I watched a bit of last night's show starring John Lithgow as Trump. It was sold as a play. I thought that meant it was going to be dialog between characters, pure story-telling creating suspension of disbelief, but it was just another reading of the Mueller report, a good one. I would have thought that great actors would want to do a play, but it wasn't a play. It was actors reading a report written by lawyers.
In the rest of this post I'll outline how the project, if it were to really have impact, would get started. It will be more of a commitment than last night's performance. But our world is worth it, don't you think??
So here's the concept...
A serial radio play, distributed as a weekly podcast.
Opening scene, a congressional hearing. A select committee of senators and representatives question (actors playing) Manafort, Flynn, Hicks, Comey, etc, who answer questions fully as they did for Mueller. The answers derive from the report, but they are not verbatim. The actors strive to present their characters in a good light. The congresspeople are all interested in getting the truth. Even the Repubs. This part of course is fiction. Artistic license. And the Democrats have the guts to ask probing, hard questions.
Dramatic interludes in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, golf courses and watching TV (executive time) where the president, played by Lithgow (an excellent choice to play Trump) gives soliloquies in the form of phone conversations with various celebs such as Hannity, Carl Icahn and a few surprises. We keep coming back to the hearing room, that's where the story is really being told.
The resulting radio show, a riveting drama, is released one episode a week as a podcast.
Trump isn't really a presidential candidate and he certainly isn't a president, not as far as the job is designed by the Constitution. Which the begs the question, what exactly is he?
This is what he is: A TV star.
Specifically a comedian.
There must be some rude comedians out there who wouldn't mind making a spectacle of Trump hate. And of course hatred for the wimps that vote for him.
Now we don't know if his rallies are still a thing. He's doing one tonight in Orlando. Maybe it'll be a bust. He doesn't really have a new schtick you know. And he wasn't that funny in 2016.
If he's a dud in his rally, or if he has to amp up the hate to scary levels to get a rise then he's jumped the shark.
But still it wouldn't hurt to put some Trump hate on a stage. Nothing held in reserve. Really vent. We all need to stop being so polite when it comes to Trump. Attack the things he cares about. His net worth. Masculinity. Intelligence.
But the key thing here is the people doing the insults are comedians, not would-be presidents. That's the key. Make Trump all about entertainment by attacking him with entertainment.
PS: This started as a thread on Twitter.
Here are two fallacies of conservatism.
Quite out the blue I notice that longtime friend Scott Knaster enthusiastically agrees with virtually everything I write about the Trump mess. Of course I wonder what the common thread is, and I've come to believe it is that we are both avid sports fans, even though they're not all the same sports.
Lots of strategy in sports requires compromise. You take one player out and replace with another who is better at defense because what you need right now is a better chance of stopping the other team. It comes at a cost. Yet a sports fan knows there's a randomness to it, or is it spirituality? God sees what you're doing and perhaps (as my dear departed uncle would say) goofs on you. You put in the best defensive squad and they score more points than your offensive-strong team would. Go figure. But you have to be prepared for whatever comes your way and let it guide your thinking. And you always have to be thinking about how fate could deal you a cruel blow, because that happens all the time in sport, and of course in life too. And especially in politics.
Linear thinking doesn't work. If I do X the other guy always does Y is not a good bet. Because the other person is sentient too, and knows you're expecting Y and one time, when it really makes a difference will do exactly what you don't expect because it's what you don't expect.
But one thing's for sure. If there are two seconds on the clock, and you're in field goal range, and you're down two points, you go for the field goal. Even though a touchdown is more fun.
PS: Another reason sports fans know how to absorb mistaken thinking. Watch the analyst predict that the Warriors will blow away the Raptors in Game 6, which of course we now know didn't happen. So we know when listening to pundits, or even our own ideas, that nothing like that is actually going to happen.