, remember: I don't need your money, I need your votes.
So send a trumpet before you in the streets, get your friends and neighbors to vote for me,
     unless they're losers. In that case, I'm sorry to say, you will need new friends and neighbors.

And when you pray for my victory, do not use vain repetitions, like Marco Rubio.
And when you fast — but why would you want to do that?
     Fasting makes you low-energy, like Dr. Ben Carsick, who looks too queasy to ride in the back seat
     of this bumpy primary road trip, with me in the driver's seat. He'd be turning pale, if he could. Ha-ha!

(Raucous laughter) 

Go ahead and lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, even as I did. Don't worry about moth and
     rust corrupting them. There are products that can take care of that.

And when you speak up for me as the next President, let not your left hand know what your right
      hand is doing. I've followed that practice for years, going with whichever hand is playing to my 
      advantage at a given time. Like I said, details to follow.
I lost hundreds of friends in 9/11. I have thousands more. Those were a drop in the bucket.

You need to take thought of raiment, of course. Get a bespoke tailor, unless you want to buy your              suits off the rack. 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin.
They just grow — absorbing nutrients from our American soil, using our resources, our sun
       and our water. Probably an invasive species, like those immigrants and refugees.
Trump casts scorn upon the lilies of the field.
Who needs them?

(Rapturous applause)

And why consider the beam in your own eye, when you're able to stick a mote in your brother's eye?
It can be fun. He'll start blinking and looking wounded, like Jeb Bush. His mom'll take care of it.

And all things whatsoever ye would that men should do for you, do for yourself before they change their minds. 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in Republican sheep's clothing but inside are ravening
     wolves who believe in government doing your thinking for you, who believe in eminent domain
     (though that's done me some good now and then).

Whosoever believes these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a man that builds his
      house upon a rock. The rain comes, and the wind blows, big deal — maybe it's climate change,
      maybe it isn't — and the house still stands, unless my lawyers follow soon after to put one
      of my deals over the top.

That's the American way. Then, if I may be politically incorrect, your ass is grass. Thank you!

(Sustained applause and waving of placards and "Make America Great Again" caps)

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