The Primary Crackpot Theory
My primary crackpot theory to explain the Trump presidency goes like this. The Trump presidency makes sense if we accept that every human on earth is actually a character in a complex work of narrative art crafted by some genius distant alien dramatist. Our current American political moment is a climactic scene in this piece of narrative art, and the audience of astral beings who are watching are quite entertained by the hijinks of Trump and gang and moved by the sufferings of us, the underlings in the chorus. I can’t decide if this art is high tragedy, low farce, or theatre of the absurd. Perhaps it is all three. It’s hard to tell from here inside the action.
Furthermore, this crackpot theory posits, this master playwright must be quite familiar with dramatic conventions, themes, and characterizations from our earthling literature, including renaissance drama, Shakespeare, and the ancient Greeks. I know this about the master playwright due to the various allusions to classic literary works and themes that recur during each day’s news. I can’t watch coverage of Trump, his family, his staff, and his rivals without seeing references to King Lear, Hamlet, Oedipus, the Old Testament, Cervantes, early English novels. The play-within-a-play-within-a-play of the Julius Caesar semi-controversy was a particularly nice touch. Only a well-read playwright would have thought up that little bit of entertainment.
The names of the principal characters were the first clue that this all must be the work of a clever writer, albeit one whose penchant for puns is a bit overdone. Evidence: “Don” is a mafia head; “Trump” evokes fart, fool (think of the French tromper, to fool), dominance, and a blaring noise; a “Spicer” is one who changes or masks the true flavor; “Huckabee” is exactly what you would name a folksy festival of deception; “Conway” is a method for grift; “Bannon” is the one doing the bannin’; “Pence” is a pun on thinking and small change; “Putin” is the one who “put in” his preferred candidate; Republican stalwart “Priebus” is an anagram for “Is Repub!”; and don’t forget the perfectly named minor tough guy characters of Flynn, Kelly, McMaster, Rex, and Mad Dog. And of course the previous administration’s press guy was named Earnest, which means straightforward, honest, and true. Charles Dickens could not have come up with more appropriate names for the characters, and he was the genius who named characters like Peg Sliderskew, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Martin Chuzzlewit.
The recent addition of this character named Scaramucci to the cast only strengthens this theory. In Italian commedia del’arte, a comedic drama form of the Italian renaissance, Scaramouche or Scaramuccia is a buffoonish stock character who represents the unscrupulous servant of a gentleman or Don. You may know Scaramouche from the Queen lyric about doing the fandango. Scaramouche appears in countless theatrical works. He is a clever, pompous coward. And now the Trumpian drama has our own Scaramouche / Scaramucci. Clearly this is not arbitrary. Clearly this is the work of a writer quite familiar with renaissance literature.
So that’s my primary crackpot theory to explain the Trump presidency.
The Alternate Crackpot Theory
My alternate crackpot theory to explain the Trump presidency is that on or near Nov 8, 2016 someone traveled back in time and inadvertently mucked around with the space-time continuum, resulting in the Trump presidency, much like the plot of the 1952 Ray Bradbury short story “A Sound of Thunder.” If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s a quick read. If you don’t want to read it, basically, it’s a science fiction story about time travel featuring a party of big-game hunters who visit prehistoric time to hunt dinosaurs. The hunt is meticulously managed to ensure the hunters minimize disruptions to the stream of history. Indeed, they are only allowed to hunt quarry immediately before they were to die anyway. However, on this particular hunt, something goes awry, and one of the hunters panics and deviates from the path. Then the hunting party returns to their present to discover that things are slightly but ominously different, and a dictatorial authoritarian (described as “an anti everything man…a militarist, anti-Christ, anti-human, anti-intellectual”?—?sound familiar?) has now won the recent presidential election. The party then discovers that the panicking hunter had squished a butterfly in prehistoric times, which darkly altered the course of history.
So that’s my alternate crackpot theory. To prove or disprove this theory, I have been checking every boot I know for squished prehistoric butterflies. Finding no squished prehistoric butterflies thus far, I’m favoring the primary crackpot theory, the genius playwright idea. But I haven’t eliminated this Sound of Thunder crackpot theory.
No non-crackpot theories to explain the Trump presidency appear possible at this time.