The images come when you least expect them, walking down a street, waiting for a bus, or at night in a dream that suddenly turns into a nightmare. The worst are the pictures of the inauguration, when the Obamas have to hand over the keys to the White House and sit through the bombastic acceptance speech of the new president, aware that he’ll destroy everything they worked for the last eight years, including the vegetable garden. You know that they’ll have to leave through the back door, like a couple of slaves that has become too old and weak to work in the fields and therefore is kicked off the plantation. Of course they cannot expect the same class as they exhibited when they walked the Bushes to their waiting helicopter in 2009. And if it’s not the inauguration you’ll see the orange buffoon with his Germanic features, who would have been a perfect Nazi Feldwebel in any war movie, walk into the US House of Representatives to give his first State of the Union address, declaring that America is decrepit but that he’ll make it great again, by cutting taxes for the rich, banning Muslims and building a border wall. He doesn’t have any other policies so it’s a short speech, for which everybody but the Alt-Right is grateful.
Then there is Putin’s first official state visit, when you can see the short rat-faced ex-KGB colonel smile joylessly while he shakes hands with his puppet and congratulates himself for having gotten that idiot into the Oval Office. Of course Trump wants to make a grand deal, and Putin has exactly what he’s looking for: if the US and its allies stop supporting the Syrian rebels and let Assad stay on as president the Russians and the Syrian army will focus all their efforts on defeating ISIS, coordinating their actions with US Special Forces. Trump will take the offer because he secretly admires Assad for his survival skills and what does he care about Syrian civilians, who are Muslims after all? His next project will be the nuclear disarmament of North Korea, and for that he has a nifty plan: he’ll challenge Kim Jong-un to a game of golf, referring to the fact that the young man’s father had five holes-in-one on his very first round, on a course with only three par-three holes, and that the son must have inherited that exceptional talent. If Trump wins North Korea will dismantle its nuclear arms, if Kim wins the US will stop assisting South Korea and Japan militarily. They’ll play on a course in China, where Trump has $900 million in debt so he knows they’ll be nice to him for fear of getting stiffed.
The day in the White House starts with a breakfast for part of the family. While Melania and young Barron eat in the kitchen, sometimes in the company of Tiffany when she’s visiting and not sleeping in, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric have scrambled eggs, bacon and orange juice with their father in the dining room, reporting on the state of the family business and discussing steps to increase revenue and profits. The interests of foreign investors in Trump’s empire and its own investments in foreign business ventures are the main topics.
From the very first day of his presidency Trump has insisted to have this meeting before the daily briefing by his national security team, of which the members obviously don’t understand the world as well as he does, and may not have appropriate appreciation for the international projects his children are undertaking. As long as he knows their plans he can adjust US foreign policy to meet their daily needs.
We are not there yet, but it could happen, and that is the scariest thought of all. These days I find myself occasionally thinking about Menno ter Braak, a Dutch intellectual who warned for Adolf Hitler in his publications during the 1930s and committed suicide after the German invasion of the Netherlands. There may be such cases in the US sometime soon.