If I were to advise Donald Trump these days, I’d say we need more jokes.
I’m not saying he’d ask, even if he knew who the hell I was — and I am not sure it would change any of the craziness that is going on in the world of politics right now, but I certainly would like to laugh more.
John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan disarmed their detractors with wit and humor. One might have hated their politics, but even the haters had to admit that the jokes were pretty good.
Trump will still have those who will always love him — even if (as he has said) he stood in the middle of a street in NY and shot someone. Those who hate him will always feel that way, even if he personally brokered peace in the Middle East. However, for everyone who has become resigned to the fact that he’ll still be President for (at least) the next 3+ years — but really, really need more things to laugh about — would it hurt to have a pratfall once in a while? Or maybe a whipped cream pie slapped in the face of a visiting dignitary during a White House photo shoot?
Now THAT would be some fake/real news I would love to watch.
Which leads me to Groucho Marx. Fans of the Marx Brothers will know that, in the movie, Duck Soup, Groucho becomes the leader of the fictional — but surely great — country of Freedonia. Though Duck Soup was made over 80 years ago, it is a great comedy and still very relevant… in my mind, it is also a template to consider for today’s nutty political climate.
In the movie, Groucho was the kind of President I think I’d like to see now. Whether as the leader of Freedonia, or simply as Groucho-being-Groucho, he had words of wisdom that resonate today.
Imagine if Trump’s off-the-cuff comments were more like Groucho’s, and if Trump were to speak in perfect Groucho-cadence during one of his press conferences (with an unlit cigar dangling between his fingers)…
- “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
- “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
- “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”
- “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”
As the Tweeter-in-Chief, I think Trump could still boast as much as he always does. That will never change. However, wouldn’t it be more enjoyable if the tweets were more Groucho-like?
- “This morning, I (the greatest President ever, by the way) shot an elephant in my pajamas… but how he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.”
I also think it would be great to have Trump share his administration’s agenda in a State of the Union address in the same way that Groucho sang “The Laws of My Administration” for the people of Freedonia (https://youtu.be/uSsUoxlSADk)…
“The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn’t know what to do with it
If you think this country’s bad off now,
Just wait ’til I get through with it.”
So, how about it, President Trump? Let’s all laugh a little more. Channel your inner Groucho.
And let’s please “Make Freedonia Great Again.”