With the US presidential elections right around the corner, the US citizens are frustrated beyond measure over having to choose the less worse of the candidates running for President, almost convinced that a giant prank is being played on them.
After a long day at work, Derek, a 26-year-old, loosens his tie as he sits down on the couch to watch the television. Flipping through the channels, he lands up on CNN. The Anderson Cooper Show is live and broadcasting an interview of Donald Trump.
Following the leak of his controversial video, the Republican nominee had gone on to the show to clear the air about the situation. Cooper, not holding back, asks Trump, “How do you expect women to vote for you after those questionable statements came to light?”
To which Trump responds, “I apologize to the American people for this, but it was locker room talk. And in a world where ISIS happened we cannot allow them to walk on us. I will do whatever it takes to defeat ISIS, and it was locker room talk and nothing else. I’m not proud of it.”
Cooper trying again, says, “I don’t feel our viewers would be satisfied with your response. Are you saying your statements are not to be taken into consideration by the American People?”
Trump continues, “Ask any woman who knows me and they will tell you how much respect I have for women. And that I will make sure we don’t have a huge immigration problem with the wall and stopping ISIS and I will also bring jobs. Jobs are something we need in this country and I can bring them. I will make America safe again and I will make America great again and make America safe and wealthy again.”
Cooper then asks Trump about his stance on abortion, to which Trump says, “I want to clarify my stance on abortion, I just wanna say, it was- I was answering hypothetically. And personally, I have an opinion that I don’t wanna share. It’s illegal and state run and that’s the law right now and I have an opinion and that’s all. Should they be punished for it? Maybe, we’ll just wait and see.”
Cooper at this point, fairly frustrated with Trump, asks another question. “How are people like Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein good leaders, according to you?”
Trump’s responds, “I would like to say that, was Saddam a good person? No, he was not. But did he stop terrorists? Yes. Getting through Iraq for terrorists was like graduating Harvard. And Putin is a great man, he keeps Russia great like I will make America, and he says that I’m a great leader so he obviously has an idea of what a great leader is.”
Left in a state of anxiety and discomfort, the segment fades to a close with Trump wearing a silly grin, and Cooper in a rare moment of great dismay.
Having sat through the entirety of the interview, Derek switching the TV off, throws his head back in exasperation on the back of his couch, disgruntled. Closing his eyes, he wishes fervently for things to be different and better.
He hears a strange noise. It’s the static of the television as it comes back to life. The Anderson Cooper Show is on again. It is the interview of Donald Trump, from the start, only this time there seems to be something different about it, and about Trump.
The Anderson Cooper Show set is abuzz with excited murmurs as Trump waves to the audience and takes his seat, poised. Welcoming him to the show, Cooper cuts straight to the chase, “How do you expect women to vote for you after the questionable statements you made, came to light with the leak of your controversial video?”
With an contrite tilt of his head, Trump answers, “The statements were made in a time of momentary lapse in judgement. While the acquisition of the video by the media might have been without consent, I gravely apologize for handling the situation in a less than satisfactory manner. It doesn’t stand well in a time where ISIS attacks are prevalent and require thoughtful action against terrorism. It is in our interests to look out for the well-being of the country. The American people will not let a sensationalised piece of news bring them down.”
Cooper backtracks with, “I don’t feel our viewers would be satisfied with your response. Are you saying your statements are not to be taken into consideration by the American People? “
Shaking his head, he says, “Having been surrounded by women in my family for the better part of my life, my respect towards them can only be seen as insurmountable. That respect extends outside of home, too. In our office, we are always working towards creating equal opportunity for women. And there is a gap in wealth and income that is rooted in the painful legacy of discrimination. We feel we have work to do in creating more jobs for the citizens and we assure we would make progress in that front. And a front,” he emphasizes with the raise of an eyebrow, “Which needs to be raised is one against immigration and it is of immediate concern among others including going after ISIS.”
On asking about his stance on abortion, Trump as a matter-of-fact says, “Abortion policies are state-run and I do not have immediate control over the execution of the policies. My earlier stance on abortion had been made on a basis of hypothesis and no one can be held responsible for it, except for myself. A broader view on the matter will be taken into consideration while we work on a national level.”
Cooper at this point confused by this side of Trump, asks another question. “Would you care to elaborate why you consider Saddam and Putin as good leaders?
Leaning forward, Trump asserts, “Saddam was an opportunity for the US to establish permanent presence in the Middle East- a remarkable feat, in my opinion. And Putin’s actions to take over Crimea gave us the chance to get an update over the military capabilities of the Russian federation. Putin believes in our capabilities to run a great nation. That is exactly what we are striving towards undeterred: shaping a nation that will reach great heights.”
Met with a roaring applause, Trump flashes a million-watt smile, lighting hope in the hearts of millions.
Jolting awake, Derek realizes that it had been all been a dream right after his head had hit the back of his couch. And for a moment he had almost believed the dream Trump’s god-forsaken ideals. At that thought, the reflection of him on the blank TV screen shudders. Wondering what the outcome of the elections would have been if an eloquent and polished Trump had run for President he scrambles for his voter ID hoping his choice makes a difference tomorrow. He’d never be able to forgive himself if Trump managed to win, and if the outcome was decided by one vote.
– Deeksha Venkatesh and Saif Khan