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In Presidency’s Final Days, Secluded Trump’s Tsunami of Illuminations

File photo of former US President Donald Trump

File photo of former US President Donald Trump

Rakesh Bedi is in Donald Trump’s head and tells you what he is thinking during his last days in the White House.

The construction of life is at present in the power of facts far more than convictions - Walter Benjamin.

But they always tell me — the American media, folks, who else? — that, in my case, it is in the power of fake news, not facts. I have been having some illuminations (now you understand the Walter Benjamin beginning) sequestered in the White House.

And occasionally when I go to improve my handicap, I feel crippled by these brain waves that have been unremittingly assaulting me nowadays. Probably the presidency does this to you. It can ennoble you. That’s what Jared told me one day. He has gone through the gold-lettered sayings of my glorious predecessors. I of course tried reading Jon Meacham, but he was so overpowering that I had to go to the john. From Jon to the john——it is a trajectory Lyndon Johnson would be proud of. After all, they tell me, he had the jones for shining pronouncements from his john. No such luck for me. I looked around, but Lyndon’s chamber pot (oh how I love this word and wish it could be somehow used in my hotels and clubs) disappeared into the trash heap which the White House generates with every new occupant. So, I now come, when these illuminations become too hot to handle, to the same shady and overlooked corner where Kennedy met his babes for assignations. It is a quiet corner and helps me process the onslaught of thoughts and distil from it some sliver of knowledge that I wish to use—-in the form of Basho-like haikus—in my record-busting memoir. Whenever this Chinese thing blows away. The Chinese curse that has brought this great nation—-my great nation—-to its knees. That has imperilled my MAGA project. The Chinese virus that has put a thick, impenetrable mask (what’s the goddamned medical term for it…I, beset by illuminations, have forgotten again) between greatness and America.

I wanted to be the Great Helmsman of America. Take my country on a great leap forward and then, once that would be accomplished, send the entire nation into a coast-to-coast cultural revolution. That’s what any great helmsman would do. Now they will say—-the American media, folks, who else—-all this is tantamount to a boondoggle. An egregious (what a word that is, folks, what a powerful word) display of my presidential powers. (He has used the bully pulpit to browbeat everyone). Nothing but fake news. Anyway, let me not impede the flow of my illuminations.


Mao, now venerated by Xi (my spies tell me he too is penning, like Mao, a red book. Mao’s was little; Xi’s would be bigger and fatter and perhaps gilt-edged), killed millions through a devastating famine that came after the great leap and through callously uprooting lives of many hapless Chinese during the cultural revolution. The Chinese revisionists, haloing Mao, dumped all the blame on Jiang Qing and three others. The Gang of Four. They label everything, don’t they. Where did they learn this art of labelling from? Were they stealing American ideas and patents even during Mao’s time? I should note it down somewhere and send my spies to uncover this mystery. I would never allow anyone to blame Melania for anything. I will put it down in my will and get it probated too. And Jared and Ivanka and Giuliani. My Gang of Four that includes Melania. Xi has learnt well from Mao. Surprising, because he is no great fan of cultural revolution. He was shoved around and even his father was in a permanent state of purge (I don’t have the time to explain that—-it’s too complicated). Xi, taking a leaf out of Mao’s book, has packed restive Muslims into an educational camp (oh how I wish I could do the same with American media. Detain and debrief). Please don’t get tired of my constant and irritating use of parentheses. These are illuminations coming to me at the speed of light, mind you.

One of my illuminations told me that Mao learnt it from Uncle Joe. Wow! You have ambitions to become a priest and then suddenly, by a twist of fate, you are thrust into the dust and displacement of the revolution. You have a big-bore name that will tire any tongue and then you get to know about steel and shorten it to Stalin. Wonderful. What’s that if not an illumination? It is a coruscating (another word I have learnt these days. Just to show, as the media constantly writes, that I am not bird-brained) illumination. Uncle Joe—-that’s what that fat whisky-swilling man Churchill called him—-had a fascination for purges. He was in a constant state of purge.

This is not dysentery I am talking about where you expel your bodily liquids; this, folks is purge where you expel those who are close to you. And when you start tossing out anyone who is close to you and when these toss-outs happen regularly, you are in a constant state of purge.(I tried this too, as you are all well aware of, thanks to the media.)

One of my illuminations told me that Uncle Joe cut a percentages deal with the British fat man. The Soviets take Romania and Bulgaria and the Brits keep Greece, which, much to the worry of the fat man, Uncle Joe was quite keen on. Anyway, Athens kept flying the British flag and Uncle Joe made eastern Europe his stomping ground. Inspired, I too wanted something like this. I called up Putin and talked of a percentages agreement. Everything came into play. Syria, Iran and blah blah…But Putin is made of different mettle. He doesn’t have the same affection FDR had for Uncle Joe. FDR didn’t even know, can you believe that, about the percentages agreement.

When his spymasters in the Balkans told him how the Soviets were palling up with Brits, he called up Churchill to find out what the hell was going on. The fat man, maybe deep on his cups, told him about his deal with Uncle Joe. Silly. Just a pond separates us, but look at the distance we maintain. Anyway, Putin was busy bumping off rivals and nothing came of my great project to usurp some land somewhere. That’s when Greenland came into the picture. Sad that nothing came of it either.

You get home, that’s when you notice the mold.

Too late, in other words.

Louise Gluck

I started with the great Marxist thinker Benjamin and now, as I tire of my illuminations, I have bunged in some lines from Gluck, the poet who won the Nobel prize recently. I too tried taking a crack at it through Jared, who was sewing up a Middle East deal, but no dice. Anyway, too late, as Gluck says. Do I notice mould anywhere? Do I? I don’t know. Anyway, I don’t care. I am pushing off to Mar-a-Lago and I don’t really care for this old building. There, I can assure you, there’s no mold. None whatsoever. And I hope to find some secluded corner to continue getting these illuminations. By the way, these waves started coming in the same day Gluck’s name was announced. Maybe it is a consolation. Like Flaubert, says the media, I produce only desolation.

It’s so wrong. These characterisations. This immoderate name-calling. This calumny. This slander. This defaming. As my presidency winds to a close, my illuminations come in torrents. These days, it is a tsunami. They crash hard on my quiescent mental landscape, making me think like a genius. I am hopped up on them. They are like a marijuana toke for a slackened and tired brain.

It is only for the sake of those without hope, said Benjamin, that hope is given to us. I tried in every which way to give America and Americans hope. That was my conviction and will always be. The power of my facts will not be short-circuited by fakery. Call me any name, but that won’t dim the glow of my conviction. It is not too late for me. Gluck, please listen. I am the collective Magi of MAGA and will always stay that way. Never too late for me, folks.

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first published:December 31, 2020, 13:19 IST