I have a lot of questions for Donald Trump. I’m sure you do too.
I’ve always wanted to participate in one of those town hall-style presidential debates so I could ask questions of my least favorite presidential candidates.
Unfortunately, people whose word I implicitly trust have told me I’d have to leave the house to do that, and since I’m basically Howard Hughes with a lot less money and marginally fewer urine jars, it’s never seemed feasible. My introversion is such that I have a very hard time making eye contact with strangers without the assistance of a Mason jar martini, a Snoop Dogg-sized spliff, and some kind of bold, visually arresting accessory to distract from my persistent and debilitating nervous tics, like a single gold hoop earring or a full-sized Mayor McCheese costume.
But I can write my questions down after thinking about them for five minutes (and binge-eating BBQ Corn Nuts for another six hours or so).
Ideally, I’d be allowed to question Trump from behind a one-way mirror in a police interrogation room, with a firehose loaded with 400 gallons of pureed Carolina reaper peppers ready to sandblast his broke-ass adobe hut of a head every time he lied. But I checked with the Secret Service, and no can do, because he will lie. There’s no way around it.
Donald Trump is not normal. He never has been. But now that he’s president, his aberrant behavior is rendered more egregious. At the same time, it’s normalized by the powers that be—in both the government and the media—who seemingly don’t want to acknowledge that the most powerful country in the history of the world is being led by a low-rent Teletubby.
Forget Donald Trump is president for the moment. Imagine it’s January 2000: You’re breathing a sigh of relief and polishing off the last of that generic beer and beans you set aside for Y2K, and someone who looks just like you, but 20 years older, furiously knocks on your front door and tells you they’ve come from the future. In that future, they gasp, the president of the United States is involved in a heated feud with a 17-year-old Swedish girl over the fate of the planet. The teenager, they add, is the only one making any sense. Personally, I’d head straight back into my bunker faster than Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of nuclear winter.
In other words, it’s insane how far Donald Trump has lowered the bar for what can reasonably be described as “normal.” To the extent that we accept this current reality, then, we’ve all become beleaguered, corrupted, mere husks of our former selves. So how did we arrive here?
We didn’t ask the right questions. And by “we,” of course, I mean someone else: the complacent, complicit, money-grubbing American mainstream media.
Remember when former CBS CEO Les Moonves (in)famously said of Trump’s campaign, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS”?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha—yeah, fuck you, Les Moonves.
But it wasn’t just Moonves. The media as a whole tolerated and even egged on Trump during his campaign, despite his clear ignorance, impulsivity, and unfitness for high (or any) office. I mean, Lorne Michaels let him host SNL, for God’s sake. Donald Trump isn’t funny. They might as well let Dick Cheney host in the middle of his next baboon-heart transplant. Even MSNBC’s Morning Joe brought Trump on constantly—before seeing the light far too late.
For the most part, the media were far too deferential and indulgent, treating Trump like a viable candidate for the most powerful position in the world when he was—quite obviously—a red-nosed, orange-haired, seltzer-down-his-baggy-pants clown.
I still wonder how this wasn’t taken care of during the Republican presidential debates, if not earlier. Trump telegraphed his ignorance and stupidity numerous times, but those qualities arguably came into sharpest relief during one of the GOP debates, when he was asked about the nuclear triad, and its very existence was clearly news to him.
The political press, which is supposedly so cutthroat, should have smelled the blood in the water and pounced right there. Under the klieg lights of the debate stage—when voters were trying to decide who was competent, who was trustworthy, and who was best prepared to lead our country—the press could have cornered him. I know Trump’s a slippery little eel, but it’s not difficult to make him look stupid and ill-prepared. Instead of asking him questions he’d “prepared” for, debate moderators should have thrown him a series of ferocious curveballs to expose him once and for all—in prime time, on the biggest possible stage—as the irredeemable idiot he is. When he deflected, they could have, and should have, insisted on an answer. (“Can you tell us what the nuclear triad is, Mr. Trump?” would have been a good follow-up under the above circumstances.) Would it have been unfair to single him out like that? Perhaps. But would it have been more unfair than knowing that our president is less informed about foreign policy and economics than 95% of the customers at Hot Topic?
I know that’s not how these debates normally go—and politicians are congenitally predisposed not to give direct answers to simple questions—but never before had our republic been so threatened.
