In October 2018, Donald Trump made headlines when he climbed up the stairs to Air Force One with a piece of toilet paper stuck to his shoe. This week, as Trump walked from his limousine to Marine One on the eve of his impeachment inquiry, a (presumably) different piece of toilet paper was seen sticking to Trump’s shoe. (You can view the Reuters image here, courtesy of the Daily Mail.)
As the impeachment inquiry exposes more evidence of Trump’s unprecedented wrongdoing, it is becoming harder for Congressional Republicans to cling to him in the way toilet paper does with such ease. If Trump leaves office early and lands in prison, what would his life be like there? Many people read books in prison, but Trump can barely read. What about letters, then? Surely, one of Trump’s autocratic friends would drop him a line every so often, right?
We learned this week that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan certainly would not be Trump’s pen pal. On Wednesday, while standing beside Trump at a joint news conference at the White House, Erdogan did not hesitate to tell reporters that he returned Trump’s ridiculous “Don’t be a tough guy!” letter to him. Trump didn’t seem to mind, pathetically assuring reporters that he’s actually “a big fan” of Erdogan.
What about Kim Jong-Un? After all, at a West Virginia rally last year, Trump proclaimed that Kim “wrote me beautiful letters. And they’re great letters! We fell in love.” Unfortunately for Trump, Kim wouldn’t be writing him either, as their romance has since soured. On the same day that Erdogan returned Trump’s letter to him, Kim issued an official statement indicating that he is fed up with Trump and warning that “[t]he U.S. had better behave itself with prudence.”
So, it looks like Trump may be passing time in prison with little more than his memories of how he tried to destroy the world. Trump could begin each day thinking about how he harmed the environment through reckless deregulation. After lunch, Trump could reminisce about wrecking the economy through deranged tariff wars and irresponsible tax reform. Around dinnertime, Trump could recall how he persuaded Americans to hate immigrants and turn on each other. Finally, as Trump would go to bed, he could remember how he slowly ripped apart alliances and withdrew from treaties that aimed to make the world a peaceful and stable place.
Trump would have these memories to keep him company in prison, but there would also be something else of significance there. Hanging quietly from a wall in Trump’s cell, a roll of toilet paper would serve as a constant reminder of the humiliation Trump has been as the clown face of America. It’s not just that a piece of toilet paper got stuck to Trump’s shoe on more than one occasion. It’s that Trump’s entire presidency has been littered with toilet paper from day one — and it’s about time we flushed the toilet.