“And they all lived happily ever after.”
In general, fairy-tale endings are horrifying. The fact that the man you were forced to marry because your father got lost in the woods and made an ill-advised promise is an enchanted prince and not a hedgehog does not actually make this a good outcome.
And the Donald Trump-Megyn Kelly “happily ever after” was no exception. The long-awaited encounter with the Fox News journalist was, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, as hard-hitting as being savaged by a dead sheep. (Kelly: “Set the scene for me, because I know where I was when I was on the receiving end of a lot of those tweets. But I’ve always wondered where you were. I’m picturing a crushed velvet smoking jacket, chaise lounge, slippers. . . .” Trump: “Maybe not as fancy as that.”) In case this was not a sufficiently penetrating inquiry, she also asked about Trump’s favorite movie (“Citizen Kane“) and favorite book (“All Quiet on the Western Front“).
After months of Trump bullying Kelly for her defiance, the oddly friendly chat was an uncomfortable capitulation. You half-expected her to announce that “God be blessed, it is the blessèd sun. But sun it is not, when you say it is not, And the moon changes even as your mind.”
But for Trump, this was the fairy-tale ending he had long awaited.
If this toothless farce was a happily-ever-after, then here are a few other Trumpian fairy-tale endings.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes”: The emperor strolled proudly down the street as his courtiers rushed behind to carry his invisible train. Suddenly a small boy cried out from the stands. “The emperor is wearing wonderful clothes!” the boy shouted. “I can definitely see them, and they look just terrific!”
“Beauty and the Beast”: In spite of everything, Belle learned to love the Beast. This was important because it meant that she could have access to the West Wing over the next four years.
“Pinocchio”: Whenever Pinocchio engaged in truthful hyperbole, his nose got bigger. This was fine: just another potent reminder of how virile and great he was!
“The Ugly Duckling”: A group of ducks correctly shunned someone who was different. Their community was better off.
“Jack and the Beanstalk”: A horrible sneaky thief tried to steal a harp from a huge, successful giant who lived in a gorgeous castle. But who was this Jack? A total nobody. He should never have challenged the giant, who could have taught him a thing or two if he had cared to listen, and sure enough, he was falling all over himself to apologize as soon as he saw what he had done.
“Rapunzel”: A young father was justly punished for climbing a wall to try to provide for his family.
“Rumpelstiltskin”: A guy who possessed the business acumen to spin straw into gold just wanted to make sure you knew his name. Branding is important.
“The Boy Who Cried Wolf”: The boy was always right, even when he wasn’t. Everyone listened to the boy every time.
“Little Red Riding Hood”: A young girl who strayed from the path while wearing a provocatively colored outfit got what she was asking for. She stayed in the wolf’s belly, where she belonged.
“Snow White”: One woman was upset when somebody suggested that another woman was more beautiful than she was — which was true, by the way. But what can you do? The hero of this story is Snow White, who did the housework for seven men without complaining, and then lay down beneath a glass ceiling. More should be like her.
“The Little Mermaid”: A beautiful young lady traded her voice for a pair of killer gams. Meanwhile, an ugly woman was stabbed with a trident. All was right.
“Three Little Pigs”: Some pigs who did not invest in quality construction materials got what was coming to them after they taunted an apex predator. Huffing and puffing get results!
“Sleeping Beauty”: An attractive woman was seen and not heard.
“Bluebeard”: Bluebeard’s new wife didn’t go PRYING where she wasn’t supposed to and everyone was happy always.
And they all lived happily ever after.