20 January 2017
Enter President-elect Donald Trump, newly sworn in Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice President Joe Biden, soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama, and Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump and Roberts are standing face to face. Trump rests one very small hand on two bibles and raises the other; Roberts is about to give him the Oath of Office. Pence is off to the side, examining the shiny “Best Vice President Husband Ever!” pin his wife just gave him. Obama and Biden stand off to the other side in a small V.I.P. crowd.
Roberts: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear…
Trump: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear…
Roberts: That I will faithfully execute…
Trump: That I will faithfully execute…
Roberts: The office of [inaudible slurring] of the United States…
Trump: The office of [more inaudible slurring] of the United States…
Biden: What was that? They should have said “President” there, right?
Roberts: And will, to the best of my ability…
Trump: And will, to the best of my ability…
Roberts: Preserve, protect, and defend…
Trump: Preserve, protect, and defend…
Roberts: The Constitution of the United States…
Trump: The Constitution of the United States…
Roberts: So help me God.
Trump: So help me God.
Roberts steps forward and shakes Trump’s very small hand.
Roberts: Congratulations Mr. Supreme Chancellor.
Biden: What did he just say? At the end there?
Biden: Did Roberts just call him Supreme Chancellor?
Biden: I think goddamn Roberts just named goddamn Trump goddamn Supreme Chancellor.
Obama nods. Trump slips Roberts a twenty.
Biden: Barry, buddy, say something, man.
Obama: I don’t know what to say, Joe.
Biden: But you heard it, right? I mean is that legally binding? You’re the constitutional law professor here. Does he wield like supreme executive power now?
Obama: Geeze, Joe. I don’t know. Did I hear it? Sure. Was I listening intently? Not really. Honestly, I’ve been dreaming for like two weeks about how that helicopter right over there is going whisk me away to a mysterious far-off land somewhere out west.
Biden: [Mostly to himself] I can’t believe that happened. I don’t know if anyone else even noticed. [To random people in the crowd behind him] Did you hear that? What Roberts said at the end? Is that real? I mean is he Supreme Chancellor?
Lady in the crowd: I don’t know, man. I was paid to sit here. I’m not paying attention.
Biden stands up.
Biden: Is anyone here paying attention to this?
Trump looks menacingly over at Biden. Biden, a bit embarrassed, sits down. Trump steps up to the microphone.
Trump: Good morning.
The mic is off, so the crowd doesn’t hear Trump well, and there’s some loud, squealing-type feedback. Trump and an aid turn the mic on and adjust its positioning.
Trump: Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.
Biden: What did he just say?
Trump: Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests.
There are vague whispers in the crowd.
Biden: Oh, Jesus.
Trump: Perhaps its fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution. But from annihilation.
Biden: You’ve got to be shitting me.
A very satisfying buildup of music issues from somewhere.
Trump: We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”
The music hits its climax, beckoning a satisfying discharge of cinematic tension. Trump supporters all through the crowd jump and cheer. A couple fighter jets zip off into the stratosphere; some of them shoot missiles. Supreme Chancellor Trump pumps his fists and turns and shakes more hands.
Biden: Straight from the goddamn movie.