Every now and then, the Devil comes by the spacious offices of The Erstwhile Conservative for a short interview. He only had a few minutes, since this is his busy season, but I managed to get in some important questions. Here is the lightly edited interview:
TEC: Thanks for stopping by. I want to quickly ask you what I think is a fairly obvious question, but one I’ll ask anyway: What part have you played in the rise of Drumpf? I can see your fingerprints all over this.
THE DEVIL: Yeah, I know. It is kind of obvious, isn’t it? But that couldn’t be prevented, given what we were working with. Look, I don’t want to give away too much right now because there is still so much to be done, but I can’t help but brag a little bit. This is one of the most brilliant campaigns we have ever run—
TEC: One of the most?
THE DEVIL: Okay, dammit. You got me. It is the most brilliant campaign we have ever run. Okay? And I’m so damned proud of it I can’t barely hide it.
TEC: How did you get this all started anyway?
THE DEVIL: Oh, this thing has been in the making for years now. It started out with that whole birther thing. Do you know how hard it was to get someone to take that bait? It was damned hard, let me tell you. But we found him! And when I first started getting reports from the field, from our demons assigned to the task, that Drumpf was biting on it, I couldn’t believe it. But I gave orders to keep after it and keep after him and see if there was something more there we could build on. And it turns out there was a lot there we could build on.
TEC: So, what was the next step, after he took the birther bait?
THE DEVIL: This is where it gets good. And this may surprise you. But it came to me one night in hell, as I was thinking—seething, really—about how miserably we have failed to get a majority of Americans to give into their cultural anxieties and put a real hate-generating reactionary in the Oval Office. We’ve been successful in Congress, but we need it all to do our devilish damage.
TEC: And, so, what came to you?
THE DEVIL: Political correctness! We simply had to do away with it. We had to get people to resent it, to will it away.
THE DEVIL: Because by getting rid of political correctness that would allow people to act out their racism and sexism and other forms of anxiety and hatred without fear of retribution.
TEC: Without fear that someone would call them on it.
THE DEVIL: Exactly. If we could get rid of the idea that there are some things Americans shouldn’t say about each other, we could get our foot in the door. So, one of our most promising demons came up with the idea of planting in Drumpf’s head the notion that political correctness had to go. And like the birther stuff, he bit. He went for it. And from there, it was easy to get him to run for president, and the next thing you know, he’s starting out his campaign by talking about Mexican rapists. Brilliant!
TEC: But it didn’t stop there.
THE DEVIL: Of course not. Once the political correctness door got knocked down, no one was immune. Blacks, Muslims, women. Drumpf would say anything. We could literally get him to say anything. He puts up almost no resistance! Heck, just for fun one day, one of our demons told him to say that he could shoot someone on the street and he wouldn’t lose any voters. And he went out and said it!
TEC: Yeah, I remember that.
THE DEVIL: But we’ve done other things just for the hell of it, just for laughs.
TEC: Like what?
THE DEVIL: We got the Drumpf campaign to put a white nationalist on the delegate ballot in California!
TEC: I heard that.
THE DEVIL: Who could have believed that a year ago? Or who could believe that we could get David Duke to whisper to his racist followers that Drumpf is really one of them? I get chills just thinking about how successful we’ve been with this thing. It’s massive.
TEC: You mean yoooge.
THE DEVIL: Let’s be serious.
TEC: Okay, okay. What is it you like most about what has happened so far?
THE DEVIL: Without a doubt my favorite part of this effort has been taking those devil-hating evangelicals and turning them into Drumpfkins! They are always talking about how much they love God, the Enemy, and now they’re running to the polls voting for my guy! How sweet is that? Now, I don’t want to brag, but I’ve heard that even God himself is impressed by that feat! And, listen, take it from me, God’s not easy to impress.
TEC: I bet he isn’t. But I want to ask you about Bernie Sanders and how he fits into all this.
THE DEVIL: Well, I hesitate to talk about that too much right now because it’s a subtle operation and it is still ongoing. But just look at what we did last night in West Virginia. Our ground operation there was so good—our demonic forces in that region are some of the best—that we got Bernie a victory—
TEC: But Bernie has won a lot of states—
THE DEVIL: Sure he has, but what happened last night was remarkable. We got him a majority of voters, most of them saying they would never vote for Hillary! And, get this, we got a lot of those who voted for Bernie last night to say they wouldn’t vote for Bernie in November! Now, dammit, that’s a hell of an accomplishment, isn’t it?
TEC: Yeah, I suppose that’s pretty impressive.
THE DEVIL: You’re damn right it is! But, hey, I have to go. There’s still a lot to do. We’ve got to stop all that damnable talk of a third party out there.
TEC: Okay, but before you head out, where do we go from here? What’s next with the Drumpf campaign?
THE DEVIL: Look, you know I can’t tell you what’s coming next, as much as I want to. Suffice it to say it will be the general election from hell. We intend to see one of our own sitting in the White’s House next January. That’s all I’m going to say about it right now because, dammit, we want this campaign of ours to remain unpredictable!
TEC: Oh, my. Well, thanks for stopping by.
THE DEVIL: No problem…heck, okay, I can’t help myself. I’ll tell you something we’re working on right now with Drumpf. We’re trying to get Newt Gingrich on the ticket!
TEC: Wow. Are you serious? Newt bleeping Gingrich?
THE DEVIL: I have probably said too much. I gotta go.