I enjoy playing the card game Spades. It’s a four-person game in which you work with a partner. All cards are dealt out and there are thirteen rounds – “tricks” – per deal. You and your partner attempt to win the number of tricks you predict you will take (bid); there are small penalties for bidding too low and big penalties for bidding too high. A single player can even generate 100 points for the team by going “nil” – a successful bid that he or she will win no tricks personally.
The highest card in the suit that is led wins the trick that round and the winner throws the first card for the next round. Unless a trump card is thrown, that is. Each player must follow the suit that is led as long as he or she has a card in that suit, but if not, any card in the person’s hand may be thrown. If a spade is thrown, the highest spade wins that trick.
It’s telling that President Trump’s family name was changed from Drumpf to Trump. It fits our current president. Trump cards are powerful and can wreak havoc on the strategies of others. If you have enough trump cards in your hand, you then have fewer cards in the other suits so you don’t have to play nice for very long. As soon as a suit is led in which you have no cards left, you can start destroying of the other side. In this ace high game, your 2 of spades – the lowest trump card – still beats the ace of any other suit. President Trump certainly seems to play by the rules of Spades. Well, that is as long as he can make sure he is dealt most of the trump cards in the deck.
With this analogy, I believe Mr. Trump thinks of himself as the unbeatable ace of spades, a guaranteed winner. I also think we can make analogies as to which cards he feels represent other people. He may feel that he gets to have all the trump cards and thus win every hand, but that would be a pretty boring analogy. Not only that, any player can call for a misdeal if he or she doesn’t receive a single spade in the hand, so let’s assume Mr. Trump doesn’t get them all.
His trusted advisors can have a spade or two, but probably nothing higher than a ten. Less trusted people get five or below to prevent a re-deal, but have no real power. It’s possible Steve Bannon may get a trump face card because he certainly does have a lot of influence with the President.
What about everyone else? The hands for most media outlets will be weak, but with one medium-strong card so they can’t go nil. If the rules include the provision that each team must bid at least three or four, the media will lose points on every hand. Fox News can have a better hand, of course, and if they play their hand well, they may even be invited to be the President’s partner in the game. In reality, Mr. Trump would probably like the media out of the game, looking pathetic and holding a single card from a mismatched deck which represents their worth. Most wouldn’t have anything over a four, and it wouldn’t be a trump card.
What about other people? Christian conservatives rate a king of hearts or even a 6 of spades. Trump Democrats are a little harder. As long as they continue to support him, they’re entitled to a couple medium trump cards, but if they start to bulk at tax cuts for the rich, loss of health care and reduced wages, they will soon find themselves with rather poor cards indeed. Liberals – a two of clubs. Complainers and Women’s Marchers – a three of diamonds. Inner-city blacks – maybe a five or six of hearts since Mr. Trump constructed a narrative on his interpretation of their lives that helped win the racist vote. Illegal immigrants –a ripped joker stained with grape jelly.
What about religion? Conservative Christians and Jews – ten of spades (remember that he has all the trump face cards). Liberal Christians and Jews – ten of clubs. Muslims (Sunni, Shiite, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal – it doesn’t matter in the President’s book) – a joker. Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus – nine of diamonds. Native American spirituality – six of spades. Wiccan – eight of spades (Perhaps he doesn’t understand it, but heard something about free-spirited women dancing in the moonlight, so it doesn’t sound too bad).
How about countries? United States – king of spades (He’s still keeping that ace for himself). Canada – eight of spades (they’re like us, but too liberal for his tastes). Mexico – three of clubs, but can go higher if they agree to pay for the wall. United Kingdom – jack of spades because they voted for Brexit. Russia – also a jack of spades; he likes their style. European Union countries – five of diamonds unless they vote to leave the EU, then a mid-spade. China – tough one. They treat their people in a way he respects, but they’re too good at “winning” against the United States. Perhaps a five of spades. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – eight of spades. Most African and Asian countries – no cards; they should be worrying about their horrible lives, not playing cards. Australia, New Zealand and South America – ten of hearts.
Majority Muslim countries with Muslim leadership – another torn, stained joker if there are no Trump hotels, golf courses or other business deals, but a nine of spades if there are.
It doesn’t seem very fun to play cards with President Trump since the cards seem stacked against you. It could even be worse than playing against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.