Deb Reich
It's not the people... it's the paradigm.



In which Ms. B reads about the Donald, whoever he was…

Thank you, Goddesses of the Galaxy, for giving us coffee, Ms. Brilliantine murmurs to herself, as she often does, especially on a weekend morning. Relaxed at her kitchen table, sipping appreciatively, she leafs through some choice bits from the Ancient Earth Archive copied for her by her new friend Kalani, a staffer who is a cousin of Kaepernick, one of her students. Since young Kaepernick’s first reading of that old Earth poem for Show and Tell some weeks ago, Ms. B has met several times with Kalani to learn more about the archive.

These confabs have segued into the start of a new friendship. She enjoys her conversations with Kalani. They talk about Kaepernick, about a schoolteacher’s life, an archivist’s life, vocational choices and serendipitous career inflection points. They speculate together about the Returnee spaceship currently stuck longer than planned in quarantine in low orbit and unable to land its passengers or crew.

A new friend is a boundless treasure, Ms. B thinks to herself now. Kalani’s access to the Ancient Earth Archive is a nice bonus, too – especially because she now works in the comparative cultural section, a plum assignment. The great majority of the papers that come across Kalani’s desk these days, she says, are fascinating, challenging, half-undecipherable cultural artifacts. It must be like doing jigsaw puzzles for a living, Ms. B muses.

Take this one, the document now in front of her: According to Kalani’s notes, it is some kind of commentary, dating to the days prior to an election, in a country with the optimistic name of The United States of America. In Ms. B’s own reading of galactic history, states have sometimes been confederated but rarely authentically united.

She begins to recall some of what she read once upon a time in college about these United States people, including about their chaotic 21st Century Gregorian, which is when this paper originated. At that time, Kalani’s appended notes explain, that country retained many peculiar customs, including using money as an organizing principle for competitive campaigns to choose national and local leaders. A bizarre system. Really, money itself was a peculiar custom.

Kalani explained the other day that one intriguing discovery from her latest reading about their politics was the existence of a whole food chain of “media” and “consultants” and “PACs” – among other curiosities. And there was apparently a dark side, too: massive manipulation in secret of the digital and voting infrastructure to favor one side or the other, with the help of foreign powers and oligarchs and ominous shadowy figures (“the Koch Brothers” — !!). The overall picture was distinctly barbaric, yet the society considered itself “advanced.” A common conundrum in ancient Earth history, in Kalani’s opinion.

Ms. B pours herself a second cup – no hurry on a Saturday, nowhere special to go. In front of her is this antique commentary about their then-forthcoming national election. She can see by the first few lines that some of the material is obscure (“merch”?), but Kalani has thoughtfully included background notes and appended a glossary. A man called the Donald is competing against another man, identified in the notes as Biden, for the office of President, or national chief executive. The Presidential Kremlin is called “the White House.” The Donald’s competitor, Biden, is not actually mentioned. The writer is a Biden supporter, however; that much is clear.

Enthralled, Ms. B reads on…

Fans of the Donald: Give him a break!

I feel obliged to tell you that you aren’t really doing the Donald a favor by praying for him to win this election, by sending him donations, buying his merch, tweeting mean remarks to his opponents, kneecapping the Libs, all that stuff.

Really, you aren’t. Because deep down, the Donald doesn’t really want another four years as President. He might be acting like he does, but he doesn’t really want it. Not really. Think about it.

The White House is a lonely place for the Donald. People are always watching if he wants to scarf down some burgers or a bucket of KFC, call an escort service for a hot date, lie around and watch TV all day, wander the halls at night in his underwear tweeting nasty comments about women he dislikes, and so on. Staffers want him in boring meetings all the time to discuss boring reports about issues that bore him. You get the picture? It’s effing boring!!

Plus, the bodyguards in the White House are always there, watching. He hates that. Reporters hang around all the time hoping to score a scoop. He thinks it’s personal, that it’s a plot against him personally, that journalists never hung around the White House hoping to score a scoop on any previous president. (It’s not personal, it’s not a plot, reporters have been doing that since the 1780s. It’s their job! But hey, he takes it personally and it bums him out.)

Plus, whatever he does, his current wife –

[Ms. B stops reading. His current wife? How many had this fellow had? Kalani will know…]

–Plus, whatever he does, his current wife can find out way too easily. Compared to the way it used to be, I mean. It’s a horrible life compared to the absolute freedom to do whatever he pleased whenever he wanted with anyone he chose, back in the old days at the Donald Tower, Mar-a-Lago, the Jersey golf club, billionaire friends’ yachts, Epstein’s island, whatever. No wonder Melania swats his hand away! She knows too much. The White House is a fishbowl.

Plus, his businesses. All kinds of people are criticizing him all the time for trying to run his businesses, make some money, make some profit, keep Wall Street happy – it’s a tough day at the office when they’re hounding you half to death for trying to run your business. And everyone knows his kids really cannot do it alone. If he stays aloof, the Donald empire will collapse. Everyone knows he’s the real brains behind the empire.

So please stop for a minute and think. Think hard. Does it sound like another four years at the White House is really, really, really what your favorite anti-politician-politician wants? Not really. He has other fish to fry. Let the guy out of there already so he can go fry ‘em.

