Recently, the esteemed (nope) Walker Bragman of the venerable (REALLY NOPE) internet institution of Salon dot com made a passionate argument in favor of liberals electing Donald Josephus Trump to the highest office in America. Bragman’s basic thesis is that electing Trump wouldn’t be so bad in the long run, because it would better position us to win in 2020, a more important election because of the census and House redistricting. I, however, respectfully have a counter-argument: the liberal case against electing Trump is that I would do so, SO badly in the End Times wasteland that would inevitably follow the instigation of a Trump presidency. Like, SO fucking badly, you guys.
Look, I’m a writer; I’m not exactly overflowing with marketable post-apocalyptic skills. I’ve never had to hunt my own dinner (not that there’s likely to be any actual dinner, what with the nuclear doom cloud blotting out all sunlight and causing total ecological collapse), I have no idea how to start a fire, and I haven’t been back camping since I was four and hit myself in the eye with a superheated marshmallow.1 Shit, I’ll be LUCKY if I wind up as an hors d’oeuvre for a band of radioactive cannibals; having my fricasseed drumsticks gnawed on by a hairy, unwashed dude who calls himself Mud Fucker is my best case scenario.
“But C.A.!” you might be saying. “You don’t necessarily know you’d do badly in the wake of the all-but-assured Trumpocalypse, because you don’t even know which type of apocalypse it would be! Surely, there would be at least one where you’d thrive?”
Ah, but this is where you’re wrong. Trust me, I know my own many, many, MANY limitations, and when their powers combine, they do not form Captain Planet — they instead form Captain Incompetent, an amalgamation of anxiety, self-loathing, paranoia, a spiteful tendency to alienate those I care about, and an inveterate addiction to BBQ sauce. It would surely doom me no matter which variety of apocalypse was before us.
Don’t believe me? Let’s run through them:
Post-Nuclear Devastation, AKA The Fallout Universe
I play a lot of Fallout. If you’re not familiar with Fallout, it’s set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that ensues after the US and China get into a nuclear slapfight. For obvious reasons, this is the most likely of all the apocalypses listed here. Trump already won’t shut up about China. Imagine what happens when Chinese President Xi Jinping makes fun of his weird babyhands while The Donald has his finger on the big red button — nuclear fuckin’ apocalypse, that’s what. And if playing every Fallout game all the way through multiple times (other than the first two, because I really enjoy pissing off purists at moments like this) has taught me anything, it’s that there is literally NOTHING in my skillset that would play well after the total collapse of human society as we know it.
There is simply not a damn thing in this universe I’d be good at. I’ve never fired a gun, I have absolutely no mechanical inclinations whatsoever, I don’t know the first thing about bartering in a bottlecap-based economy — there’s literally nothing I bring to a band of hardy post-nuclear survivors other than a convenient distraction for the giant radioactive scorpion to nosh on while everyone else makes good their escape. I have no idea if it’d be the Super Mutants or Deathclaws that would get me in the end, but whichever it was, it would end really, really badly for me.
The Desert Nightmare Of Mad Max
Another likely scenario, Mad Max was a calamity ultimately caused by some sort of environmental extinction event, and as we all know, Donald Trump isn’t a big believer in climate change. As concerns me, though, Mad Max is ultimately a universe in which alphas rule the day, and lemme tell you: I would NOT run Barter Town. We’re talking about an endless, soul-crushing desert where gas is life; I won’t even leave my apartment in July and I barely even know how to pump petrol. It’s also kind of tough to be a leather-clad Road Warrior when a) you don’t even have a driver’s license, and b) leather makes you chafe like a motherfucker. Honestly, though, in the case of this particular universe, dying would be a relief. Just fucking end it, Master Blaster — you’d be doing me a goddamn favor.
Cthulhu Rising From The Deeps
I’m not sure what Trump would do to wake up the Ancient Ones, but I’m sure he’d figure something out. This one I’d try to get sneaky, with predictably disastrous results. I would probably try to play along in this scenario — joining the local chapter of The Yog-Sothoth Boys And Girls Club or whatever — but they’d suss out that I had no idea what I was doing with a quickness. Shit, I don’t even know how to pronounce “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh R’lyeh” or “WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN” correctly; they’d see through me in a heartbeat and thereupon sacrifice me unto the Maw of Eternal Madness and the Great Beast Which Sleeps Below. Not that I would blame them; Elder Gods gotta eat, after all.
An Authoritarian Dystopia
Call this one the Half-Life 2/1984 scenario. This would likely just be a slow erosion of our basic rights to an increasingly totalitarian regime in which dissent is double-plus thoughtcrime, which honestly probably makes it one of the more likely scenarios given Trump’s proclivities towards libel and a free media. But in that scenario, we better hope like hell there isn’t some mix-up and I am forced to assume the mantle of humanity’s lone savior-messiah. I’m not good at seesaw puzzles, I have no idea how to effectively wield a crowbar, and The One Pink Man doesn’t really have much of a ring to it, so if the fate of humanity rests on my shoulders, we are SO fucked.
The Coming Of Ragnarok
It wouldn’t just be bad for me if Jormungandr, the World-Serpent, emerged from the ocean to poison the very sky and initiate Ragnarok — it would be really, REALLY bad. First of all, fur and leather? REALLY not my best look; I need something flowing that masks my tragic addiction to deep-fried bacon. And while I can’t deny the raging awesomeness that is a Viking Funeral, there’s a 0% chance I’d ever earn one. After all, they don’t really hand one of those out to someone who died cowering on a fjord pissing themselves while a frost giant got ready to hand their skull seven different types of death by bludgeoning. On the plus side, at least in this case, I wouldn’t also doom humanity with my untimely demise? Hey, we’re looking for small victories here.
Everything Is Zombies
This is one of the more likely scenarios because Trump as President would let businesses do whatever the fuck they wanted, and it’s only a matter of time before one of them accidentally creates a zombie virus and completely forgets about proper containment procedures. It would also be BY FAR my worst-case scenario, and not just because zombie apocalypses are trite, overplayed, painfully stupid, and more boring than an infomercial for space-age aglets. I mean, that’s a really good reason, but the real problem for me is I would die SO fucking fast. Even if we assume the government gets on it enough to evacuate a lot of citizens to a safe zone, I’d probably miss the evacuation order because I was too busy playing TIE Fighter and didn’t leave my apartment for like a week. Then I’d head outside for some Chipotle and WHOOPS, Steve from 3B is suddenly gnawing my face off. Oh well, looks like I’m fucked.
If there’s one thing that could get the spacefaring races of the intergalactic community to decide to stop just ignoring Earth, the Oklahoma of the Cosmos, and directly intervene in human affairs, it would be the election of Donald Trump. Honestly, I wouldn’t even blame them at that point for deciding we were way more trouble than we were worth and mercy-killing us for the sake of the entire Milky Way. I’d probably just calmly walk outside and invite them to please vaporize me with their Neutronium Disintegration Cannons. At least this one would be over quickly and in service to a good cause — the end of the miserable, failed experiment we call human existence.
There you have it: no matter which scenario humanity faces in the wake of Trump’s ascendance and the breaking of the Seventh Seal, I’m totally hosed. Oh, well. At least I can be assured of one thing: regardless of which of the 31 Flavors of End Times we wind up with after elevating Donald Trump to CEO of America, I’ll still outlive Walker Bragman.
This isn’t a joke. I swear to God this happened. I had to wear an eyepatch and everything for like a month. Not even a good eyepatch, either, it was one of those giant pieces of shit that made me look like Lumpy the Off-Kilter Kindergartener. ↩