It’s 2020 and Donald Trump has been president of the USA for 4 years. Has he made America great again?
The president of the United States grins, whitened teeth flashing as he cuts the tape, signalling the opening of the Taj Mahal 2.0 – a revamped take on his mega-casino flop of the late ‘90s. Even now, apparently, four years into the most turbulent presidential reign of all-time and immersed in a trade war with China, Trump’s narcissism can’t resist the opportunity of a business venture. He waves to the crowd, graciously accepting the muted applause, one hand on the lower back of his daughter, Ivanka. Ever since Trump’s concession that “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, maybe I’d be dating her,” tabloid speculation has been running wild.
It didn’t start off all wrong, from the Donald’s point of view. As promised, he’d thrown “a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products” as his first move from the White House. A sharp decrease in trade with Japan hadn’t been part of the plan, but he’d sworn he’d show a strong-hand when it came to international trade and immigration, and he’d done so. Resentment from the UK and Germany didn’t matter; Trump had known from the start that he wouldn’t have a good relationship with David Cameron, and since Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had denounced him as well, Trump had had no choice but to sever the historic “special-relationship” the two nations had shared; a shame, but not the end of the world. After all, he’d promised to “Make America Great Again”, and he’d always said he was sceptical of foreign trade (enough of those Mexican and Chinese “rapists”.) Really, Americans couldn’t argue that they hadn’t voted for this.
Sure, it had taken a while to get the Great Wall of Donald built on the border of Mexico, but that hadn’t been much of a setback either. Immigration had plummeted in the extremity (would anybody really want to live under the tenure of a reality TV star?) and he’d given thousands a job, labouring to block out the Mexicans. A few interventions by small groups south of the border had resulted in some bloody skirmishes, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!
Even Donald had to admit though, when we spoke to him and his Secretary for Defence, Henry Kissinger, in Trump Tower, that there had been some mishaps along the way. Germany had pulled out of TTIP negotiations, causing the trans-Atlantic deal to collapse. A rise in militant feminism hadn’t been easy to deal with, coming after a huge drop in the employment of mothers. Small business owners blamed the influence of the president, after he spoke out against working mothers: “She’s not giving me 100 per cent. She’s giving me 84 per cent, and 16 per cent is going towards taking care of children.”
Both Donald and Henry had to admit that the Mexicans had been a thorn in their side. There’d been an uncomfortable number of wall-related deaths when the Mexicans had noticed that he really wasn’t messing around with them. They were threatening a lot of ridiculous things, with the support of Japan, Germany and the UK, but Trump’s mind was firmly set on the oncoming trade war with China.
“Absolute nightmare. They’re being completely out of order.” Trump’s claims that he knew how to deal with the Chinese had been a load of hot air. With his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal as his bible, he’d set out to fix the problem of “one of the greatest thefts in history.” The Chinese had clearly been manipulating their currency to keep their products cheaper compared to competing US goods and they were going to pay. A cheeky 25 per cent tax on Chinese imports and the job was done; they wouldn’t be messing with the Donald again. In retaliation, China had withdrawn all trade deals with the States and the East had compensated them – growth in Taiwan and the Philippines gave them strong new partners, and with Japan and the EU boycotting the US, China remained far ahead of the States.
No worries. The repeal of Obamacare had been fought viciously by the Democrats, but the drop in immigration and boom in jobs thanks to the Wall meant that his base of support (white males with only a high school education) was unwavering. His new season of The Apprentice had dropped and ratings were through the roof, and his boy Vladimir Putin was on the phone.
Life was good.