“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. The place is here, the time is now, and the journey we are about to watch could be our journey.”
Imagine if you will a real-estate developer who is a poor business manager and leader but is; however, a gifted salesman who has amassed a fortune leasing out the use of his name to other business ventures. More recently he has reality television star, a role he has embraced with such vigor he has begun to lose sight of his true identity and see himself as the larger-than-life celebrity character he portrays on his show.
We join him shortly after returning to the United States from presenting a beauty pageant in Russia; a visit in which he was recorded by agents of the government engaged in non-traditional acts of sex with multiple prostitutes. These agents used the recording to black mail him into using his celebrity, fame and wealth to obtain the office of the President of the United States, while beholden to them.
To further indebt him they invested heavily into his personal business ventures over the next few years.
He doesn’t; however, want to be President. That position is held accountable to far too many people for his taste, and under far too much public scrutiny for him to maintain the persona he wants to maintain in the public eye.
So, intent on being able to prove he tried, but also intent on losing, he declares his candidacy during the primary election season in the party contrary to that persona and runs a campaign bereft of policy but full of arrogant belligerence, smug condescension, overt racism, religious intolerance, calls for war crimes, blatant misogyny and Nationalist Isolationism.
To damage his chances further, he insults every possible grouping and classification of people based on race, religion, gender, nation of origin, income level, and profession. He even insults his own followers claiming from the campaign podium that he loves the people that are too stupid to see the obvious problems with him as President and willing to vote for and support him even if he committed murder in a crowded street in broad daylight.
To his great surprise and dismay, they prove him correct, and he wins that primary election against much more qualified and experienced conservative candidates after being embraced by previously closeted White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis.
Finding himself entrenched in a general election campaign that he might actually win, after all, he begins to coordinate leaks of damaging information to undermine his own candidacy without appearing to be at fault so he can continue to claim to the Russian blackmailers and money lenders that he really did try.
They leak never-before seen recordings of him admitting to a history of workplace sexual assault. Then defends it as “harmless locker-room banter.” His supporters see this as far less offensive than shooting someone in the street and rally to his defense, further normalizing sexual assault and rape culture in the process.
He gets more aggressive with the hate speech rhetoric, and they love it and repeat it.
When all else fails, he has his staff begin to covertly leak “unsubstantiated” clues to the details of his monetary ties to Russia as if they had been uncovered through investigative reporting. Unbelievably, his supporters embrace his contacts with the nation’s historic enemy and applaud these actions or dismiss it completely as “fake news.”
To everyone’s great shock and dismay, including his, he wins the general election as well, despite losing the popular vote due to the racial history and foundation of the Electoral College.
With little time left to find a way out, he has his staff begin leaking more details about his ties to Russia. But to be sure, he begins to a list of appointees to his cabinet of known racists, religious zealots, Neo-Nazi supporters and war-mongers.
Intent on damaging his own credibility as much, and as quickly, as possible, he begins to appoint government division Secretaries that are the worst possible candidates for each department, with a history of not wanting to reform the department they will run but discredit and abolish it. He even appoints several people from the same financial organization he derided his general election opponent for being associated with at all.
Even this proves ultimately unsuccessful; so, in a last great act of defiance, he and his staff secretly leak the details of what the blackmail is about, without leaking the actual proof of the blackmail so they can continue to deny it officially.
But he still hasn’t resorted to shooting someone in the street, and even if he did, it appears he was correct. His supporters wouldn’t even leave him for that criminal offense.
Meet Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States.
“It couldn’t happen,” you say? Probably not in most places, but it did happen in the Twilight Zone.