Fake News: A series of Trump “what-if’s”

CJ Priebe

What a summer for American politics! President Donald Trump has been in power for the better part of three years now and things haven’t calmed down.

Actual fact: The U.S. president is currently undergoing impeachment proceedings. The president’s defense has been to muddy the waters of truth so that his supporters will claim the president himself is the victim of a witch hunt.

I could say that the U.S. is at a “crossroads,” but that just doesn’t feel right. “Dead end?” Well, we’re not dead yet.

No, I think the American people have finally reached the end of a byroad and now have an unobstructed view of the labyrinth of corruption that encases them.

So much ridiculous, Cheeto-dusted news has @@@[email protected]@@ happened in the summer of 2019 and it would be interesting to think about all the things that could have @@@[email protected]@@ gone down. How might recent events have taken a twist to lead us down an alternate reality?

@@@The following stories are imagined outcomes to actual events from the [email protected]@@

It was a wild summer in Trumpland.
Photo Illustration: CJ Priebe / The Ebbtide

What if Trump got banned from Twitter?

Actual Facts:

1) Almost every day Trump uses social media to bully and persuade others.

2) Twitter has booted peddlers of unfounded and potentially hazardous conspiracy theories in the recent past like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos.

3) The U.S. Women’s National soccer team won the World Cup this summer.

Fan Fiction:

On July 7, the aide in charge of monitoring the president’s social media account calls out “sick” after a night celebrating the U.S. victory in the final.

Trump, finally free of undue restrictions placed on what he considers to be his free speech, tweets that Chihuahuas are identical to Cocker Spaniels. This is the final straw. For everyone.

Twitter is forced to ban him for such a contemptuous lie. For the first time in his life, Trump regrets a tweet — as he has a real zinger for Megan Rapinoe lined up and ready to go.

Ideas are finite for Trump, and he really doesn’t want to let this one go to waste, so he uses taxpayer dollars to fly Air Force One to a Seattle Reign match so he can tell Rapinoe off in person.

Unfortunately for him, the Reign fans won’t let him get in a word edgewise. Their chants of “Equal pay!” drown out his insults.

At halftime, he uses Myspace to challenge Rapinoe to a five-minute game of one-on-one futsal. The stakes: If Trump wins he gets to construct a new Trump casino in the middle of Cheney Field, and if Rapinoe wins Trump has to run a marathon.

In a bout reminiscent of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs but lacking most of the athleticism, Rapinoe wins handily 101-0.

Shortly thereafter, while training Trump gets a runner’s high and starts to transform from technically obese to svelte. The endorphins kick in and he is startled when he realizes he wants to make the world a better place. He grants amnesty to illegal immigrants and returns children to their parents, donates 97% of his wealth to the ACLU and steps down as president, humbled.

What if Trump bought Greenland?

Actual Facts:

1) On Aug. 18, the president publicly confirmed that he was floating the idea of purchasing Greenland from Denmark.

2) On Aug. 19, he posted a picture on Twitter of Greenland with picture of Trump Tower superimposed onto a rural town in Greenland.

3) On Aug. 20, he postponed a trip to Denmark when Danish Prime Minister called the idea “absurd.”

Fan Fiction:

Instead of being instantaneously rebuffed, Trump’s inner charm and charisma shines through due to the Danish Prime Minister having a severe case of “Opposite Day” syndrome.

Still, the Danes drive a hard bargain, asking the U.S. to fork over Maine and part of North Dakota for use in licorice farming. Trump responds with an unequivocal, “Yes,” because his plan to acquire a territory he can christen “Trumpslvania” actually seems like it’s working.

For a brief few days Trump is enthralled with his shiny new toy.

But after he grows bored, he tries to deport four congresswomen of color known as “The Squad” to Trumpslvania in an attempt to create a modern-day leper colony for racism.

These bogus threats create political turmoil for Trump in Congress — but “The Squad” takes it for what it is: a lame and misguided lashing out by a prepubescent boy whose tendency is to yank on the pigtails of a girl he likes. Inspired by an episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” they create a reality television show of their own and Trump naturally appears on episode one. He loves seeing himself on TV, but misses the irony, grows bored again and switches the channel over to Fox & Friends.

Finally, Denmark rescinds the original trade due to the proliferation of fracking in their newly acquired land.

What if Trump had lost a bet and moved to Baltimore?

Actual Fact:

On July 27, President Trump called Baltimore a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess” on Twitter.

Fan Fiction:

After his initial comments, the president doubles down on his efforts to demean black and brown people by making an elaborate, “Trading Places”-style wager with Senator Lindsey Graham the following weekend at his resort in Mar-a-Lago.

To set the stage: Pat Boone is playing on the olde tyme radio and a pile of quarterpounders from McDonald’s bedeck each of the servant’s trays. The assorted bigwigs are chortling over how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was naive enough to get caught for wearing blackface.

Because he loses the big game of pin the tail on the elephant, Trump chugs the rest of his Diet Coke, high-fives a passed-out Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the corner and proceeds to put on the dreaded “Dunce” hat. But this time, Graham makes it double or nothing.

With no second “Dunce” hat present when the president loses again, he has to resort to playing a round of  “Truth or Dare” as punishment. Due to physical limitations, he chooses the latter.

Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University steps in from the shadows and suggests a fate worse than death to these oligarchs: living in Baltimore for a week.

Cut to a few days later — Trump resides, huddled and scared, in a small apartment near 39th Street and Beech Avenue. It looks bleak for him. But eventually, he meanders outside only to realize it’s just another city that contains both fantastic and troublesome elements. He learns about industrial hip-hop from JPEGMAFIA, makes a friend or two and the world gets marginally better.

What if Trump really did “lock her up?”

Actual Facts:

1) During Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign he consistently attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for having used a private email server.

2) Trump’s crowds at campaign rallies voraciously chanted, “Lock her up” in reference to Clinton’s email server.

3) On Sept. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi started a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.

Fan Fiction:

In 2017, Trump strong-arms his way into advancing an effort to get Clinton on a technicality and uses a fierce team of lawyers (not you, Rudy Giuliani) to put her in prison for six months.

Trump instates new laws that say having a side-piece server while in high office is a huge crime that comes with a hefty prison sentence. On the surface, corruption is stalled.

Years go by, and Trump checks in on his old buddy Volodymyr Zelenski, president of Ukraine. The Trump administration, in the same manner it did in real life, moves the phone call to a classified, secret server in order to have it go off the record.

On Aug. 12, 2019, a whistleblower with knowledge of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine issues an official complaint — as in real life. With the tables turned, Trump gets jettisoned by the same “drain the swamp” elements that brought him into office.

His obsession of tampering with electoral systems and investigating political opponents ended up mixing with his lust to endlessly and unabashedly endear himself to his political base. America’s Richard Nixon experience of the 1970s ends up looking quaint in retrospect.

Hoist by his own petard, Trump goes to jail whining, yet ends up committing the rest of his career to prison reform after being released due to the hard work of Senator Kim Kardashian (R-CA).