April 23, 2016
The night of the Republican Nomination Celebration. About one hour prior to the announcement of the winning candidate, Donald Trump, his campaign advisor, Corey, and members of the Trump family gather in a backstage room. Two guards stand watch outside the door.
Son, Don Jr.: Dad is it true what Ivana told me?
Donald: Who? Who told you what?
Don Jr.: Ivana told me – no I mean Ivanka.
The Donald: Was it Ivanka or Ivana?
Wife, Melania: Donald, please do not get so upset. You know yourself that the names are very similar.
The Donald: Melania, will you stay out of it. Don, who told you, and more importantly what are you a talking about?
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Yes, Don, what were you told. Ivanka, Ivana who cares.
Tiffany, Donald’s daughter: Grandma, you know they are two very different persons, and you should respect that – I mean they are really different – it’s important.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Tiffany, you do understand that I was not talking to you. You have a bad habit of talking even if you are not asked.
Friedrich Grumpf, Donald’s Grandfather: MaryAnn, please be kind. Speaking of habits, you must remember how often you interrupt.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Well…..
The Donald: Please stop this talk. There is just one hour until the convention starts. Now Don, what did you hear, no matter who the hell said it.
Don, Jr: Well, now that I think about it, I am not sure who told me.
The Donald: I don’t give a shit who told you. What did you hear, damn it – what!!!
Don, Jr: I heard that you were going to make a very special announcement at the convention.
The Donald: What else did you hear?
Don, Jr.: That’s it Dad. Just that.
Maryann, Donald’s sister: Well that was a lot about nothing.
Eric, Donald’s son: That is just like Don Jr. Always making a big deal about nothing.
Barron, Donald’s son: Deal – Did someone say deal. Are we making another deal? Say dad, are you making another deal?
Ivanka, Donald’s daughter: Barron, go back to sleep. There is no deal. Will everyone just calm down. Dad needs his rest. Tonight is the most special night in all of our life.
Ivana: I thought Donald’s and my marriage was the most special night in your life.
Barron: And mine, and Don Jr. and Tiffany’s life.
Tiffany: My favorite night was when Dad married Marla. Second most favorite was when we had the reception for Melania.
Melania: That is not very nice of you, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Well, it’s true.
The Donald: Alright folks. I am glad that you came. Tonight is special – really special. You know that I am not like any other candidates. You know that I am my own man. God is great!
Barron, Tiffany and Don Jr.: Right on Dad. Right on. Sempre fi.
The Donald: Kids, that’s for Marines.
Barron: You did go to the New York Military Academy, didn’t you?
Don, Jr.: And you told people how much you know about military things and stuff.
The Donald: That’s true, but I was a student – not in the service. I tried, but no luck.
Corey, campaign manager: If I may ask, could everyone allow Donald and I to have several minutes alone to discuss tonight’s issues.
Melania: Certainly. Corey, can I stay?
Ivana: Why must I go? There is little that I do not know about Donald. Actually more than Melania.
Corey: I apologize. I do not mean to be rude, but it is very important that Donald and I speak alone.
Friedrich Drumpt: You heard the man. Everyone out!!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Friedrich, you have not lost your Germanic disposition. I will go when I am ready.
The Donald: Mom. You heard Grandpa. Get out!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Well, you have some….
Ivanka: Please Grandma, please let’s go.
All family leave the room.
Corey: Donald, what is this special announcement?
The Donald: Oh, nothing much.
Corey: Donald, you know how often you say and do things and I am the last person to know.
The Donald: So?
Corey: I am your campaign manager.
The Donald: So?
Corey: Well as a manager, I need to know what you are thinking. What you are planning.
The Donald: I agree, Corey
Corey: So what about the announcement. What are you planning to announce?
The Donald: Something extremely special, unique. Actually one of a kind.
Corey: What? Tell me what?
The Donald: Well, I know it will be special, and unique and never have happened before.
Corey: Donald – come on now. What the hell are you talking about? You have me worried.
The Donald: Frankly, I am not too sure exactly what I’ll announce. I know it will be outrageous.
Corey: Donald, I cannot let you go out there, and say something outrageous on the last night of the convention. Please Donald what have you on your mind?
The Donald: A lot! Corey, I have so many things on my mind that I cannot even think of any one thing.
Corey: I don’t understand, Donald. What are you saying?
