Aftermath of Trump’s acquittal
in theatrical analogies
Is a return to Happy Days possible for the former U.S. President?
By Byron Toben
I have written earlier about the rise of Donald Trump as President foreshadowed by a dozen great playwrights. Now that his term has expired and he faces many post-presidential challenges, other theatrical works seem apropos to his post office career.
But first, a “wrap” on his four years is to be found not on the stage but in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. There the powerful Wizard was revealed to be only a circus-barking snake oil salesman behind curtains, mirrors and loudspeakers, pulled down by Toto, Dorothy’s dog.
Twitter and others have banned him from their platforms. This leads to an image of an ageing Trump, like Samuel Beckett’s lonely Krapp in Krapp’s Last Tape, sadly revisiting his private video collection of “Trump’s Last Tweets.”
Speaking of Beckett, the futility of any future is summed up in the title of his Endgame. Trump’s obstacles at the end of his presidency game include:
These are a-plenty:
U.S. government for back taxes due.
Insurance companies on fraudulent valuations.
Russian oligarchs on personal guarantees..
Deutsche Bank bringing mortgage foreclosures.
Mary Trump, on having been cheated of her inheritance.
Various women, on charges of sexual harassment.
E. Jane Carroll, on a charge of rape.
Ghislaine Maxwell, with possible revelations on Epstein parties.
Palm Beach forbids the use of Trump’s private club Mar-A-Lago as a personal residence.
Even if he succeeds in delaying or even settling one of these matters, it brings to mind the Greek myth of Sisyphus, who was condemned to endlessly pushing a huge boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back and having to start over.
I had thought that Sisyphus, once the king of Corinth, was the subject of a play by one of the great ancient Greek playwrights but, actually, he first appeared in Homer’s Iliad. References to him were made later by Ovid, Socrates, Camus and Kafka, all of whom had theatrical treatments on other subjects, hence my confusion.
Disclosure of school records
As disclosures of the above lawsuits accelerate, possibly some Pentagon Papers equivalent clerk at one or more of these academic institutions will feel emboldened to “leak” Trump’s actual transcripts earlier forbidden by threatening letters from his lawyers.
High School (New York Military Academy)
University – Fordham (just two years) transfer to
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business)
Despite all these problems, Trump may yet see Happy Days (the title of another Beckett play). But for that you need money.
He has lost inherited money on real estate, casinos, airplanes and a school. The only money he has earned for “work” was playing himself in the TV show The Apprentice and his Presidential salary. Any life savings may be dissipated in defending all the above matters.
Sources of future money
U.S. Government pension: $221,400
U.S. Government – office expenses (begins on June 20)
Donations by large backers (most have deserted him)
Donations by small backers: $255,400,000 donated to Trump PAC “Save America” for election fraud contestation.
But in small print, 25% goes to RNC (Republican National Committee), $8.8 million to the election fraud cases and the rest (approx. 191 million) to Trump for whatever purpose he wants.
Re-entry into politics
Possible banning from running in future political campaigns via the 14th Amendment does not cancel his pension, as conviction upon impeachment would have.
Appearances on friendly social media
Newswatch and AONN are grabbing Trumpers away from Fox. Also, he has mused about creating his own Trump Web site.
Will any of these developments result in a return to Happy Days for this once hopeful future leader? Viewer opinions welcome.
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.