The Family Juuls

Ben pitches freedom, up to a point

photo (c) 2018 Greg Skidmore used under a Creative Commons license.

[The Oval Office. TRUMP is at the Resolute Desk, looking glum. Chief of Staff MICK MULVANEY stands nearby with a folder.]

MULVANEY: Okay, you want to do this?

TRUMP: Not really.

MULVANEY: [Sighs] Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculous but they feel better after these things, it keeps them on the reservation.

TRUMP: I give ‘em everything they want. Like the tax cut. Jesus Christ. Made me look like an asshole but I did it.

MULVANEY: America is grateful, sir.

TRUMP: A couple of ‘em are, anyway. Okay, send the guy in.

[MULVANEY goes to the door, opens it, nods; pint-sized pundit BEN SHAPIRO enters, approaches the desk. TRUMP makes no move to shake his hand.]

TRUMP: Heya, kid.

SHAPIRO: Okay first, Mr. President, such an honor, really, totally grateful and amazed you called me here again —

TRUMP: [Blandly] Kid, kid, slow it down a little, will ya? It’s like there’s a big mosquito in here.

SHAPIRO: Okay. Right. So. Mr. President. You’re the man. In charge. And I would never dream of suggesting that your decisions are anything less —

TRUMP: [Tucks hands under his armpits] Less talk more rock.

SHAPIRO: Okay here’s the thing, sir. I don’t approve of vaping. Totally disgusting, not cool. I tell my fans, just say no. But you shouldn’t ban it, sir, because you’re a conservative. What distinguishes us from liberals is our libertarian tradition.

TRUMP: [To MULVANEY] Libertarian?

MULVANEY: Like Rand Paul.

TRUMP: Oh fuck. That asshole! Worst rug I ever saw.

SHAPIRO: No, Mr. President, I mean conservatives believe in freedom for all.

TRUMP: Well, let’s not get carried away.

SHAPIRO: Absolutely not talking about license, sir.

TRUMP: Or Mexicans.

SHAPIRO: Totally, there are limits. But conservatives such as ourselves believe that in a free society people need to be able to do even disgusting things so long as they don’t hurt other people.

TRUMP: Like guns.

SHAPIRO: Excuse me?

TRUMP: Like you guys want everyone to have guns, right? You don’t approve of all these shootings, I’m assuming that’s where the disgusting part comes in. All that blood and dead kids. But you want people to, you know, be free to shoot off the guns and if they hit somebody that’s the price of freedom.

SHAPIRO: Maybe that’s not the best analogy, sir.

TRUMP: Okay, how about abortion? That’s disgusting, right? Makes a big mess, like in that movie Alfie, the girl is sad afterwards, you may have to wait to bang her again, or maybe just anal. But it all works out and as long as it’s not hurting anybody, who are we to judge, right?

SHAPIRO: [Mouth working like a suffocating guppy's] Not. Hurting. Anybody! Sir, an unborn child, a child of God, a living, breathing human life —

TRUMP: Life, shmife. You call that living? Floating around in that sac thing in there? That’s not living. That’s like when you get old and they got tubes everywhere and you’re all gaga — [rolls eyes, flails in imitation] Blllleehh! Blleeeh! I mean, it’s better to pull the plug.

SHAPIRO: We — we’re just going to have to agree to disagree sir, but I have to say I didn’t expect, I mean — a man like you, I mean —

[SHAPIRO starts to sweat and slightly vibrate.]

Are you playing like some kind a joke on me, is that what this is? Because I can totally help you, sir, I can help with the youth vote, you know, I’m the voice of young, the cool kid’s philosopher, that’s what the New York Times said

TRUMP: Kid, listen, you’re like what, thirty-five, forty years old? But you look like a little kid. It’s weird. You know I’ve seen this before, with that fella, whatshisname, Emmanuel Lewis. Very sad story. He was on crack last I heard, might be dead now. Some kids can’t handle the transition.

[TRUMP nods to MULVANEY, who crosses to and opens the door.]

Okay, kid, well, look, I get what you mean, sometimes we have a little too much freedom, like with abortion, and sometimes we have too little freedom, like with the machine guns. And sometimes we need the mommy vote and since they hate everything else we do, we’re gonna stop their kids from smoking these robot cigarettes. Then maybe we can get another four years and then maybe we can ban abortion and you can have all the tommy guns you want. Okay?

[TRUMP takes out his phone and plays with it. Pause. SHAPIRO stares at him. Eventually TRUMP looks up at him, then points at the door and makes a circular motion.]

SHAPIRO: [With low menace] Just remember Bush’s second term, Mr. Trump. Remember how that turned out.

TRUMP: [Without looking up] There’s a Marine outside. Want me to call him in, short stuff?

[SHAPIRO leaves. MULVANEY shuts the door behind him.]

MULVANEY: Well, that went great.

TRUMP: [With a little bark of a laugh] Like I’m gonna get a second term!

MULVANEY: [Walking to TRUMP] One of the vape moms is outside, sir.

TRUMP: She hot?

MULVANEY: No.

TRUMP: Shit. Oh well, show her in. Maybe when she starts crying I'll get a hard-on.

[CURTAIN.]