After Trump, Where’s my Satire Going to Come From?


When Donald Trump left office, I felt like a criminal lawyer who had just lost his best client. Though despicable, odious, and duplicitous, the client was steady and reliable business. Whenever satirical prey was scant, Trump was always available.

Initially, it wasn’t easy. Exaggeration is the seed of my political humor. But my exaggerations could never compete with Trump’s reality. I once began drafting a blog about Trump’s accusing Obama of plagiarism by using the words “incredible” and “amazing” in the same speech. Before I could finish, Trump tweeted: How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

How does one parody a parody? I suffered a debilitating case of writer’s block and ceased blogging for two years. Finally, I realized that exaggeration was superfluous. I needed only to address the question, “What will this maniac do next?” Blogging became easy. I simply had to imagine Trump’s next outrage.

Thus on March 10, 2020 I wrote that Trump planned to control the coronavirus by tweeting insults that labeled the virus “a nut job” and “the low IQ coronavirus.” On June 28, 2020 I broke the story that Trump would center his campaign on preserving American’s historic Freedom to Infect: “Freedom to Infect made America great. If our forefathers lacked the freedom to infect native peoples with smallpox, malaria, measles, and scarlet fever, we would all now be working for Squanto, Sitting Bull, and Elizabeth Warren,” my imaginary Trump said.

With Trump no longer president, I feared satirical blogging could change from guessing his next tweet to requiring real work.

Then it occurred to me that I live in the most progressive city in America, where Trump received only 8 percent of the vote. Lacking any effective opposition, Seattle progressives naturally split into two hostile factions — The Wackos and The Ditherers. The Wackos despise the Ditherers for lacking the passionate intensity of true fanatics and ridicule them as “closet pragmatists” for occasionally considering the opinions of sensible people.

Outvoting the Ditherers on the Seattle City Council, the Wackos determined that Seattle faced the existential threat of too many high paying jobs. The Wackos quickly lanced this boil by taxing Amazon out of town. They then voted to defund the police by 50 percent without a thought of how to do this. That provoked the exit of the city’s progressive Lesbian Mayor and its Black female police chief.

Blogging will become again easy. I need only anticipate the Council’s next act.

Last week the San Francisco Board of Education voted to rename 44 of its schools to remove taints of racism and sexism.  Schools named after Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, James Monroe, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Muir and others will be looking for less offensive names.

Faced with competition for being the looniest governing body on the West Coast, I foresee immediate action:

Council to Defund Incomes

After recent research revealed that “uneven incomes are a leading cause of income inequality,” the Seattle City Council yesterday voted 7 to 2 to defund all incomes in the city.

Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford, the former CEO of KING Broadcasting, has written humor for and the Huffington Post. He is the author of "The CEO Pay Machine."


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