Written by Keith Shirey
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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

image for Trump Is Understood By Stewart, Colbert, & The Onion
COLBERT GET HIM

In Gulliver's travels, written by the great satirist Jonathan Swift, one example of satire in the book is that some Lilliputian (very tiny) men wear high heels and others wear low heels. The men who wear low heels are in power and will only appoint other men to government who wear low heels. Clearly, government appointments have nothing to do with ability in this famous work.

Today, the appointments to key staff and cabinet positions by Donald Trump are the equivalent to men who wear low heels, in this case millionaires and billionaires who know nothing of the intricacies, details, and complexities of how government operates. For example, the surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who is to be the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn't sure what the functions of the Department are.

That Donald Trump has issued him a pair of low heels doesn't seem to help the good doctor's understanding of his role in the incoming cabinet.

The incongruities in a Trump Administration, the parody of how government policies are formulated, e.g., Donald Trump's impulsive tweets, the unintended ironies, e.g., Trump thinks it's "genius" to pay no taxes to support our country when he is will be head of the country; the exaggerations we are all familiar with, e.g., "I know more than the generals;" and other elements of satire, (besides the aforementioned parody, irony, and exaggeration) which will be the essence of the Trump Administration, can really only be understood by a comic writer.

That is why satirists for Saturday Night Live, writers for Steven Colbert, Jon Stuart, contributors to The Onion, and, most importantly Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker, have been recruited by the wire services and major newspapers to cover news conferences, conduct interviews, and provide analysis of the statements of people in the incoming Trump Administration.

The words and statements of Trump, General "Mad Dog," Mattis, white supremacist Steven K Bannon, Lt. Gen. Michael "Crackpot" Flynn, and others in the forthcoming Administration, need to be decoded and explained to the American People.

To be more specific, that Steve Mnuchin will be Treasury Secretary under Trump means Goldman Sachs will again be in charge of US economic policy, policies that caused the Great Recession are difficult to understand. But not to comic satirists who write for Stephen Colbert, Jon Stuart, and The Onion. And certainly not to Andy Borowitz. They can make things clear to the public about this low-heeled crowd.

It is only through understanding of various kinds of satire, particularly farce, where something that is supposed to be serious has turned ridiculous, that a true grasp of the events of the next four (if not eight) years will be possible.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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