The Donald stars as ‘Everyman’ king
As Melania plays Rapunzel in her Trumpian Tower
WASHINGTON — Though Republicans profess to despise Big Government, especially the federal kind, it seems that what they really don’t like is Democracy — and indeed prefer a monarchy.
Yes, yes, the czarina sighed, signaling her weariness with the palace historian’s inevitable scold. I know America is a Republic and not a pure democracy, but let’s not quibble over distinctions that make no difference. They’ve elected a king whether they realize it or not!
The czarina has a point, I do. While true that the U.S. Constitution protects minorities from the majority, there’s more than one way to build a kingdom and hustle the little people. To wit, The Don and his Damsel in the pale blue dress. Or is it distress, actually? It’s been ages since New York City’s paparazzi have been able to capture the queen — her lapis-lazuli eyes and arrogant cheekbones but vague recollections from snapshots past. These days, Melania Knauss Trump keeps mostly her own company, touring the cells of her vast, black-tower prison, tending the king’s son and remembering colder days in Slovenia when she knitted her own sweaters.
Who knows what Melania really thinks? Perhaps only her parents, who reportedly spend much of their time between Trump properties in New York and Palm Beach — her father’s years as a member of the Communist Party all but erased from a resume that features the creating of the First Lady of the United States of America.
Her persistent absence notwithstanding, Melania is nothing if not dutiful — “obedient” is how her first modeling mentor described her long ago. She does what’s required of her station, as royals tend to do. But clearly this doesn’t include living in the pedestrian little cottage quaintly known to the ever-reverential peasantry as The White House. Her Highness actually departed her Fifth Avenue fortress for Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to attend the International Women of Courage Awards, about which she may know something. It took courage for a teenaged Melania to leave her home and country for Milan’s runways and then, upon reaching the fairy-tale Land of Opportunity, to surrender her resplendent beauty to the king of gaude-ville, our very own, homegrown American Midas, for whom there can never be too much gold.
Oh, nothing. It’s just that Donald Trump’s selection as voice of the Everyman seems, if one were unkind, deliciously absurd and suggests what we might call the “subservient imperative,” companion, perhaps, to Robert Ardrey’s “territorial imperative.”
In the same way that Ardrey traced the human drive (born of animal instinct) to claim and protect some degree of physical space as his own, then why not, too, the need to follow someone of greater physical status (obviously not hands) but pertaining to wealth, possessions, territories, fecund females and nation-resorts bearing one’s name? To the extent that one creature designated himself a leader, usually by steamrolling all other contenders, why not an equal inclination by others to be dominated?
Monarchical tendencies abound in the person of The Don, and the willing hordes find his splashy displays of ego and overabundance not just tolerable but, apparently, admirable. Desire for drama and pageantry — the commission paid to peasants for their complicity in the masterservant duet — is on full display, whether The Don is entertaining world leaders at his Mar-a-Lago palace or working deals over golf at one of his eponymous resorts.
Meanwhile, the king installs his family in the people’s palace, rationing offices for commerce, diplomacy and foreign policy. Blood runs thick in royal clans. Daughter Ivanka, the ravishing offspring of Wife No. 1, is the only one Trump seems to really trust. He keeps her and husband, Jared Kushner (the favored son?), close, while sending the eldest Trump boys away to scout fresh greens to conquer.
Never mind that the little people are paying millions for the protection of all these Trumplings as they cross continents or sidewalks. The king’s Secret Service begged an extra $27 million for next year — to protect Trump Tower and keep Melania’s tresses from public reach, and another $33 million for various travel expenses for Trump and others. How dare you criticize the king, shout the minions at the jesters. He’s going to bail us out, get us jobs and cut our taxes!
Of course, he is. Right after he repeals the Affordable Care Act, builds a wall and bans all those barbarians at the gate. And don’t forget, when the king parades buck naked down Worth Avenue, be sure to note the finery and the richness of his raiment.