As the horror show of Donald Trump’s non-transition out of a job he never should have had in the first place continues to play out, one quote keeps rolling around in my head: “you ain’t got to go home but you got to get the hell out of here!”. See, that was a quote from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (don’t judge, I came of age in the 90s) and in the episode Will, under protest, watched as Carlton allowed 90’s supergroup “Belle Biv DeVoe” to illicitly film a music video in Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv’s Bel-Air mansion while they were away for the weekend.
Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv’s weekend turned out to be a disaster though because, unbeknownst to them, Geoffrey the butler, was next door to their suite, in his own suite, occupying all of the hotel staff’s time. Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv were naturally upset and decided to check out early and head home. Upon hearing this distressing news, Will told the band, “you ain’t got to go home but you got to get the hell out of here!”. It was such a great episode and a real highlight for me. My other favourite, wait, that’s not the point of this piece at all. My piece on “The Ten Freshest Episodes of the Fresh Prince” will be out in the New Year so stay tuned for that one.
No, the point of that summation is that Donny Trump doesn’t need to go home but he has to get the HELL out of the White House. The problem is, he doesn’t have a Will and he, certainly at least in his tiny mind, doesn’t have a way to leave the White House in any way that will allow him to save his creamsicle coated face. The lack of a Will is the main thing though. He needs a Will to tell him that he needs to get out and, in theory, he should have a lot of Will’s. Like at least a Republican party full of them.
But, in a tragedy for Democracies everywhere, Trump is instead surrounded by Carlton’s. Sycophantic buffoons, dancing around him like, as my friend shared with me, an insane clown posse, hair dye clearly manufactured by Four Seasons Total Landscaping (which to my horror but not surprise is now an entry on Wikipedia) careening down their sweaty, made up, clown faces. How do you like Obama’s tan suit now I ask you? Because my answer is: I love it. In fact, I’m quite certain that I’ve never loved anything more. In my life. Ever.
I never thought I’d write these words but I’m actually grateful for the Four Seasons debacle. I am because these dupes are, thankfully, too stupid to schedule a press conference correctly thereby making it increasingly unlikely that they can topple, thus far, the world’s longest running democracy. That’s the tiny bit of good news. The bad news is the irreparable harm that has been done along the way because these buffoons aren’t playing to an audience of one. Oh no, in the Nielsen ratings parlance of “Fresh Prince” at its peak, they are playing to about triple the Fresh Prince’s audience size to a tune of 70 million plus Carlton’s. It’s a dangerous game that’s being played and every day that the-boy-who-wanted-to-be-a-Prince-and-then-wanted-to-be-a-King-but-is-now-President-still-trying-to-be-a-King is sitting in that White House the more perilous the already dangerous game becomes. We go from Candyland to Halo in the blink of an eye.
You know, I think DJT might want to take a page out of my Mother’s playbook, the indomitable Wilma Q. When my Father died, my Mother, without flailing or faltering but, instead, with grace and dignity, decided to sell our family home. It was time and she recognized it was time. So, despite all the upheaval and tragedy that the previous fifteen months had wrought, she found within herself the resolve to do what was right for herself, for me and for everyone who loves and cares about us. I got to witness my Mother make a graceful exit from the home she had loved and cared for over the course of thirty plus years and now get to watch her thrive and flourish in her new home that is all her own. It has been a metamorphosis that, for me, has been an instructive gift.
The experience of the Trump children seems…..somewhat different. Donny Jr., Ivanka, Fredo (aka Eric), Oopsies (aka Tiffany) and Barron have to watch their father flail, sue (and lose), melt down, scream conspiracy theories, rage on Twitter and, just, act a fool. In other words, dance a Carlton. They must be so humiliated and just want to disappear and die. Except, Ivanka is spewing conspiracies on Twitter, Oopsies is partying in the midst of a pandemic, Fredo and DJT Jr. are tweeting in all caps and Barron, is, well, Barron is in the basement somewhere. In other words, they are flailing, suing (and losing), melting down, screaming conspiracy theories, raging on Twitter and, just, acting like fools. So, just like dear old Dad. Something about apples and trees.
Not a single member of this ship of fools have even an iota of the dignity, wisdom and restraint of the woman that I’m fortunate enough to call Mom. That’s cool, that’s fine, neither do I. So, no judgment. No one can really be expected to be even remotely like Wilma because Wilma is a rare bird. But these people aren’t just not Wilma, they are the most soulless of idiots coupled with frightening, unchecked and underserved powers. A truly terrifying combination. But what about the rest of the GOP? Who and what are they and, even more pressingly, where are they? Oh right, they are Donny’s, the un-Fresh Prince’s, Carlton’s. They are dancing and prancing and preening for money, for praise from their echo chambers and for power.
Ted Cruz whose father Trump accused of assassinating JFK and whose wife he referred to as ugly is defending his Fresh Prince. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell — all doing the same thing. Basically just run down the list of GOP’s and you’ll find them squarely in Trump’s boat and affirmatively kissing his backside. Even the GOP’ers who have attempted to push back, like Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, have done so tepidly and reservedly. Receiving praise for, wait for it…..stating the actual fact that Joe Biden is the President-elect. It would make for horrible and cheesy and vomit inducing theatre if it wasn't, sadly and in fact, real life.
We have circled quite far from Belle Biv DeVoe but I have moved from “Poison” to Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees”. In that song, Thom Yorke wails about a woman who “lives with a broken man/A cracked polystyrene man/
Who just crumbles and burns”. This is not a lament for Melania who is quite orange and a fake plastic tree herself. A woman who was complicit in birtherism and any other number of Trump misdeeds. No, that lyric is emblematic of Trump and what he is doing and being allowed to do: crumble and burn.
It is protracted, painful, harmful, horrifying and ugly. Any of us living through this time aghast and in horror will, undoubtedly be marked by it. We will be scarred, but, he will go. Trump will move out of the White House in the absence of dignity and grace because he has proven time and again he is incapable of such things. No, he will leave because he has to and because his time, which never should’ve started, is up. And just like the Fresh Prince I love so much, he ain’t got to go home but he got to get the hell out of there.