MaxBarry.com
nice idea, shame about the execution

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Tue 15
Nov
2016

Four Possible Trumps

Jennifer Government It’s hard to know what to expect from a President-Elect who’s promised a lot of things he can’t possibly have meant. On the one hand, maybe he did mean them, in which case, dear God. But on the other, surely not. This leaves a lot of middle ground for wild speculation, which I now intend to provide.

Also this election has reminded me that however far-fetched I think I’m being, it’s not far enough. So here are four possible Trumps.

  1. Benevolent Dictator Trump

    Beholden to no-one, President Trump dispenses with political bickering, cuts away swathes of bureaucracy and red tape, and replaces it with simple, direct, effective solutions that no-one tried before because they were so caught up in politics or not wanting to offend anyone or reading books or something. I think that’s right.

    Trump crafts an unpredictable yet nimble, energetic, and effective administration, unafraid to make unpopular decisions so long as they’re right. It is happy times for everyone who agrees with Trump’s version of right, which is everyone, by decree of a new federal law. Protesters and other unpatriotic unAmericans are taken to the desert to toil to build a statue of Trump so high it can blot out the sun.

    Term limits are abolished. In his eleventh year of rule, a small band of protestors vandalize the statue by blasting off the toupĂ©e and are shot on live national television, their remains displayed outside the city gates. God-Emperor Trump dies peacefully in his sleep in his twenty-third year of rule, surrounded by concubines. After a week of national mourning, the nation descends into bloody civil war as various full- and half-blooded Trump offspring lead armies in a battle for control of their father’s empire. Dragons return. Ivanka rides one.

  2. Robber Baron Trump

    By the time he waves goodbye from the chopper, Trump has vacuumed so much money from the American public that he and his family are the wealthiest people in modern history, richer even than he claims to be today. A drip-feed of revelations of fraud, embezzlement, and cronyism on an unprecedented scale hound him, along with persistent talk of federal prosecution, but none of it goes anywhere, dissipating like waves against the rocky shore of Trump’s now-impenetrable empire of lawyers, cash, and paid-up influence.

    Weakened by pillaging, the welfare system faces a short-term credit crunch, leading to riots among the poor and unemployed. This is held up by Republicans as proof of the fundamental non-viability of the welfare state and the need to abolish it altogether, a view supported by low-skilled male white voters who are shortly to become unemployed themselves as the shock of decreased government spending rolls through the economy. California and Texas secede and close their borders. Nevada falls to roaming biker gangs. The Trump family acquires Manhattan at market-bottom prices and builds a wall around it, a real one, not just a fence.

  3. Capitalizt Trump

    With a businessperson’s win/lose perspective on the economy, Trump abolishes regulatory authorities, slashes taxes, eliminates labor laws, privatizes public bodies, and ushers in an ultra-capitalist paradise in which corporations are free to do whatever the hell they feel like. It is a rich, refreshing new world for the already-wealthy, who find an ever-expanding array of services aimed at them, while the poor die of easily-preventable diseases or in back alleys after muggings gone bad on their way home from one of their three-dollar-an-hour jobs.

    Employment becomes so critical to survival that people revert to the ancient practice of calling each other by their occupation rather than their surname. A shoe company deliberately incites a violent riot to promote a new brand of sneakers. A plucky government agent… ah, you know what, just read the book.

    By mortgaging its future, the US is temporarily awash with cash, creating a false dawn that ushers in a second Trump term. He exits office just as the economy begins to run off the cliff. Via a running commentary of tweets, he blames his successor for the ensuring collapse, depression, and takeover by Chinese real estate speculators, labeling all of the above “sad!”

  4. Commander-in-Chief Trump

    Trump has always been a big believer in the “speak loudly and carry a big stick” approach. To date, his sticks have been lawyers, but starting January 20, 2017, they are stealth bombers and 7,100 nuclear warheads. Carrying his philosophy into office, Trump rattles a few sabers before going ahead and invading someone. It’s an irresistible dynamic: The benefits of military action are largely personal (status, pleasure of defeating an opponent) while the costs are born by an American public and purse he’s only borrowing and is allowed to hand back in any condition.

    Military adventures in Asia, the Middle East, and Alaska breed a host of new enemies for America, ensuring the need for ever-more defense spending and a twitchy, paranoid, nationalistic voting public. Trump exits office calling his military record his proudest achievement, despite the loss of several million citizens on the east coast after an incident that looked a lot like a biological attack but officially was just a bad flu season. Via a running commentary of tweets, he blasts the new President for weakness as she attempts reconciliation with foreign powers. Much of the Western hemisphere is annihilated in a nuclear exchange started by a relatively small rogue nation that nobody was paying much attention to. Trump relocates to Australia and begins to hoard water, leading to a Mad Max scenario where he is killed in a car chase after the escape of one of his breeders.

That’s what I’ve got for now. I mean, there are other possibilities. But these feel the most likely.

Comments

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Michael Lederman (#6925)

Location: United States of America
Posted: 218 days ago

Perhaps you need retreat into your safe-space and tape your tin foil hat securely this time. Your near constant fear mongering with little to know factual information is getting a bit disgusting. Trust me you can't afford to lose any fans and yet that is where you're heading.

