(My friend Hansen Alexander, frequent respondent on this site, plumbs the primitive id of a certain candidate.)
Q. Why are you ahead of the other Republicans?
NDT: (Not Donald Trump) The camera loves me. The networks place me standing in the middle of the other candidates during the debates. I suck up all the air in the studio and they become invisible. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and what’s his face from Ohio become mere shadows of the Donald. I’m really the blond bombshell of the year. I’m the Marilyn Monroe of politics.
Q. Marilyn Monroe? Really?
NDT. Heck, Marilyn had some girth around the middle at the end, love handles like me. Not like Rosie.
Q. As a New Yorker, one would think that you are actually a good deal more liberal than you talk.
NDT: I believe strongly in whatever my speechwriters compose that day.
Q. You’ve called for no taxes for people who make less than $50,000. How are you going to make up for that loss of income in your budgets?
NDT. Look, that’s way too complicated to explain to the American public. Only experts at the Congressional Budget Office understand these things.
Q. Your plan to build The Great Wall of America on the Mexican border seems to be popular in some quarters.
NDT: The Donald knows what voters want. You can’t have a bunch of little brown banditos coming to New York City like barbarian hordes and doing all the preparing, cooking, and waiting on tables in our restaurants. They would take all the jobs away from my fellow Wharton grads.
Q. How did you calculate the 8 billion figure for this great wall?
NDT: Look, the American people trust the Donald to figure out these things because he’s a real estate genius and can say “You’re fired” to foreign leaders who disagree with him. And as I’ve made clear, I’ll simply call up the leader of Mexico, whoever the hell that is, and tell him to put up the wall and pay for it himself.
Q. And Mexico would just do that?
NDT: You’ve got to understand that when the Donald says jump, other world leaders and members of Congress are simply going to ask, “How high?”
Q. Speaking of Congress. You have no experience whatsoever in government.
NDT: I’m going to be more successful with Congress than LBJ. And here’s why! Every Republican in Congress owes me big time from contributing to their campaigns. All I have to do is call the up and remind them of my generosity, and they will vote for anything I demand.
Q. And if they don’t?
NDT: I’ll bring in the heavy artillery. I’ll have Regis and Kathy Lee and Michael and my lunch partners at the Plaza pressure them.
Q. You’re coming from a background in high society and reality TV. Why are you so popular with some regular people?
NDT: World Wide Wrestling. As David Brooks pointed out recently, I was a huge success working with World Wide Wrestling, which you know has more cash than any sports media related business.
Q. How could you possibly beat a candidate such as Secretary Clinton, since you probably can’t even win your own state of New York?
NDT: I don’t even know why Hillary is running against me because she loves me so much. Like most women, she daydreams about playing footsie with me under the table at dinner. She and Bill even came to my wedding, I forget which one.
Q. Besides building The Great Wall of America, what do you intend to do in foreign policy, should you win?
NDT: Well, of course besides keeping the Muslims and Mexicans out, I’ll do the easy stuff first, such as imposing peace in the Middle East.
NDT: The first thing everybody needs to know about the Donald is that he’s a master negotiator. Build a few hotels on the Gaza strip, a few new shopping malls for Tel Aviv, presto---an Israeli-Palestinian peace. I expect the new capital of Palestine will be called Trump Town.
Q. How are you going to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq? And will you send more ground troops to Iraq to deal with ISIS?
NDT: That’s a tough question. Got an easier one?
Q. Not really.
NDT: Oh, all right, I’m not going to be PC here because that would ruin my image, but those war things are really too complicated to explain. They are better explained by our war planners at the Pentagon. And you can bet if things go wrong in Iraq when I’m President, those things WILL be explained by the Pentagon.
Q. And if they go right?
NDT: It will prove, of course, what everybody already knows. The Donald is a genius.
Q. You don’t like tough questions. How will you handle the White House press corps?
NDT: If the news media at the White House asks biased questions, which I define as ones that don’t make me look good, then goodbye, don’t hit your butts on the way out the door. Read my lips, no more presidential press conferences. You’re finished. You’re fired.
---Hansen Alexander is a New York attorney and author of six books. The latest, "The Life and Trials of Roger Clemens," will be released by McFarland in the fall.
"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)