This is actually a treatment, the longer form that follows a successful pitch …because a treatment is longer and lots more fun and because I keep reading political articles that accept Trump as the Republican nominee. If that doesn’t scare you, maybe this will…
YUGE: The Trump Presidency
Trump wins the presidential election and, true to his word, takes the United States to places it has never been. But some are places Trump has never been, either. Cringing ensues…
January 20, 2017: Inauguration Day in Washington, DC
Under the credits, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in Donald J. Trump as 45th president of the United States. The immediate crowd is a rogue’s gallery of business icons including Carl Icahn and Larry Ellison, counter-counterculture celebrities including Ted Nugent and Dennis Miller, and ornamental conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly and Sarah Palin.
Palin’s gosh-golly proud of her new stature but intensely distrustful of the man seated next to her—Vladimir Putin!
In a REVEAL, we learn who is the new Vice President: Tom Selleck.
QUICK CUTS: The Presidential seal is everywhere… on Trump’s podium, on a banner behind the stage, on posters that people in the audience hoist high. The seal is now dominated by “TRUMP” plastered at an angle across its middle.
The speech is ostentatious and full of jabs at everyone, including Putin. In reaction shots, the Russian dictator begins to wonder what exactly is his role in this global photo op.
As the speech progresses, a cartoon montage of the 2016 primaries and election plays out. Republican candidates scuttle like sand crabs across an ocean shore, dragged off one-at-a-time by a succession of tsunami-grade waves. Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and on and on.
Our view of the montage zooms in steadily closer to the action, and at some point we realize that the waves are made of dollar bills. (Note to my readers: this silly cliché exists so my Hollywood overlords can edit something out and justify their existence.)
In concert with Trump’s increasingly outlandish self-praise and jingoism, the ocean swells and swallows Trump’s final opponent, Senator Cruz. Ted is dragged off by the waves kicking and screaming. Then they morph into crawling, crashing newspaper headlines. “Trump Wins Nomination!”
We move down the shore a bit to find Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wrestling half-heartedly at the water’s edge. Martin O’Malley looks on, drifting out to sea in a row boat with no oars. A wave sweeps in and retreats, leaving only Sanders. But he’s crawling on the sand, with the headline “Sanders Wins Nomination” dragging him toward the ocean.
Trump strides in powerfully, effortlessly, through the wet sand and helps Sanders to his feet, only to cold-cock him and then hold him under as the next wave comes crashing over them. When the wave recedes, only Trump remains.
“Trump Elected!” scream the waves in 128-point type.
The animation montage, and Trump’s acceptance speech, end but the applause goes on and on and on, echoing as we FADE to the Oval Office, where workmen install semi-permanent TV cameras.
CUT TO LATER:
There’s a new reality show on TV, daily at 9 pm Eastern…
You’re Fired! with President Trump
The Great Man sits behind his Oval Office desk with chin raised and hands folded, his golden locks gleaming with lacquer, as Marines in full combat dress drop a rumpled and manhandled woman into a spotlit circle before the desk.
An offscreen jailer lists charges that describe both overreach and dereliction of duty: she’s a government employee who works for the useless EPA. She objects feebly and is easily shouted down by Trump. She slumps closer and closer to the Oval Office carpet as Trump dresses her down, her chin hitting bottom as he delivers his signature line, with relish: “You’re fired!”
There are just a few people on camera, but the APPLAUSE is deafening: “USA! USA! USA!”
ESTABLISHING SHOT OF THE KREMLIN
We zoom in on Trump arriving in a stretch limo and towering over Vladimir Putin as they shake hands amidst dozens of camera flashes.
The scene morphs into a dinner table groaning with food, yet only Putin and Trump are seated. Their talk begins calmly but quickly becomes heated, with Trump clearly winning.
Putin frowns and signals his people to approach with trays of tea and vodka.
One of Putin’s aides pours vodka into two highball glasses. We see him drop a small pill from a container with the radioactive symbol into one of the glasses. He puts the two glasses down between the two men, with the nuclear-spiked drink clearly meant for Trump.
Putin nods at him and the alcohol. Trump nods slyly and raises a hand in an emphatic move near Putin’s head. Putin ducks the hand and looks up, not seeing Trump’s other hand switch the glasses. Trump quickly brings the untouched glass to his lips and Putin grabs the other one. They cross arms and each downs his drink in a single gulp.
Trump turns to the camera and smiles.
FADE TO A MONTAGE:
This time headlines are intermixed with brief live scenes…
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg drinks tea and keels over. Trump appoints a conservative white man and although there is a fight, he becomes the newest associate justice.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is next, same M.O. (OK, maybe it’s coffee instead of tea.) He’s gone, Trump makes another appointment, now he owns the Supreme Court.
On the floor of the Senate—knots of frightened white men confer.
ESTABLISHING SHOT OF THE WHITE HOUSE:
…with a giant “TRUMP” banner hanging over the front entrance.
DISSOLVE TO THE OVAL OFFICE:
Trump aides whine about Congress and we discover that the President has accomplished what no one else could even dream about: he’s united the House and the Senate—both parties have turned against him!
The aides are spoiled grade schoolers complaining about the way that Congress has refused everything the President proposes. The list includes all those impossible things that Trump has promised during his campaign: a total ban on muslims, for example.
The President strides in and waves off their complaints. How will he get anything past these Establishment morons?
Pffft! It’ll be easy! I’m going to do the same thing I would do with an uncooperative Board of Directors. And that will be whatever I want: spend the money, send the soldiers, impose the trade tariffs—and dare those wimpy motherfuckers in Congress to call it off.
As he explains this strategy, his words become a voiceover for the very scenes he’s describing. When he talks about army deployments, we watch soldiers march into transport planes which then take off.
When he talks about the wall between us and Mexico, we watch workmen build that wall across the Texas desert as sweaty, muddy Mexicans look on in wonder. In its shadow, a Mexican man in a suit hands Trump a briefcase full of money.
CUT TO WASHINGTON DC:
On the floor of the Senate, those frightened white men are now shouting, crying, and drinking. A weepy group hikes up the Supreme Court steps, but are soon bouncing back down on their asses. Trump’s court won’t even listen to their arguments!
ON WALL STREET:
The New York Stock Exchange gets a new symbol on its live ticker sign: USA. Thunderous cheers.
We switch to a chart of the stock’s performance. As the cheering continues, the stock’s value line begins to jiggle, then jump significantly. It rises and falls and rises—then drops and keeps dropping.
It drops to zero and fades behind an angry Chinese man in business suit. He opens an empty briefcase and points to it: fill this fucker, you owe us. He’s facing a man dressed as Uncle Sam, who turns his pockets inside out.
A few Roosevelt dimes and Lincoln pennies tumble to the ground.
Trump shrugs at a reporter who has jammed a microphone in his face. “It’s not a personal bankruptcy,” he says, smiling broadly. “In fact, I shorted the stock.”
…following this flick’s huge ratings, we’ll do a sequel…
(POLITICAL SURVIVOR #31)