The Idea Fairy and I were kicking back after the election when suddenly the door flew open and a shadowy figure emerged through the purple haze.
It was Richard Nixon.
“How do you like them ’taters!” he said triumphantly.
“Richard, what a pleasant surprise,” I said. “I thought you were back in Purgatory, and I don’t mean the ski area.”
“I was,” he said, “but right after we talked in September I got a gig as a Trump field rep in the upper Midwest. My probation officer said he’d count it as community service.”
“Who’s your probation officer?” i-Fairy asked.
“Beelzebub,” he said curtly.
“What attracted you to the Trump campaign,” I asked? “I thought you’d end up working for Clinton.”
“It’s true I was attracted to Crooked Hillary’s campaign,” he said. “Her scandals are a lot like Watergate, only worse since they involve national security, so I could feel her pain. But in the end I realized that the Trump campaign was a better fit.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Think back to my original campaigns for Congress and the Senate in California,” he said. “I was running against two liberal Democrats. I took them out by attacking their character and imputing their loyalty. Trump intuitively understood the approach.”
“So you spent the last two months getting racists in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin to vote for Trump,” i-Fairy said irritably.
“It couldn’t be helped,” he shot back. “They are all blue states, so I had no choice.”
“You mean that in order to overcome the Democratic majorities in each state, you had to get Republican racists to the polls?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “These days the racists are found in the Democratic Party. My job was to get Democrats to vote for Trump, which turned out to be pretty easy.”
“Come on,” I said. “A big part of the Democrats’ campaign was labeling Trump a racist. How can you say the Democratic Party is the party of racism?”
“Care to define racism for me,” he said with a tight grin.
“That’s easy,” I said. “A racist is someone who judges people by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character.”
“An excellent definition,” he said, “taken directly from Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
“Now compare that with what millions of Americans did in 2008, when they voted for Barack Obama — because he’s black,” he said.
“Oh, come off it,” I said. “There were lots of reasons to vote for Obama besides his race. He’s a great speaker, has a Harvard Law degree, was a U.S. Senator, worked with the poor as a community organizer, promised to sweep back sea-level rises due to global warming…”
“Do you think that resume would have gotten him elected president if he was white?” Nixon interrupted. “Give me a break.
“It wasn’t his resume, or experience, or policy positions that put him in the White House. The decisive factor was that millions of voters chose Obama not despite his race, but because of it. They said, in so many words, ‘It’s time for the country to elect a black president, and he’ll do.’ But that doesn’t change the fact that Obama got elected because of the color of his skin, not the content of his character — which by definition is racist.”
“OK,” I said slowly, “maybe strictly speaking, voting for Obama was racist. But it was done for a good cause. It was a racist vote cast in order to strike a blow against racism — by electing a black president.”
“Ah, the old ‘the ends justify the means’ argument,” he hooted.
“So now you’re trying to tell me that millions of Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted Trump because they thought Trump was a racist,” I said.
“No. They voted for Trump despite the fact that he might be a racist, and because they had their fill of the Democratic Party’s progressives labeling them racists and sliming them for being white and male and redneck.
“They discounted Trump’s past racist and sexist remarks because they were more offended by the racism of the Democrats.
“And since several million of them had voted for Obama in 2008 for a supposedly moral racial reason — ‘It’s time, he’ll do’ — voting for their own racial interests didn’t produce any moral qualms.
“And of course having an opportunity to stick a finger in the eye of a bunch of condescending progressives who demean non-coastal America as fly-over country and slime its cultural values made voting for Trump positively irresistible.”
“I can’t believe Democrats are a bunch of racists,” i-Fairy said.
“Neither can most Democrats,” Nixon replied. “But it is what it is. The Democratic Party embraced identity politics and multiculturalism a generation ago, and they are the new racism — a way of judging people by the color of their skins, national origins and cultural identities instead of by the content of their characters.”
“A lot of people in Boulder are taking Trump’s win really badly,” i-Fairy said.
“You don’t say,” the Tricky One replied with a sarcastic laugh. “Well, the night I resigned in 1974, people were standing a dozen deep in every checkout line at the Liquor Mart. They were all buying Champagne. There was a carnival atmosphere in the place. So tell the folks fretting about Trump’s election that I feel their fucking pain. And it hurts so good.”
This opinion column does not reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.