The truth is you haven't a single, solitary clue as to what Trump stands for or plans to do. If you bothered to do a slight bit of research you wouldn't say the idiotic things you say.

America has declined for 8 years and now it is time for it to rise again. Oz would be well placed to emulate America before it sinks into an abyss.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 218 days ago

Heh.

Destructa (#5648)

Location: Silicon Valley
Quote: "A triple scoop of rage with giggle sprinkles"
Posted: 218 days ago

Oy vey. It must all seem pretty amusing from way the hell over there.

Lest you think the red-hatter above is a representative of the good old US of A, let me assure you, he only represents slightly less than 50% of the eligible adults who got their ass to the polls. Comforting!

Note to thin-skinned fascists: Max is a fiction author. He is riffing on current events. It's called hu-mor. It's probably on the verge of extinction along with many, many other fine and pleasurable things.

Nalini (#7120)

Location: Canberra
Quote: "Geeks will inherit the Galaxy"
Posted: 218 days ago

@ Max: So when is your Trump-inspired dystopian novel due out?

If it's half as entertaining as Jennifer Government, I'll be first in line for a review copy.

@michael lederman: time will tell. If you're still allowed access to 'subversive' websites like this one in 4 years, please return and tell us that you still have your head in the sand. :-D

@Destructa: you have my sympathy. May America see the light and repair the incoming damage asap. If you're white you might be allowed to emigrate to Australia. If you're coloured or Muslim, sorry, we're following in Trump's shoes so, really, it's not quite as amusing as you might think from our points of view.

Brenda Debenham (#7217)

Location: Berowra Bushland
Quote: "entering your world via the book portal is awesome"
Posted: 218 days ago

So if these scenarios were a card game we could have -
Benevolent Dictator Trump - Hearts
Robber Baron Trump- Diamonds
Capitalizt Trump - spades
Commander-in-Chief Trump - Clubs
On all tricks trumps beat everything as a trump card can refer to any sort of action, authority, or policy which automatically prevails over all others. Let the games begin.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 218 days ago

I think we should go into business together Brenda.

Machine Man subscriber Alex (#237)

Location: London, England
Quote: "We're today's scrambled creatures, locked in tomorrow's double feature (Bowie)"
Posted: 218 days ago

Someone took this way too seriously.

The truth is Trump hasn't a single, solitary clue as to what Trump stands for or plans to do. If he'd bothered to do a slight bit of research he wouldn't say the idiotic things he says.

Chase (#7233)

Location: The Known Universe
Quote: "Hey, stop looking at my quote!"
Posted: 217 days ago

Goodness Trump you need to stop embarrassing our country I swear! First you're making yourself look like a capitalist buffoon, next the whole nation. This is why I supported Bernie Sanders hehe...

Machine Man subscriber coolpillows (#3749)

Location: new york general sort of vicinity
Quote: ""It's not working" -- Joseph Clark"
Posted: 217 days ago

Yes, someone took this WAY too seriously. Of course, none of these things could happen. Because we have mechanisms in place that would keep someone like that from gaining pow------OH!! THAT didn't work!

However, I'm surprised when I read (mostly in the national press) that other countries look to the U.S. as a beacon of stability. On good days, I feel like "Aww...that's awfully sweet of you people! Really nice...but don't put us up on a pedestal." On bad days, I feel like, "What the hell are you people thinking?! We dunno what we're doing any more than you do." This is one of those bad days.

But brighter days ahead!

ryandake (#2199)

Location: scenic monterey, ca
Quote: ""The rest is not our business.""
Posted: 213 days ago

so it took me a while to read this... had to remap certain brain regions so that seeing the word "Trump" didn't trigger the gag reflex.

ivanka on a dragon.... ahahahaha good one.

max, here's the thing: if you keep being so gleefully snarky about Trump, we disaffected americans are not just going to move to Australia, we're going to move in with YOU. yep, you personally. you ready for the non-barbarian, vegetarian, crystal-bearing, positive-thinking, aura-sensitive Hello-Kitty-fan hordes to descend (politely!) on your digs? cause we might be the gentler sort, but we are really secret schadenfreude junkies.

just (a super-concerned!) warning.

Aleia Kim (#7250)

Location: Oregon, USA
Quote: ""The same marks, repeated, only differently arranged.""
Posted: 190 days ago

Having sprinted through my enjoyment of all [*ahem*-most of] your published works with the aid of *legal* substances, and consumed some Pixar feelgoods:

Max, I'm with ryandake; I feel no shame in the admittance of my eagerness to find you someday in person and shake your hand. Pending that interaction...I wouldn't rule out moving in with you. This whole Trump business does not bode well for your autonomous living out there. I'll leave my Hello Kitty paraphernalia and the crystals at home if I can bring my cat hoarde. They're friendly and conducive to writing vis a vis their thermoconductivity as lap fixtures.

In all seriousness: thank you for your sense of humor and your witty prose; it reassures my skepticism of capitalism and my own gullibility. You're an inspiration!

Zenthros (#7317)

Posted: 65 days ago

By what's going on and a war with Syria, North Korea, I-I mean Best Korea!!!! And maybe soon China, I think it is Commander in chief trump. He already dropped the "mother of all bombs" on ISIS!

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