Alas the poor Elephant! First deployed by the Republican Party 150 years ago, that honorable beast now appears to have become the victim of a more powerful predator, the Kraken. The Kraken, you say? The boogeyman of Viking lore? A giant Calamari?
Trump’s ferocious legal team has ‘loosed the Kraken” as the new emblem of what was once known nostalgically as the Grand Old Party. In Viking lore, the Kraken, waving giant tentacles would rise from the depths of the sea to crush whole long ships and feast on their crews. The fierce warriors of Rudy the Black Dyed have now summoned this fearsome creature from the depths of his fever-ridden Swamp to wrap its tentacles around the American Ship of State and devour all who stand against them.
Once the Kraken scared little Norse children into eating their boiled codfish, Trumpists now deploy it to terrify American children and keep them from believing the lie they learned in school that democracy and elections are good for them.
But why the Kraken? If you saw the first two episodes of The Pirates of the Caribbean you will remember the Kraken Calamari destroying hapless galleons. Unlike the wise pachyderm, ferocious when provoked but otherwise cute and cuddly, the Kraken is just mean and ugly all the time. Some believe that is why the Trumpists have adopted it as their new mascot. Others argue that the Trumpists discarded elephants because they have a famous memory incompatible with their lies and turned to the better-suited Kraken Calamari.
I can now announce I have discovered, after diligent investigation, the real truth about the selection of the Kraken. It came to me when I researched Krakens and realized that they bear an uncanny resemblance to Chinese Sea Dragons. We all know that China has conspired for centuries to control America. In the 19th century China sent waves of subversives, ostensibly to build America’s railways, but in fact to open Chinese laundries and control our minds by starching our clothes. (Too much starch in American collars would cause hypoxia and collapse our brains.) They also tried to take over America through Chinese restaurants but were foiled by the serendipitous arrival of benign Greek immigrants who monopolized the restaurant (and florist) business of America. (Will Rogers once said, “The Greeks are the most powerful people in America. They can poison us all in their restaurants and then provide the flowers for the funeral.”)
But I digress. With the advent of Nixon’s southern strategy and the arrival of Newt Gingrich, the Chinese mandarins saw their chance. They sent a Dragon to whisper in Gingrich’s ear. “Newt, my son. Let me introduce you to the opportunity of a lifetime. Guided by the Dragon you can bring America under your complete control. If you follow my guidance you can dispense with the waste and inconvenience of government alternating between two political parties. A happy country is a country with a single political party with a single purpose: gaining and keeping power. With one political party you can bring all the people to accept that your country is a country of a single race. In China we have only the Han People. In America you can make this a country limited to White Evangelical Christians, or WEXs. Once you have established the dominance of your single political party you can reeducate all non-WEX and stay in power forever.”
And then the Dragon spoke again and taught Newt about the ‘permanent campaign’ as a device to pursue power. “The model I bring from China works best if you can define the ‘enemies of the people’ and then educate the people to hate them. It does not matter who they are as long as you can generate grievance and turn it into hatred. In China our people had real grievances against the merchant, the banker, and the landowner. We created the Communist Party, turned that grievance into hatred and then destroyed them. And when we destroyed them the Communist Party turned from the Permanent Campaign to Permanent Power. Follow my advice and you can do the same.”
Then Newt said to the Dragon. “In America we have people who once accepted their place as our slaves. And then they became free but in the South we taught poor whites to fear them because they needed someone poorer and more miserable than themselves. Would that fit your teaching?” And the Dragon replied, “You are wise my son.”
In time, Newt expanded the list of enemies of the people to include journalists, scientists, immigrants of color, and men who remained faithful to their wives. And the Dragon marveled at the sagacity of his pupil. Newt also recruited to his cause the very merchants, bankers, and landowners whom the Chinese communists had caused to be hated. And it came to pass that Newt located a wondrous leader of great wealth and red hair, to lead his party and destroy the democracy that stood in the way of power. And that man almost succeeded until he was struck down by a plague sent from Heaven.
As Newt’s party struggled to retain the power it lost, he turned once more to the Dragon for advice. The Dragon told him to attack democracy by any means and destroy it before it could recover. Newt said to the Dragon, “Dragon we would like you to lead us in our struggle.” The Dragon wisely said to Newt “it is best if you conceal from where I came. I hear, however, that another monster dwells among people of blonde hair and blue eyes. Make it your Dragon.”
And hence came forth the Kraken.