So, long story short—too late, I know—I do actually have a few trenchant, biting, penetrating, Sriracha-in-his-pantaloons queries for our alleged president. I don’t want my questions to be the final word on the subject, though. I want y’all to chime in. Pinning this idiot to the (metaphorical, of course) wall should be the righteous obsession of every patriotic American, from now till November.
Question 1: Mr. Trump, you’ve frequently derided the Affordable Care Act, calling it a “disaster,” among other things. Simple question: What is the Affordable Care Act? Please describe, in the simplest way you can, at least three provisions of the law, and tell us why, in your opinion, they don’t work as designed.
I promise you right now: If Trump can splice together more than two coherent sentences on this topic, I will sauté my own kidneys in mutton tallow and shot put them into the cat paddock at Petco.
Recall when he expressed surprise at how complicated health care policy is.
Recall when he said, as a candidate, “All of my employees are having tremendous problems with Obamacare.” Sounds superficially plausible, if you overlook the fact that Trump also claimed that his employees are insured through his company. So none of them, presumably, shop for insurance through the exchanges. In other words, he doesn’t have the slightest clue what the Affordable Care Act is, or does.
Recall that Trump once promised that everyone in the country would be covered under his “plan.”
Recall that he’s claimed Republicans will protect people with preexisting conditions, even though his administration has backed a lawsuit that would strike down the ACA and, with it, those very protections.
Recall that Donald Trump never quite knows what he’s talking about, and then you’ll realize he couldn’t possibly give anything approaching a coherent answer to this question. Hell, I’m not even sure he knows that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing. That’s how vacuous this doofus is.
Question 2: You’ve said the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, may be “the single worst deal I’ve ever seen drawn by anybody.” That means you’ve presumably read it. But you’ve made numerous misstatements about the deal. For instance, you’ve repeatedly said that Obama “gave” Iran $150 billion in order to secure the deal, though the U.S. merely unfroze some of Iran’s own assets. Before you withdrew from the deal, your own advisers said it was working. Your former defense secretary, James Mattis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “I’ve read it now three times … and I will say that it is written almost with an assumption that Iran would try to cheat. … So the verification, what is in there, is actually pretty robust.” How many times have you read the deal, and why do you think Mattis was wrong and you’re right?
Trump hasn’t read the deal. He hasn’t read an official summary of the deal. He’s heard Brian Kilmeade’s opinion and little else. I would bet the farm on that.
Of course, Trump would bellow his usual talking points when prompted, but it could be fun to rattle off specific provisions that aren’t actually in the deal and ask his opinion. When he rails against them, you could then tell him that they’re actually from his own administration’s policy papers, or from the Marshall Plan, or from a Toll House cookie recipe. Like he’d know the difference.
Once you’ve embarrassed him to whatever extent he actually can be embarrassed, you could then ask him why he abrogated the deal and twice brought us to the brink of war with Iran based 100% on his own ego, hubris, and hatred of Barack Obama.
Question 3: During your birther days, you said you sent investigators to Hawaii to find out the truth behind President Obama’s birth certificate. In a 2011 Today show interview, you said your investigators “cannot believe what they’re finding.” Who are these investigators, what did they find, and what was so unbelievable about it? Why haven’t you revealed their findings?
Okay, okay, his “birther days” never really ended, but still. He can’t answer this question because his entire “investigation” was completely made up. This was more than just a harmless fib; this was the legitimacy of the president of the United States he was trying to undermine. So it was important then, and it remains important.
Of course, he’d probably try to deflect this by, I don’t know, claiming his investigators all died of consumption or got swallowed by beluga whales or something. But if the findings were so stunning—and if he really has one of “the all-time great” memories, as he’s previously claimed—it should be a cinch to at least give us the thumbnail version of his (nonexistent) investigators’ findings. And for that matter, it should be easy to tell us who these investigators were.
That’s it. Those are the questions I would ask Donald Trump, if only I could. And since there’s no way Trump would ever visit this website or read 19 paragraphs of waggish commentary leading up to my actual point, I’m calling on reporters, debate moderators, and town hall attendees to crib these because, again, I walk around the house 24/7 with Howard Hughes-branded Kleenex boxes on my feet. Above all, the media shouldn’t treat Donald Trump like a real president, or a real politician, or even a normal human being, for that matter. He’s earned exactly zero benefit of the doubt and should be treated like the wannabe dictator he is.
I’m sure you have your own pet questions that you’d like to ask Caligulard, and I’d love to hear them. Opine away in the comments below.