By Susie Day
Dear President-Elect Trump,
I was blue the other day, thinking how little power I have over my life. Like, how I didn’t vote for you, but how you’re going to be president anyway? Bummer.
I’m also bummed by the fact that, for Christmas, I sent my sister – who also dreads the horrors boded by your presidency – a copy of Man’s Search for Meaning. This is a classic memoir by Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who lived through three Nazi concentration camps to compose profound lessons on spiritual survival and how the need to find meaning in life is the essence of our humanity. I figured this book would be great prep for your oncoming fascist oligopoly, Mr. Trump, so I was excited for my sister to get it!
But she never did. Some stranger busted open her mailbox and stole the book, so all my sister got was a ripped up, empty bubble-padded envelope. Now some klepto loser is reading up on how to reclaim their humanity in a concentration camp. Groping for meaning here, maybe you’re right: maybe losers are the enemy.
Dear Not-Yet-President Trump,
I’m beginning to think that loser stealing Man’s Search for Meaning has its own meaning. Like, have you noticed how, the less losers have, the more they want? And what about those identity-politicos who call themselves victims – victims who could be out to get us? These people are dangerous for our freedom-loving autocracy, Mr. Trump.
I mean, if losers really wanted to be free, they would be winners, right? Losers definitely do not heed the uplifting words of your own childhood pastor, Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote The Power of Positive Thinking: “[F]ormulate and staple indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding.” Peale also says to “hold this picture tenaciously,” always identifying with it, “no matter how badly things seem to be going at the moment.”
I think I’ve just seen the Light, Mr. Trump. Prosperity is God’s way of telling us He loves us, and that only losers end up in concentration camps.
So meaning, schmeaning. As Bertolt Brecht used to say: “Why be a man, when you can be a success?” Take that, Viktor Frankl.
Dear Positive Pre-President,
It’s obvious you have a deep, personal relationship with God because all your life you thought POSITIVE! No matter how often those huge, jealous losers pointed out your business or personal “failures,” you kept on land- and pussy-grabbing. Always thinking the best of yourself, stapling indelible mental pictures of success onto your mind until your mind was full of positive mental staples of indelible pictures of success. Big land- and pussy-grabbing success!
In your presidential campaign, it was Survival of the Positivist. You faced down all the negative polls; you never believed anyone could reasonably criticize you; you never once thought Alec Baldwin imitating you was funny. In New Age parlance, you “created your own reality” to become our 45th President. And now you’re about to create our reality!
Which is why I have to start positively stapling my own mind to create a mental reality where climate change does not exist and nuclear war is not an option.
I’m so tired of this Russia media hysteria. You and Vladimir Putin may look like fuck-buddies but, as Masha Gessen wrote last summer: “The recent Putin fixation is a way to evade the fact that Trump is a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy.”
Don’t worry about Masha, Mr. Trump. She’s just jealous she doesn’t own a string of casinos. Truth is, you do embody the spirit of America. You are how America got great: on the backs of losers. You are how the West was won: taking losers’ land. It’s like you’ve built a giant mental wall of positive staples around a bunch of Indigenous people and Muslims and African Americans and queers and Mexicans and immigrants – to keep them away from my sister’s mailbox. Thanks. I feel better.
Horrible nightmare! I dreamed you were sitting in a theater balcony, watching a play, and this longhaired, brown-skinned Middle Eastern guy in a robe rushes in, takes out a semiautomatic, pumps five rounds into the back of your head, and yells, “I’m Jesus Christ and I approve this message!”
A SWAT team bursts in, wrestles Jesus to the ground, charges him with terrorism, and flies him to Guantánamo, where he’s slated to undergo “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” Then the scene shifts to an upstate Jewish home for the aged, where Batyah Feldstein looks up from the NY Times account of this incident and remarks, “Such a good boy, that Jesus. He reminds me of those nice Russian anarchists who were always trying to assassinate the Tsar.”
For real, Donald. I kind of pictured the Second Coming differently. Just between us, is it possible that Jesus does not have the One True Religion? Like, maybe He needs to Tweet more and NOT grow his brand awareness among poor people? I mean, strident, pro-loser verses about how it’s “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”? Seriously???
I continue to search for meaning, Mr. Trump, awaiting your positive mental guidance. I know you’ll continue to give that to me every day. Even unto the end of the world. Probably around next Tuesday.