The Donald: Well, I know what I know, but there are things that I do not know – like Rumsfeld has said, there are unknown, knowables. I’ve got both.
Corey: What the hell are you saying? Donald you are making me scared. You are the main man. You are number one. You will be President. What is happening to you?
The Donald: Corey, just relax. You know that I am not like anyone else.
Corey: Yes, I know. We love you for that quality. What about tonight?
The Donald: Well, Corey, I think I’m gonna rest for a few minutes.
Corey: Good idea. But Donald before I go, please tell me – please do not cut me out. Please.
The Donald: Corey. I love you, but please go. Please get out. I need to think.
Corey: Alright, I will go, but please don’t fuck this night up. Please, I beg of you.
The Donald: Thanks Corey. Thanks buddy. I love you. I love America. God bless America.
Two Hours later at the Convention Center.
Donald Trump has just been announced as the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States. The audience has been giving him a 20-minute standing ovation. The band is blasting a combination of God Bless America and Rock Island Line.
Donald is standing at the podium. Smiling, waving, smiling, waving and smiling and waving.
Donald raises both arms high. The band stops playing. The audience calms down. The silence is a stark contrast to the prior screaming, almost devotional outbursts.
Donald brushes his golden flocks. He grabs the podium with both hands. He leans forward toward the multiple microphones. And he talks.
The Donald: Ladies and germs, I mean gentlemen. I couldn’t help that one. Ladies and gentlemen. Honored guests, our Wounded Warriors, Police Heroes, and our cherished Priests, Pastors, Rabbis, and those other hooded guys. Only messin. Before I continue, I must thank- no I must honor my family, my wives, and most of all, although they are not here, my staff at Trump Towers, Trump Apartments, Trump Ventures, Trump Casino, Trump University, all my overseas Trump colleagues, and my Thai Trumpets. If I have left anyone out, well tough – Only joking. I must thank you present at this convention hall and the thousands, no I mean millions of workers, supporters who have worked so very hard for me, and for America. I mean, and you know it – I mean I love America. I love America, more than Ted loves Canada, or Marco loves Cuba. I know that Huckabee loves America, but I honestly think he loves God more. Only foolin. And as for Jeb, I know he and his entire Bush family love Texas, the Lone Ranger, and Tonto. Madam Forina, I must tell you that I have never known a woman as angry as you. If you had won the nomination, Hillary would be chopped liver for you – I mean you would have cut a her a new…. Enough. Once again, God Bless America. Did I say that already? Well anyway, here goes.
Never in my life did I believe that I could be running for the Presidency of the United States. Never did I even have any interest in such an exalted position in our government. I want to be famous, but more I wanted to be rich. So rich that I could do whatever I wanted. So rich that I did not have to depend upon anyone else. Hillary claims it takes a village. Hillary needs help, but as for me, I did it on my own. I made it happen. I did it The Donald way. You know folks, they say The Pope, The Queen, The Ayatollah, The Lord, and now they say The Donald – would you believe it, The Donald. Everyone knows what that means. It means a man of a single mind, a single direction, honesty, determination, clarity and most of all a sense of himself. Some say I am self-centered – big ego – arrogant – vain. Well, that’s true. So what’s so bad. It has gotten me to this podium. Right. Right in front of the nation, the world. It has gotten me every boy’s dream, and some girls too. I made it happen. Anyone can be President. Anyone! Anyone!
(Audience gives 10 minutes of screaming support – the band strikes up the Battle Hymn of the Republic.)
Donald stands erect, and salutes the flags behind him and waves at the crowd. As the audience calms downs, he takes one of the hand microphones, and walks to the edge of the stage.
(Secret Service guards, quickly front the stage to control any attempts to crowd Donald.)
The Donald: First I want to thank millions of our real citizens, I mean legal citizens, card carrying citizens for their confidence. I truly believe that you have made the right choice – the right man for the job. I have never doubted the end result. I have never doubted my rightful place as the Republican candidate for President. In addition, to be absolutely clear, truthful and with no reservations, I appreciate the nomination. but I decline to be the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. It’s not for me. Not my kind of job.
The moan from the crowd is deafening. People shouting. Some fainting: Pandemonium.
