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Tao-te Trump

This is an assignment for my current English class. It is essentially a satire of the current political landscape in America in the style of the Tao-te Ching by L’ao Tzu. You can find that work here.


If you inherit money,
you’re obviously capable.
If you’re a reality star,
you’re obviously loved.
You would make a great president,
an unbelievable president,
the best president.


The Candidate campaigns
by drowning rational thought
in vitriolic bravado,
by appealing to the forgotten
of the fly-over states.
He helps people lose all semblance
of common sense, of human compassion;
he incites bigotry
in those who don’t know they don’t know.

Practice being inflammatory
and never forget – all press is good press.


When the President governs, the people
hold their breath and pray.

If you don’t understand government,
that only means you are best equipped to run it.

The master doesn’t talk, he tweets.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Dear Lord:
how did we let this happen?”


Throw away healthcare,
and people will maintain their health.
Throw away birth control and pre natal care
and people will be more careful.
Throw away restraint in foreign affairs
and make America great again.

If these three aren’t enough,
just drain the swamp
and fill it with sharks and wolves.


Do you want to improve the country?
I think you think you can do it.

Tell them the country is in shambles.
But it can be great again.
If you don’t build a wall, they’ll ruin us.
If you let in immigrants, terror will reign.

There is a time for press briefings,
a time for late night tweets;
a time for tin foil hat accusations,
a time for character assassinations;
a time for unapologetic misogyny,
a time for wiretapping conspiracy;
a time for bullheaded nationalism,
a time for pushing hurtful secularism.

The President sees things as he desires
and accepts no other view.
He understands the American plight
from his perch on the .01 percent.


Weapons are the tools of men;
real, American, manly men.

Weapons are the backbone of economy;
an American ruler will never avoid them
unless he is scaredy-cat Obama
or any of those liberal pansies.
Peace is overrated.
If we don’t make shows of force
are we even Americans?
Our enemies are sub-human
turban-wearing caricatures.
He must launch precision attacks.
Though he would much rather
nuke the entire Middle East
like an alt-right wet dream.
Foreign affairs are much simpler
than the experts always say.
America is number one,
that’s really all you need to know.

He enters conflict with reckless abandon,
eager to match his actions
to his more-than-adequate hand size.


When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
global warming remains a liberal construct.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
bleedings hearts protest pipelines.

There is no greater illusion than climate change,
no greater wrong than denying the right to spew greenhouse gasses,
no greater misfortune than environmental legislation.

Whoever can prop up big oil
deserves the job.


Governing a large country
is like interacting with women.
You lose by not grabbing aggressively.

Embed your country in the right wing
and the rich, white, and privileged will have power.
Not that the liberal media won’t protest,
you can just claim fake news.
Give your peers and opponents no respect
and you can pretend they don’t exist.


The truth of course
is that none of this is true;
it is however
where we currently sit.

When a country becomes divided,
it becomes like an earthquake:
pushed violently and chaotically apart.

The more divided it grows,
the greater the need for empathy.
Empathy means understanding the plight
of city-dwellers and rural folks alike.
It means realizing there are
viewpoints other than our own.

A partisan nation is like a bad marriage:
When one side strikes, the other strikes back.
Loud fighting, endless back and forth like
a dysfunctional teeter totter of power.
One side snobbishly moralizes,
The other clings to moth-eaten ideals.

At times like these,
the old adage certainly rings true:
United we stand,
divided we elect a reality-star megalomaniac President.


Published inPoetry

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