Woman In The World: A Letter to the Boy I Could’ve Been

“Donald Trump nominates conservative Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court:

America’s highest court will likely become more conservative.”

“The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on March 28 in the case of a transgender teenager from Virginia who sued his school board for the right to use the boys’ bathroom, a case that could shape how public schools across the country accommodate transgender students.”

“Supreme Court nominee founded and led a student club called “Fascism Forever,” while attending a private prep school in suburban Washington in the 1980s.”

“The yearbook’s mention of the club is not the only item on Mr. Gorsuch’s profile that is raising eyebrows in some circles: A sarcastic quote from Henry Kissinger about how to get away with unconstitutional activities appears in both his prep school yearbook as well as his Columbia University yearbook.”

My mind is on fire: electric, hot to the touch. I am in a Whole Foods, sipping privatized water and scrolling through my iPhone when a “News Alert” cloud flies across the screen, floating on top of a pixilated sky. Trump has chosen his Supreme Court nominee. His pick is not surprising; Neil Gorsuch is your typical Ayn Rand fan boy: white, male, upper-class, Ivy-League, and attractive in a way that says, “I will never love you, but I will respect you.” Cold, fatherly, ghost-white, and regal, not Monarch Regal but All-American Regal; a thin-lipped Rockwellian grin painted on top of a flat-screen T.V. ‘SHH, be quiet! The movie is about to start! Oh I know this one!’ The eternal return of “America First. My body is flooded. Panic morphs to Dread morphs to Apathy; a river of tears churns beneath the storm. History, like lightning, strikes again.

In the Era of Trump, for the sake of brevity, I think it is necessary to create a binary through which to view the new inhabitants of an increasingly schizoid White House, as it straddles the fine line between “constitutional” and corrupt. On one side we have Trump, Steve Bannon (“Sieg Heil!”), and Kellyanne Conway. On the other lies Neil Gorsuch, Mike Pence, and Paul Ryan. Imagine the Republican State as summer camp, boys on one side of the lake, girls on the other. The two camps fall underneath one unified entity, hold allegiance to a similar vision of who they are and what camp (America) should be, and also meet occasionally to flirt, bicker and sometimes, fall in love.

Trump, Bannon and Conway are what I’d call Funny Fascists or Post-Modern Nazis. Their bigotry, cruelty, willful ignorance, and thirst for pure power is comically obvious. And that’s the point! They want you to know how little America means to them and how much it means to you. As you fret and fight amongst yourselves and the cracks in social consciousness grow deeper and more jagged, they will be there, recording it all, and playing it back to you the next morning (but with their own set of captions). Your reality is “fake news.” America is “the homeland.” Trump’s Inauguration is officially declared “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” The Apocalypse is being televised (and it’s hilarious).

Gorsuch, Pence and Ryan are what I’d call Martini Men; the Crème de la Crème Bigots who only commit evil from a distance, and attend functions like my family’s former New Years Bash.

Words: Michaelle Present

Illustrations: Saffa Khan