The Olympics, Donald Trump, & My Self Esteem
It’s time again for the winter Olympics, that special occasion every four years when the world comes together to pretend like they care about figure skating, bobsledding, and cross-country skiing. The winter Olympics are as if a Mumford and Sons album were televised as a sporting event, it’s just that boring, although special exception should be made for luge and ski jumping accidents, which are the Olympic equivalent of NASCAR crashes.
In spite of their limited entertainment value, the winter Olympics do have a way of reminding us of the best of human nature and mankind’s physical potential, and it’s refreshing to marvel at the triumph of the human spirit and the remarkably poor orthodonture that afflicts the world outside of the U.S.
However, if the rest of the world can be characterized by teeth that look like they spilled out of a Chiclets box (England), then they may at least take comfort by looking equally askance upon our country’s leadership, in particular the U.S. president, who affirms all the very worst stereotypes of fat, stupid Americans.
Today’s U.S. president calls to mind that when I was young, adults were always quick to stress to me and my peers that we could grow up to be anything we wanted—the American dream was boundless, and we could, should we wish, even become president, provided we weren’t a girl or a Jew.
But it wasn’t long before even a WASPy upper-middle class young boy like myself realized that becoming president probably wasn’t a viable option. I wasn’t terribly bright, but I was terribly precocious and jaded, and even in 1985 I regarded the He-Man cartoons as a shallow marketing ploy devoid of both robust character development and a suitable amount of Teela cleavage shots.
Up until the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I had regarded the U.S. presidency as something relatively complicated and requiring a lot of schooling concerned with law and politics—all the kinds of shit that sounded insufferably boring compared with the one-night-stands and week-long Jim Beam-and-cocaine binges that characterized my college experience.
And while my preparation for the responsibilities of adulthood may have taken a considerable hit during those college years, I did at least successfully sleep with women from six of the world’s seven continents. (Antarctica remains an unconquered frontier, but I did once fuck a girl in a furry penguin costume, so I like to think I’m halfway there and there’s still time left on the clock.)
The point is that today, in the age of Trump, I look at the office of the U.S. presidency from my vantage in a rent-controlled studio apartment in east LA and think, “Yeah, I could do that. In fact, I could do it a lot fucking better than the doughy, midget-fingered simian shit-eater who presently occupies that office.”
And that is why I owe Donald Trump a hefty debt of gratitude because he has inspired an entire nation of young alcoholics like myself to not just believe, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we could do a better job as president than the orange-hued illiterate dotard that is Donald Trump, which has done a lot for my self esteem.
In truth, seeing Donald “spank-me-with-a-rolled-up-copy-of-Forbes-with-my-picture-on-the-cover” Trump seated behind the desk in the oval office is equivalent to seeing Dog the Bounty Hunter preparing to conduct brain surgery.
Prior to having a catheter forcefully jammed up your urethra and being wheeled into an operating theater to meet Dr. Dog, you might have believed that brain surgery required a lot of schooling and a superior intellect capable of mastering the intricacies of neurology and the human nervous system. But upon seeing Dog with his hair pulled into a ponytail and dressed in surgical scrubs with the sleeves cut off, hoisting a scalpel in one hand and a bone saw in the other, you might suddenly have occasion to reconsider whether this whole neuroscience thing is such a big deal after all. It at least can’t be any more difficult than recklessly hurling racial epithets at your son’s girlfriend, just like being president is no longer any more difficult than aggressively groping women seated in first-class commercial aircraft cabins.
And so while I am humbled by the superior athleticism that will be on display at this year’s winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, for every pang of insecurity I may feel with respect to my own lack of talents and physical abilities in comparison with those Olympians (third-place finishers included), I know that I can seek immediate surcease of sorrow by turning my attentions to the president of the United States, whose utter incompetence and pathetic deficit of character reminds me that I’m better—a whole hell of a lot better, in spite of my three DUIs, crippling oxycodone addiction, outstanding warrants, and multiple untreated venereal diseases—than the current president of the United States.
And for that, I’m grateful to be a proud, patriotic American.