The Donald: Let me make it clear, as I always do. You know when I speak, I tell it like it is. I tell it from my heart, and not from my pocketbook, like some others. I am not like other guys. I am The Donald. (crowd cheers). Not for nothing, I will not run as the Republican candidate for the Presidency. As Sinatra has said, “one more time.” I decline the nomination of the Republican Party nomination for President of the USA. To be honest, which I am, I have never been really interested in being a President of the United States. I am president of lotsa companies. I showed everyone, that anyone can be President. Anyone can try, and become the President. Anyone with character, determination, and a ego can do what I did. It helps to be rich, very rich, and you all know that I am rich – very rich.
I do not want to be President, and to tell the truth, I am not so certain if I have the experience, and knowledge to handle the Presidency. Well, maybe I could, but I run businesses. I build things – lotsa things. Houses, skyscrapers, airports, stores and yes walls – really big walls and I love to make money. I make deals. Not a day goes by that I don’t make, or break a deal. I do what is best for The Donald. It so happens others benefit, but I am mostly interested in making deals and being rich. I mean you know I am rich.
Now, for the nomination, and what we are going to do. I am now ready to make a deal. Not any ordinary deal, but a unique deal, a first time deal. I will offer my support, and the support of the millions of citizens who have supported me, to some other candidate who is willing to make the best deal. This deal is no small potatoes. Remember, I am the master of the deal, so do not think that I come cheap. I am open to offers. I have no particular demand in mind, but believe me, I will only make the deal that is best for The Donald. I know that my announcement is unexpected, but you all know that’s The Donald. The Donald doesn’t do it like others. I cut out of the last debate. I stuck it to Fox. I am not for hire. I do the hiring – thousands of hiring’s, including Mexicans and even Moslems. I know you are worried, tense and bewitched, bothered and bewildered. The Donald says let’s make a deal. There is plenty of time before election day, but my advice to all of you is to read my book, “Art of the Deal”, before you make any offers, and enter in any negotiations with The Donald.
To those of you in this audience, and the millions of you at home, I only want to say, God Bless America, Canada and Cuba, and not least, the Iowa Evangelicals. Oh, I almost forgot. Sarah you can also make a deal. Thank you, and remember we must make America great again. Don’t forget, The Art of the Deal, at your favorite bookstore, or on Amazon.
The Donald quickly leaves the stage, leaving a bewitched, bothered, and bewildered audience stunned, silent, and teary eyed. The Donald returns to the backstage room now guarded by a dozen Secret Service men. In the room are the assembled family members, and his campaign manager, Corey.
Wife Melania: My Man – I love you so much. No matter what you said, I still love you!
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mom – Me too, Donald. You are still The Donald to me.
The Donald: Thank you Melania. I love you too, and thanks Mom.
All the sons, and daughter: Shout out. “Donald, Donald he’s our man, if Donald won’t do it no one can.”
All in attendance clap, and join in the chant.
Corey, Campaign Manager (teary eyed): Well, you did it. Donald you did it. I mean you did it. Once again the unpredictable. Why, oh why, Donald. Please, if there is a God in heaven, why, oh why??
The Donald: Okay, you want to know why, well I’ll tell you why. I said that I wasn’t too sure I was experienced enough to be President. I said that even though I have the best advisors at my side. I do, I really do. They are the best, smartest good guys.
Corey: But why, why, why?
The Donald: Easy Corey. Just calm down.
Grandpa Friedrich: So what’s wrong. Sounds good to me.
All the children start to cheer: Donald, Donald, he’s our man.
The Donald: Enough, cut it out.
Melania: But Donald we are so sad, we love you so.
Donald’s Mother: God bless you Donald.
The Donald: All of you remember when I was a Democrat. Do you remember when I supported Planned Parenthood, Gay rights, and stuff like that. I gave money to Hillary, and Bill. Actually I gave money to anyone who asked. Who cares what they stand for. I like to be asked for money. I’m rich, and people ask me for money. Do they owe me, maybe yes, maybe no. Mostly yes! You all know I have never been big on politics, except when my bank accounts were in trouble. Really, I wanted to make America better. Being famous, popular and a television star, I knew that I could win. People like a winner, and they love a star. They like to hear good news. They like to feel like things can get better, and I tell them I am better. Just look what I have done – I mean gonna do. I tell them I will build a wall at the border, and they know I build walls – many walls. I tell them I’ll get the Mexicans to pay for the wall, and they know I get people to pay for lots of things. Like the Chinese. I rent to the Chinese for millions, and they pay on time. I am not politically correct, and they like that. They like that I tell it like it is, or at least the way I think it is. I’m tough, rough and ready like Teddy at the hill in San Juan.
