Here’s an interesting idea for a short story:
The God of the Old Testament looks down on Earth and is not at all happy with what he sees. Mankind, He notes, is overflowing with the sin of hubris. But more than anyone else, He takes exception to the one man whom He sees as the living embodiment of this hubris: Donald Tump, the “enfant terrible of American real estate, slapping his name on everything from Atlantic City to San Francisco condos.” Trump, God sees, is about to become the most powerful and revered (even if despised) person on Earth, and is starting to think himself God’s better.
So God meets with Trump, and He gives him the opportunity to save this modern civilization from God’s wrath. All Trump must do to stave off such a deluge is show the tiniest bit of humility in his face-to-face with the Almighty. Trump, being Trump, refuses. To Trump’s mind, that God Himself would come down from Heaven to meet him above all others is a possibility the Donald has always assumed likely. That God would ask him to take it down a notch is, to Trump’s eyes, a sign of God’s fear the potential glory of one Donald J. Trump. God takes Trump’s response in stride and, with a light movement of his hand, topples modern civilization.
Of course, it’s the way that God topples civilization that’s the kicker. God notes to the reader that when he gave mankind different tongues after they built the tower in Babel, He made a tactical error. Standing in the penthouse suite of Trump Tower, he corrects this error by doing the opposite. He makes it so that everyone, everywhere, understands exactly what everyone else is thinking whenever they say anything. People of different races and nationalities, who for centuries had manages to cobble a peaceful co-existence by never being entirely sure what animosity and bigotry others harbored toward them, now knew exactly where they stood with everyone. For Trump’s (and mankind’s) sins, whites now tell blacks exactly how inferior they think they are. In return, Blacks tell whites precisely what they feel about them, and the violence that follows is sadly predictable. So too with people of different religions, nationalities, genders, etc. Stripped bare of the white lies that allowed human civilization to stand, that civilization quickly crumbles into chaos and darkness.
Obvious satire? Absolutely. A wee bit too right on the nose? Yes. And so, really, someone really needs to sit down write that short story.
Or they would, if it were not for the fact that this short story has already been written. The above story is actually titled Bible Stories for Adults, #20: The Tower. It was penned by James Morrow… in 1988. The character who faces God’s wrath in the story is named Daniel Nimrod, but it’s pretty clear that it’s meant to be the Donald. You can find it in Morrow’s short story collection Bible Stories for Adults.
Seriously, how fishing weird is that?
Chances are if you’ve heard of Morrow, it is for his delightfully sacrilegious novel Towing Jehovah. But you really should pick up a copy of Bible Stories. It’s a quick read, and fantastic fun.
And perhaps a wee bit prophetic as well. (But hopefully not too prophetic.)