“Well, I screwed it up real good, didn’t I?” Richard M. Nixon
America hasn’t been without a president for a long time — except for those few hours when one’s either been shot or impeached. Nobody likes vice presidents assuming presidential roles. They don’t look like presidents. Sometimes even presidents don’t look like presidents. After their first televised debate, Richard Nixon felt he came across more presidential than John F. Kennedy. Nixon lived under many illusions, that being one of them.
Kennedy won the election because he reflected the new age of optimism. Richard Nixon reminded us of a weasel (which he was). Barak Obama’s curse was not looking like what Americans thought they looked like. Donald Trump looks exactly like what America is — and wants to be.
Maybe it’s subconscious. America does a lot of things subconsciously. Despite the debates, and arguments over qualifications, Trump won because Americans saw themselves. Sure, he’s a bloated, self-possessed, overly confident man. He lies, he exaggerates, but America shouldn’t be turned off by that. These are the fundamentals of capitalism. Trump is, at heart, a flyblown capitalist, known for painting his ceilings gold. He’s a renegade of sorts, although it’s more his inopportune statements and shameful exaggerations that make him seem radical.
He’s actually not radical at all — just a big eater of junk food, which makes him more like Elvis Presley. If we polled all the people who voted for Trump, we’d find a lot of junk food eaters. This is built into the Constitution in the form of freedoms and rights. Just as you have the right to bear arms, you have the right to eat whatever you want. Americans are very proud of that fact and vote accordingly.
One man supported Trump because he worried Hilary Clinton would take his 40 guns away. Disabled and reliant on Medicare, he said, “I don’t know what I’d do without it. I got two kids.” He may have gambled away his healthcare, but at least he’s got his guns. Trump has assured voters they’ll never have to give up their guns. Americans sleep soundly now.
So why do Americans vote in their own likenesses? It can’t be a coincidence. Americans don’t believe in coincidences. They believe in Chubby Chicken. They accept Trump’s political rantings the same way they accept polyunsaturated fats.
And that may be why he’s the perfect president. You don’t have to worry about Trump not being white enough — or his habits American enough. In fact, the health of the economy will show on Trump long before it shows on the NYSE. He’s already putting on more weight. If he starts sinking in sand traps around Miami, believe me, it’s time to invest.
This isn’t anything new. For most of America’s history, the state of the country was reflected in the girth of its magnates. A portly stature was a symbol of wealth. As the country became wealthier, it became fatter. Today one in three Americans is considered overweight or obese. That’s why Obama lost favour with the public. He stayed slim. You can’t run a country being something the country isn’t. Hilary Clinton lost the election by admitting she ate salads.
Americans need their likenesses. Girth, corpulence — whatever you want to call it — are the measure of society today. Even the family pet has to get on board, putting away more food than its canine ancestors ever dreamed of.
Canines have a fat problem. Nearly one in four dogs is a pudge, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital. They collect nationwide data through 800 facilities spread over 43 states. Their studies conclude that the number of fat dogs has risen by a whopping 37 percent in the past five years (cats are a whopping 90 percent).
Yet their owners are just fine with it. A fat dog is the American way. It reflects America the good, America strong and America the full. It’s no surprise the owners look like their dogs. They’re both getting the same exercise — essentially the distance between the television and the fridge (or the dog bowl, which is right next to the fridge).
Poor diet and lack of activity aren’t just making the population fatter. Diabetes in humans—and in pets — has almost doubled in the past five years. Does that bother anyone? Nope. Scare anyone? Possibly, but this is the land of self-determination where the cardinal rule is “Don’t judge my pudge.”
For the same reason, it’s no surprise Trump’s healthcare bill couldn’t make it through congress. Choice wasn’t the problem, habit was. Americans take more prescription drugs than any other country in the world. They won’t give up their medicine any more than they’ll give up Big Macs or Big Gulps.
That’s the price you pay for freedom and free will. Elect a president who gets rid of illegal immigrants, environmental protection and healthcare, and why not go out and celebrate with a four-topping burrito and a few Xanax? Life is good if not seriously short-sighted. Just as the country won’t be any safer removing immigrants, it won’t be any safer with burritos — or Xanax.
President Trump won’t tell you this, of course. He’s been seen eating Big Macs (plural) on his private yet. His diet is America’s diet. Salads are for rabbits and Hilary Clinton. As he said during the election, “She’s too weak to be president.” That day she’d been seen stumbling into her limo and apparently throwing up. Trump wasn’t going to let that opportunity pass by. She’s a weak salad-eater and that makes her un-American in his eyes.
If Clinton had just stuck to junk food, and paraded around a bloated Corgi, she might have won the election. Her mistake — and possibly Obama’s, too — was eating healthy. Americans don’t like their leaders eating healthy. It looks bad on the population. They want their leaders to look substantial, to bravely drive up to that take-out window and say, “Double that.”
It may not be Camelot, but who needs Camelot when you’ve got Fat Bastard?
Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.