Corey: Donald. What the hell are you talking about? I can’t believe you. You had the Presidency in the palm of your hand. You had it!
Ivana: Corey is right. We were all ready to celebrate, party. Champaign, caviar and pigs in a blanket. Why did you have to decline? Couldn’t you just abdicate when you became President?
Grandfather Friedrich: Ivana, Kings abdicate not Presidents. Where is your head?
Ivana: Well, it is not up my ass, like the rest of you. This is horrendous. Pitiful.
Ivanka: Ivana that is just like you. Always ready to party, to be photographed. You never appreciated the spontaneity of Dad. You never even liked his hairdo. You…
The Donald: That’s enough. Both of you cut it out.
Daughter, Tiffany: True to form Ivana. Always worried about yourself. No wonder Marla won his heart.
The Donald: I said cut it out. What’s done is done. Besides, we are all gonna win – and win big.
Corey: What are you talking about? It’s over. You killed the Golden Goose. You did a Palin. You quit. You’re a quitter!
The Donald: Corey, you are treading, and you know the saying, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Corey: But you were the man. Millions of devoted voters were there for you. How do you think they feel?
The Donald: Feel. How do they feel? Well, I’ll tell you how they feel. They never enjoyed themselves as much as they have during the campaign. Ten’s of thousands at my rallies. Cheering, crying out their loyalty. And now, maybe a little disappointed. Maybe a lot disappointed, but they now are part of the deal.
Corey: What the hell are you talking about?
The Donald: If you would just relax, and stop whimpering. You are a manager, so act like one.
Don Jr: Millions part of the deal. What do you mean Dad?
The Donald: Here is how it’s gonna go. Some candidate is going offer a deal. Another candidate will counter offer, and maybe three or more offers. Remember, I decide on the deal. Don’t ever forget who is the deal maker. Before I decide on what is best for me, excuse me, I mean best for all the Trumps I will turn to the millions of followers to vote on the best deal.
Corey: You mean the best candidate, don’t you?
The Donald: No way. I couldn’t care less who is the best candidate. Don’t forget, I am the best candidate. Anyone forget that? The Donald was and is the best, and richest candidate. That’s how come I won. Well, maybe I wasn’t the best candidate, I sure am the richest (laughs).
Corey: How to the millions decide? The convention is over. No more caucuses. The election is coming.
The Donald: Who the hell says we can’t have another convention. Any city would love another convention.
Corey: And then what? What happens at the convention?
The Donald: That is easy. Let’s say there are three possible deals on the table. Each candidate announces their deal. The people at the convention vote on what they feel is the best deal for The Donald. When they decide who offers the best deal, and if I agree, that is the Republican candidate for Presidency.
Melania: What if you don’t agree, Donald?
MaryAnn, Mother: Yes, what if the deal is not best for you?
The Donald: Easy. The candidates have to come up with a better deal. That is the Art of the Deal.
Ivanka, daughter: When will you decide? How will you decide?
The Donald: Ivanka, I can see you never read, The Art of the Deal.
Ivanka: I’m sorry, Dad. I haven’t, please forgive me.
Barron, son: (shouts) Dad, I did.
Eric, son: Me too, Dad.
The Donald: Thanks boys.
Grandpa Friedrich: So how do you decide Donald?
The Donald: Good question, Papa. It’s just I know the best deal, when I know it. Remember what I said before the convention, there are known knowables, and also unknown knowables, and actually it isn’t easy to describe the process, whatever. Haven’t I done right all these years? Who tells it like it is? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is gonna take the country back? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is his own man? (All cheer, The Donald) Who gets things done? (All cheer, The Donald). We need victories (all cheer, The Donald), and when they all want money, who do they come to, all cheer “The Donald”.
Ivana: But what about the bankruptcies, and the casino loss? You are not always right.
Tiffany: There you go again. Ivana, you haven’t done so poorly as an ex-wife, have you?
Ivana: That was rude.
Tiffany: Rude, but true.
The Donald: Listen. All of you. We cannot lose. There are men out there who would kill their Mother to be President. Maybe not their Mother, some relative or someone. I have the upper hand. We will win, and win big. The other candidates are ripe for the pickin. Say let’s get to the Champaign, caviar, and pigs in a blanket, whatever that is.
Thomas Golden, Writer’s Cramp, 2016.