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The President of the United States of America has forcefully asserted the idea that only rich people can save society, a message that, till now, has been conveyed all too subtly. Society needed such a message in order to convince everyone of the great benevolence and moral uprightness of rich people.

Dear President Trump,

Thank you for the bravery you showed when pronouncing upon the fitness of poor people to manage your nation’s finances or hold high public office in your administration in general. Your off-the-cuff remarks about the wisdom of appointing rich poor to high office reveal more about leaders’, and probably society in general’s, true attitudes to poor people and the superior qualities which wealth supposedly imbues than the platitudes of so-called progressives or the faux empathy of liberals.

Your words are those of a genuine, full-blooded American patriot and recall the deeper class character of the racially and gender exclusivist political project that the Founding Fathers imagined the democratic experiment would turn out to be in the United States. In these days of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Islamic’ terror, when it has become relatively easy to believe it to be somehow ‘natural’ for people’s consciousness to be defined solely by their ascribed identities, your words remind us of the classist leanings of these erstwhile enlightened figures.

Your comments epitomise the attitude which exalts the status of members of the elite and seduces rich persons into believing themselves to be a beacon for the great unwashed masses whose birth right it is to lead them. In so doing, they expose as a sham the claim that contemporary interpretations of democracy automatically ensure a meritocracy.

In making your remarks, you forcefully asserted the idea that only rich people can save society, a message that, till now, has been conveyed all too subtly if you ask me. Society needed you to decode the pervasive message that seeks to convince us of the benevolence and moral uprightness of rich people, in a way that the adventures of the fascistic superhero Batman, the largesse of the tycoons who publicise their donations to multi-billion dollar charitable foundations yet avoid taxation by spiriting their money away to tax havens or the disproportionate influence of movie and reality TV starlets whose views just as easily determine the outcome of elections as they do the success of the products they endorse never could.

Thanks to you, we are left in no doubt of elites’ ability to save us and their desire to do wonderful deeds despite the consequences of their actions, which say otherwise. Granted, the preachers who aim to save souls by preaching on the ticket of a ‘prosperity gospel’, where material wealth is equated with spiritual favour, are also deserving of mention but you are definitely worthy of being singled out for praise. After all, preachers do ultimately claim to rely on a text which some have interpreted to advocate for providing a preferential option for the poor.

Thank you, too, President Trump for relieving Americans of the burden of anxiety of expectations and assuring them that they can expect more of the same policies that have enabled rich people to gorge themselves and accumulate unprecedentedly vast amounts of riches even though these policies promise only economic pain in the form of austerity programmes for the poor when things go wrong. By pointing out that poor people cannot be trusted with managing public money, you may also have inadvertently confirmed the view (hitherto expressed privately) that poor people are responsible for their station in life. It is not, for instance, the disadvantage wrought by residual discrimination caused by years of oppressive policies or structural barriers that keep them there. In this way, sundry commentators can finally engage in guilt-free blaming of the poor while continuing to peddle the belief that the upward mobility envisioned in notions like The American Dream is possible if only poor people worked harder. Your insights will be useful to help quell demands for greater equality and a fairer distribution of income which are being expressed more vocally in a world where economic inequality is rapidly increasing and starting to fray the tenuous bonds which knit societies together.

Thank you for standing beside members of your class even though they have been responsible for some of the gravest economic and environmental calamities that have befallen the planet in recent memory. Needless to say, your unwavering confidence in their ability and the unquestioned loyalty you exhibited in expressing a willingness to entrust them with all our economic fortunes despite their constant failures may finally enable you to dismiss the accusations of deception that have been levelled against you based on slanderous opinions that you have betrayed the promises you made to ordinary American voters by backtracking on key election promises and playing on their fears instead.

The consistent favour you have shown other rich people is sure to to have put paid to any notions of competence which poor people, many of whom perform miracles to feed and clothe their families each day with minimal or no government assistance, may have harboured. Had you not done so and permitted the possibility that a person from a humble background could prove themselves capable of actually handling finances, poor people may have actually started believing that they could be competent in other areas as well. For example, that one of them could be responsible for your country’s foreign policy. This when everyone can see what a sterling job the phenomenally rich Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been doing issuing threats and generally embodying the belligerent and warlike stance which has characterised US foreign policy in the 21st century and caused your country to become estranged from so many of its friends.

And to think there are those who dare to say that you, dear sir, lack principle?

Most of all, thank you President Trump for making the rest of us across the world realise that making the myth that is your idea of America great again might not work out so great for us.


Yours truly,

A working class South African