A recent New York Times article about the Pentagon’s covert UFO program named, in perfect Pentagonese, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, made me reflect on how America would react if extraterrestrials suddenly showed up and made themselves known. What would it be like? What would America actually do? How would our exceptionalism manifest itself in the face of this profound, world changing event?
First, we could expect the inevitable Trump tweet:
Just met with the aliens. Short. Very short. Much shorter than me. Big heads. Bald. Very bald. Ugliest women in the galaxy! Uglier than Megyn Kelly and Rosie O'Donnell! Aliens refused to paint Trump name on spacecraft! Refused to buil Trump Tower on home planet! Refused free Trump steaks and discounted copies of Trump: The Art of the Deal! Total losers! Worst aliens in the universe! Sad, very sad. #GoBackHome!And with that, thirty to forty percent of Americans would be be instantly brainwashed into thinking that the aliens were evil commie libtards, worse than Colin Kaepernick and Nancy Pelosi, and those lazy Puerto Ricans who don’t know how to help themselves after hurricanes. It wouldn’t make any difference what the aliens actually were or what they did. They could be giving us a cure for cancer, a longer lasting light bulb, flying cars, space travel, three-dimensional chess and little pink happy pills that gave you boners and made you immortal, and it wouldn’t matter. Trump’s dead-enders, the lobotomized true believers who’ll be down in the bunker eating cyanide with Jared and Ivanka as the four-year MAGA Reich fizzles to an end, won’t care. Their fuhrer will have pronounced the aliens bad and that would be that.
With the right wing base firmly against the aliens, the Republican establishment would have no choice but to follow suit, although Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos might waver a bit if the aliens agreed to accept Jesus and promote school vouchers and intelligent design.
Nobody would care what the Democrats thought, and people would be right not to. But no doubt the Dems would hire some hack consultant for half a million dollars to write a safe, soft, donor-approved statement that said nothing, meant less, and convinced absolutely no one of anything at all.
Meanwhile, the folks at NPR would huddle in the corner, waiting for the mainstream consensus on the aliens to emerge so they could safely follow it without tripping up and saying anything too liberal. In between segments on basket weaving in Zaire and the benefits of Feng Shui in kindergarten classrooms, they could have someone recite alien themed poetry submissions on Writer’s Almanac:
Aliens, aliens, walking across my lawn,
Look, my cat!
What news from space? What news from beyond? What news of Jesus, Muhammad and the Buddha?
Does God dance in blue stars among aliens, I wonder, while ants march on red-checked tablecloths in backyards at dawn, oblivious to my Space-God-Alien catharsis?
My cat, my cat …
But what of the rest of America, the sleeping fifty percent who are completely disengaged from politics, but who can always be relied on to wave the flag, support the troops and consume on command? They’ll be huddled behind boarded up windows with duct tape and bottled water, waiting for the authorities to tell them what to do.
The UN would send a delegation with representatives from the EU, Russia, China, India, Japan, Australia, Canada and Brazil, but Nikki Haley would refuse to attend unless the Aliens agreed to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Anything less would be an intolerable insult to the dignity of the US, who would remember their insolence and maybe, just maybe, refuse to invite them to the White House Easter Egg Roll.
So the more mature portions of mankind would gather to communicate with our alien visitors while the exceptional Americans sat in the corner and pouted.
“How is it that these strange unpleasant beings called Americans have come to exercise such a powerful influence over your world?” The aliens would ask.
And the representatives of humanity would shrug and say, “Because they’re rich, and they have an infinite capacity for violence and self-delusion.”
And then maybe something unusual would happen. Mexico could make a motion which Canada would second. And then every other country would quickly get on board: The world, with the help of alien technology, would not only fund but actually help construct Trump’s wall, not to keep people out of America, but to keep the Americans locked in.
The world could band together and actually start solving problems, and the dangerous children called Americans would be safely quarantined until they became adults.