For the past weeks, as I’ve watched the presidency of Donald Trump unfurl like a deep-fried blooming onion at a county fair – unhealthy, nauseating, greasy – I have asked myself, how can I make my voice heard? How can one small person effectively express his utter loathing of Trump and his so-called policies? Also, what can I do with this live skunk I happen to have?
I have felt powerless facing down a reckless political machine that overwhelmingly rewards self-interest and negates common sense. What could I hope to accomplish as simply one more body in a sea of protests, specifically a body who really can’t afford to take time off work to march in the streets?
But then I noticed among these protests the complete absence of skunks of any kind. That was when I realized that my Trump protest and the live skunk I happen to have are one and the same. The skunk is the protest!
So now I am carrying this live skunk to protest everything Donald Trump stands for.
My protest is a reminder that all citizens must band together to fight intolerance, lies and bigotry. We must fight with our hearts and minds, we must fight with our voices and hands, and we must fight with the caustic, stinging stench of a live skunk.
In carrying this live skunk, I am telling the world, “My heart is sickened by the disrespect President Trump has shown society’s most vulnerable, not just in his own country but in deeply troubled parts of the world. I cry these tears out of sorrow, and not merely due to the irritation caused by the sulphurous discharge from the scent glands of this live skunk.”
Go ahead and build your wall, but no wall can keep out love, just as no wall can keep out the acrid stink of a live skunk.
By carrying this live skunk, I am expressing my belief that Trump’s immigration and refugee policies have little to do with security but are meant to whip up fear of “the other,” ultimately to justify the curtailing of human rights and civil liberties. By carrying this live skunk, I am reminding people that most of our fears are irrational – except for the fear of being sprayed by a live skunk, which is highly likely in this instance.
We supposedly live in a post-truth age of alternative facts, and yet there can be no denying that this is definitely a live skunk I’m carrying.
The live skunk has a Twitter account: @TrumpSkunk. It consists entirely of pictures of me carrying this live skunk and people reeling back in abject horror. It’s a metaphor, the live skunk being Trump’s Twitter statements, and the horrified people being the horrified people.
A word about the live skunk: the live skunk does not seem to mind being carried. If it wants down, I let it down for a while, but not for so long that I can no longer claim that I am carrying a live skunk to protest everything Donald Trump stands for.
I also ensure that the live skunk has adequate food and water. I take great care of the live skunk, because I know that even the slightest harm caused to a helpless animal is far more upsetting to many people than the serious harm caused to a human refugee.
I cannot explain where the skunk came from. It seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, although in hindsight I should have seen the skunk coming.
Until the Trump administration backs away from its cynical, Orwellian strain of politics, I will continue to carry this live skunk, surrounded by a noxious cloud, much like the noxious cloud of division that permeates this administration and serves only to embolden the ignorant and hateful, a noxious cloud that’s going to take a whole lot of tomato juice to wash out of our clothes/souls.
Carrying this live skunk to protest everything Donald Trump stands for is clearly the only thing I can do.
I have named the live skunk Steve Bannon.