We're just completing one of the craziest, most absurd, and most fantastically wonderful 36 hours in political entertainment history and it made me realize: there's a way out of this.
All the clues finally came clear during this week of politics. First, Trump goes to meet with Paul Ryan and the press is lining the street like someone accidentally scheduled an inauguration on the same day as Springsteen was giving a free concert on The Mall.
Then we all got to witness a news cycle about the offensive and threatening social media remarks penned by one of the candidate's maniacal former butlers. And it was like no big deal. The hits just keep coming and coming, day after day. Mitt Romney had an elevator for his car and that story had to last us like three weeks.
And finally, there's the latest story about Trump calling reporters while pretending to be someone else talking about Trump. And the voice is clearly his, like totally clearly, and he is denying it, which is even more perfect. This is a human story we can all relate to. In the Internet age, there's nothing more American than strapping the art of self-promotion to the side of a rocketship attached to a hyperloop.
And he loves it. All of it. More than anyone has loved it. People hate running for higher office. It takes years off their lives. Trump is like six years younger than when he started running.
And we love it. There is no better show on TV. There is no more entertaining character on the Internet. When is the last time you had dinner with friends and didn't talk about Trump? It even happens to me when I'm eating alone. He's that good.
The only problem is that he's running for president. And if he gets it, we'll all be in grave danger (we're talking Code Orange) and become the butt of jokes throughout the world.
But what if we make a deal? Trump stops running for president. And we continue to cover him as if he was still running.
And get this, we do it... forever.
He can do whatever he wants on the show. He can keep his tax returns private, make fun of Little Marco and Lying Ted (and those guys would be lining up to get parts on this show), post tweets that needle relentlessly at China and Vicente Fox, do promos for Trump Steaks, and even pretend to be making policy or pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey. If he really wants us to, we'll consider calling him John Miller once in a while. And this can go on and on and on.
And Melania gets to keep playing the wife. (Chris Matthews wouldn't have it any other way. His leg hasn't tingled like this since Obama was in his prime.)
And that's not all. We'll also get lawsuits related to Trump University dropped and erased from the record. (Let's be honest, if you paid money for something called Trump University, you're sort of getting what you deserve...)
That's more than a fair deal for you, Donald. All the upside (the fame, way more money, more time for golf and selfies). None of the downside (seriously, you really want to go to North Carolina and talk about toilets when you could be at another Miss Universe dress rehearsal?). And it's a lifetime contract. All we ask in return is that you don't ruin our country and set off a series of chain reactions that will turn today's American empire into tomorrow's Pets.com.
Come on, man. You never really wanted to win this thing. You've proved your point. Stop wasting time fighting a manufactured battle against the Clintons and go after the family you really want to beat in the ratings: The Kardashians.
Dave Pell writes NextDraft in the Artist Formerly Known as America.
This post originally appeared on Medium.