Trump After Trump #34

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Roe v. Wade Overturned

The way things have been going in 2020 – during what really feels like will be the final year of the Trump era – why not have the Senate confirm Trump’s nominee and then have the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade on the same day?

One of the bad things about the Trump era is that fact surpasses satire. It’s all just too much. Sometimes the ultimate satirical outlet The Onion simply prints what happened. That is a sign that things are not good in the United States of America: in order to satirize American politics you simply do straight reporting.

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Trump After Trump is going to explore this speculative universe where Trump is no longer president and has to decide what to do and who to be. Sometimes I feel like the most transgressive thing this comic strip could do would be to show Trump becoming a better person, because it just seems impossible for him to go there. It would be the equivalent of The Onion doing straight reporting in order to satirize the present.

In any case, I’m ready to get this storyline out of the presidency and into the post-presidency era. I’m pacing it the best I can at this point, but I’m definitely open to suggestions…

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Trump After Trump #33

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump-Style

I liked this remembrance that Chief Justice John Roberts gave in a ceremony after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on September 18, 2020.

“Justice Ginsburg’s life was one of the many versions of the American dream. Her father was an immigrant from Odessa. Her mother was born four months after her family arrived from Poland. Her mother later worked as a bookkeeper in Brooklyn. Ruth used to ask, ‘What is the difference between a bookkeeper in Brooklyn and a Supreme Court justice?’ Her answer: ‘One generation.’”

That line from Ginsburg is heart-warming, because it reminds me of the American dream of upward mobility that is inspirational and, according to the data, inaccurate. A person’s racial, class and caste background makes that climb harder: the ladder rungs are farther apart, brittle, and there may not be someone there to catch you when you fall.

However, hearing RBG talk about achieving what she did from her humble beginnings is legitimately inspirational, because she was aware of how social and legal forces act against less privileged American groups; and she dedicated her life to using her mind to help people by addressing shortcomings in the law.

Let’s be optimistic in the face of all of the challenges we’re facing right now: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and many like her dedicate their lives to helping Americans have equal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let’s not forget that it takes people working hard to make it possible for more bookkeeper’s daughters to climb like RBG did.

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Trump After Trump #32

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

A Highly Motivated Supreme Court Nominee With a Clean Record

I don’t have a lot to say about today’s strip. Just that I’m enjoying the absurd alternate reality of a lameduck Trump nominating a fetus for the Supreme Court. Not only is there the typical rush to confirm for political reasons, but they want the Senate seal of approval fast before the fetus is born and becomes a baby!

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Trump After Trump #31

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

How to Choose a Supreme Court Justice

Looking at two ultrasound prints of two different fetuses is kind of like selecting a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Ultrasounds are grainy and low-res. The little outlines suggest the shape of a little human, but the image tells us mostly nothing about who that person might be, how they might behave, what they might do in the future.

So, we project our hopes and dreams, our biases and prejudices, onto that blurry black-and-white image. One day, will this person make a game-winning three pointer or graduate with honors or cast the deciding vote overturning Roe v. Wade? We don’t know.

Trump compares these two ultrasound images looking for anything to distinguish them. And, as we all do, we find what we seek.

And what are ultrasounds? A white image created by sound bouncing off the bone and tissue of the fetus. Trump notes that one of the images is whiter than the other, which means that more sound has reached the fetus and kertwanged right off, where the ultrasound machine reads that signal as whiteness.

Reminds me of the problem of whiteness in the U.S. For many of us, sounds reach us and then bounce right back off, unheard. Have I finally introduced race into this comic strip??? Or did I do it before and just forget… Well, it’s about time. There is so much to say.

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Trump After Trump #30

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Need a Young, Pro-Life Supreme Court Justice? Think Huge.

I don’t know about you, but this is the first time I can think of that I’ve seen an ultrasound drawn in a comic strip. They’re grainy and low-fi as it is – translating that to ink on paper is a tricky endeavor.

I guess I’m having it both ways in this comic strip right now. Today, September 26, 2020, we’re in full Supreme Court mania in the U.S., but I’ve set this comic strip on December 7, 2020, after a Biden win in November. So, the chronology is off, but the spirit is similar: we’re dealing with a Supreme Court nomination during an election period.

I think the story works, even though I’m using a story set in the future to talk about current events.

God, I love fiction.

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Trump After Trump #29

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

It Feels So Good When Someone Really GETS You

Trump wouldn’t be the first sad case to find true companionship with someone who can’t speak for themselves. There’s definitely the fascinating question of the extent to which we bond with our pets versus how much we project onto them. Trump doesn’t strike me as a pet owner – you have to do things to keep them alive and healthy. How does that make him money or polish his reputation?

But, what if he had a doll, like Don-Don? No feeding, no trips to the vet, no walks or litterbox maintenance. All you have to do is have someone run Don-Don through the laundry from time to time, and you’re good.

And, Don-Don is the perfect person to listen to Trump, because Don-Don has no ears or language-processing capabilities.

How many people in Trump’s circle envy Don-Don?

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