Sunday, August 02, 2020

Donald Trump, Vlad the Impaler, and the Presidential Vampire Problem

Vlad the Impaler enjoys his lunch.(Woodcut 
lifted from Wikipedia.)

With Donald Trump in charge, what are we to make of America’s destiny? 

Our lives have become a nightmare of outrages and horrors, each playing a game of Can You Top This with the previous outrage or horror. 

Autocratic merchandise from the 
not-so-little shop of horrors

Our psychopath-in-chief threatens to postpone the next presidential election. 

He sends armed thugs in insignia-less military camo fatigues to beat up, gas, and shoot with “less lethal” munitions people who peacefully protest against police brutality. 

He alienates our longstanding friends abroad and sucks up to tyrants. 

He spills a can of intelligence beans to Vladmir Putin, rendering other nations’ impression of our espionage apparatus so untrustworthy that I suspect the rest of the democratic world will not only refuse to share intelligence with us, but won’t even give us the time of day. 

He ignores a pandemic, turning it into an American plague (over 150,000 dead so far and counting) while the rest of the world tamps down the viral spread in their own nations. 

And I’m only skimming the surface. Under Trump, America has become bereft of sympathetic allies and hence militarily weaker. We have become a cesspool of viral disease. We now teeter on the edge of becoming an economic basket case as well. 

If some enemy agent had sneaked into America and done all this to us, we’d undoubtedly arrest, charge, try, and then execute him. We executed Osama Bin Laden even without benefit of a trial. But because Trump is President of the United States, our only hope is to vote him out of office — and even that prospect is pockmarked with horrifying possibilities that range from ballot tampering by agents of the White House to an armed coup d’√©tat.

Does Trump remind you of
anyone else you’ve heard about?

I’ve been trying to think who else in history — past the usual suspects like Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini —Trump reminds me of.  Vlad Dracul, the 15th Century Transylvanian Prince, A.K.A Vlad the Impaler, sprang to mind. 

Like Trump, Vlad Dracul was a psychopath who liked to portray himself as a tough guy. His favorite form of execution — of foreign intruders and also of his own subjects that he didn’t like — was to impale them, threading them alive onto sharpened poles as if they were shish kebab, and leaving them mounted by the public roadsides for the horrific edification of Vlad’s other subjects. 

Did he feel any pity for his victims, writhing in pain on poles until they died? Hardly. Vlad, like Donald Trump, had all the human empathy of a pit viper. He was said to have enjoyed his lunch while watching the impalement of his own living subjects. (See the woodcut at the top of this post.)

Needless to say, Vlad not only failed to charm the people he ruled, but also made himself one of the most despised men in history. It is said that the folk legend of Dracula the vampire evolved out of his memory. That memory nourished folktales of a bloodsucking bat who drains his victims dry, a veritable incarnation of Satanic evil, from which Bram Stoker fashioned his retelling of the vampire legend.

The undead presidency
of Donald Trump

Since Donald Trump is not likely to step down willingly, his presidency threatens to have the semi-immortal characteristics of Dracula. Even when his presidency is dead, it will be undead. It will abhor the sunlight, but stay up until the wee hours tweeting bat screeches that tell us he’s coming for our throats.

I am speaking in wildly hyperbolic metaphor, of course, but in the end, it may be necessary to drive a silver stake through his heart and bury him at a crossroads. Ditto, his entire cavern full of bloodsucking eutherians, from William Barr, to Mike Pompeo, to Jared Kushner, to enablers like Mitch McConnell.

The good news is, this would have the potential to create one of the first great infrastructure programs to revive our failing economy. Call it the Crossroads Repair and Highway Reinforcement act of 2021. 

Or is this idea simply bats? Don’t answer that!

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