GONE WITH THE WINDBAG (OR: TRUMP ON “THE PLANTATION” IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH)

The doings and rhetoric of Donald Trump since he took office set my mind to wondering how he would have fit into the antebellum south, particularly into my best-selling novel, “The Plantation.” The novel is set in the early 1820s and this would seem a perfect time for him. He wouldn’t have been called The Donald but “Mister Donald” and I suspect that he would have been just fine with that.

He certainly wouldn’t have had any problem with minorities since they only one would have been the blacks and they were all slaves and he would own scores of them. No Muslim problem. Or an influx of Mexican immigrants. Actually, the illegal influx in those days went the other way: Americans entering Mexico by any means possible. And women knew their place—well, except for Joleen Devours in “The Plantation.”

Overblown rhetoric was all the rage and Mr. Donald would have had endless occasions on which to speak. About anything. Whether he knew anything about it or not. Just like today. The downside would have been that there was no radio or television, so his audiences would be small.

An aspect of those 1820s Deep South days that would probably give him wet dreams: He recently announced that he was going to reopen “dark” prisons where suspected terrorists would be held and tortured. In the antebellum south, secrecy wouldn’t have been necessary. Mister Donald could just string up some slave and whomp the hell out of him.

One thing that he would focus his hatred on—and he’s a man who craves something or someone to hate like an addict craves drugs—was the underground railroad. The idea that any group would steal and free his slaves—his property—would make him postal. He would speak against the underground railroad endlessly and often. When he couldn’t stop them, he would try to come up with something…anything.

A wall: Totally impractical, of course, but since when did practicality or reality have the slightest effect on him. But a wall across the entire slave-holding south? Well, you can bet he would try. There was all that slave labor…

Trump in “The Plantation” wouldn’t be easy. The novel sold a million copies without him as a character (and has sold very well on Amazon since being reissued as an e-book). Would having him as a character have increased sales? (Or lowered sales?)

Well, he couldn’t be created as a hero back in 1820s Mississippi any more than he could be these days. A villain? That would be easy enough but Trump’s villainy is both too evil and too mundane.

Any problem: I hardly see Donald J. Trump having an existence living out at the back end of nowhere—as in “The Plantation”—no matter how much wealth, influence and power he might have. As far as knowing the slightest thing about agriculture or ever having been on a plantation, even a farm, riding horse back…could he even mount a horse?

All right, I’m going to have to put off trying to integrate him into “The Plantation” until a later blog.