I promise you that whatever the Donald decides to do next, instead of being POTUS, will be much more fun – for him and for you. He could have a really great new TV show with huge audiences and bigger ratings than Hillary ever got. He could have his own cable channel! He could totally take over the right wing talk radio scene in a minute! Maybe people you know personally could be guests on his show – you know, call in, talk about stuff. After all, he knows the drill pretty well: be anti-science, anti-minorities, anti-the Squad, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, a fan of the KKK, a White Supremacy booster… What’s so hard there? He could totally be the new and improved Rush Limbaugh (who, by the way, has terminal cancer, so the job will be opening up one of these days, not that I would wish on anyone to die of cancer, God forbid, but Limbaugh himself said so).

Instead of being caged in the White House (which is the real issue about caging, not that immigrant stuff the Dems are always howling about), the Donald could be out there having fun, free as a bird, doing his thing, talking to you – to you! – on his own radio or TV show about the topics you enjoy most. Owning the Libs!

So why don’t you do him a favor and stop pushing him to stay in a job he so clearly loathes, caged up in a nasty residence that isn’t a Donald property and isn’t very private, either, you know, for when you wanna have some fun (wink, wink, do I really have to spell it all out for you? Come on!).

If you love the Donald as much as you say you do, stop thinking about yourself for five minutes and think about him. He needs your help to get out of there – not to get stuck there for another four years. If you want to worship him for another four years (or forever! Go for it!), I promise you: You will be able to find him any time you like — on his radio show, or his TV show, or his own new cable channel. He would never abandon you, his fans. Even if he has to broadcast from a private island somewhere, or Moscow, some other safe haven. So please – get with the program and give the Donald a break. He’s earned it. Just vote for the other guy. Or for Ronald Reagan. Or stay home.


  • a fishbowl – uncertain; possibly, a glass structure or site of an aquarium.
  • billionaire – ultra-wealthy.
  • billionaire friends’ yachts – a yacht was a luxurious watercraft for the wealthy.
  • bucket of KFC – unknown item, evidently food.
  • burgers – meat patties from the flesh of slaughtered beef cattle, a domesticated mammal.
  • caging – implied: detained in a cage.
  • Dems – probably an abbreviation of a competing political party, or a detested caste of some kind; see Libs.
  • Epstein’s island – unknown. Referencing a Hitchcock film? (see film archives)
  • escort service – from the context, a business providing sexual partners.
  • Hillary – a competing politician, a female; the Donald was a notorious misogynist.
  • hot date – from the context, an attractive sexual partner; “date” is also a fruit, however.
  • KKK – unknown; possibly related to “KFC,” also cited.
  • kneecapping – implied: some form of physical, financial, or psychological abuse.
  • Kremlin – a massive government headquarters complex in a large Eurasian country; by extension, any government headquarters.
  • Libs – probably an abbreviation of a competing political party, or a detested caste of some kind; see Dems.
  • Mar-a-Lago – a famous luxury complex in a district famously underwater a few decades thereafter, due to the accelerating climate change of that Earth era.
  • Melania – the Donald’s third and last wife.
  • merch – probably short for “merchandise,” i.e. objects for sale; or, “merchant,” i.e., salesperson who could be bought?
  • Moscow – a safe haven for disgraced dictators; also, a prominent city of a foreign power.
  • Muslim – a major world religion over several Earth centuries.
  • POTUS: acronym: President of the United States.
  • reporters – journalists, i.e., professionals in the news circulation industry of that era.
  • Ronald Reagan – a conservative former film star. Alternate candidate?
  • Rush Limbaugh – uncertain; evidently a well-known, terminally ill media personality.
  • scarf down – from the context, eat greedily.
  • scoop – slang: newsworthy information, rumor.
  • score – slang; to accomplish or obtain.
  • Semitic – an ancient family of languages of a region on Earth; by extension, people from that region; dark-skinned and therefore lower-caste?
  • the Donald Tower – unknown.
  • the Jersey golf club – unknown.
  • the other guy: apparently Biden, the major competing presidential candidate (inferred from related archival materials).
  • the Squad – unknown; possibly a reference to a film, a book, or other entertainment media.
  • tweeting – chirping; also, publicizing, probably electronically, to a mass audience; or, by trained carrier birds or robobirds?
  • Wall Street – probably, the famous global financial center in New York City, a major US hub.
  • White Supremacy – widespread and persistent cult of ancient Earth, elevating the planet’s bleached people.

Ms. B sighs. There was so much vitriol in that culture. There was humor, too, of course. Do we always have to take the vitriol along with the humor? She ponders. Maybe she’ll have one more cup of coffee and call Kalani later to go hang out in the park and hear more about the Donald, and Hillary, and the other guy. Biden. And find out who won the election, in the end. And what happened after that.

About the Author
A native New Yorker, by profession a writer, editor, and translator, my passion after nearly forty years in Israel/Palestine is to explore how we might craft a better shared future by discarding the paradigm of enemies – an obsolete social design, now highly toxic. Read more in my book, No More Enemies, available on my website or from online booksellers.
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