In the beginning, it is a dark age. Donald Trump has not yet been born.
A medieval time. The wheel is invented. We are not sure when exactly this is, but we know it is before the invention of the wall. (“They say ‘a wall is medieval.’ Well, so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall.”) Wheels are ubiquitous, but walls do not exist yet, although if they existed, they would work. Everyone is rolling around in chaos, continually interrupting one another in the middle of private activities, sometimes bearing them ineluctably along for several yards before managing to come to a halt.
Afterward, medievally, the wall is invented. Donald Trump approves. “Nothing like a wall.”
1758: These walls work for a long time, until some events occur that will eventually lead to a man (a fool whose name history has not retained) naming his house Mount Vernon. All we know about this man is that “if he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it. You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.” Whoever he was, this man was not smart.
1789: Unrelatedly, the first president of the United States is George Washington. The only historical certainty is if he ran now, “the Democrats would vote against him” because he “may have had a couple of things in his past.” Also, he appoints 100 percent of the judges, which maybe Donald Trump will someday top! But maybe not. It is hard to top this.
1828: A “great general” named Andrew Jackson becomes president in the election most similar to Donald Trump’s! What we know about this year is that 1828 is “a long way, that’s a long time ago.” Furthermore: “Andrew Jackson … was a great president — but a controversial president.”
1840: Not much is happening, but we know for sure that whatever Abraham Lincoln will do is not thought possible!
1850: Again, whatever Abraham Lincoln will do is still not thought possible!
1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected. Abraham Lincoln “succeeded for numerous reasons. He was a man who was of great intelligence, which most presidents would be. … Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time.”
1861: There is a Civil War, though why is unclear, at least according to Donald Trump’s former chief of staff. One thing we can be sure of is that there is a great battle on the site of a future Donald Trump golf course, called the River of Blood. As a plaque there will read, “Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot, ‘The Rapids,’ on the Potomac River. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’” Donald Trump knows this. Other historians disagree. But as he asks, “Were they there?”
1865: Abraham Lincoln is “treated supposedly really badly” (although not so badly as Donald Trump) by an actor named John Wilkes Booth.
1928: “All Quiet on the Western Front” is written. It is a great book, the only book Donald Trump has ever read, except for Two Corinthians.
1946: Donald Trump is born, definitely.
1961: Barack Obama is born, maybe?
1972-1973: A man named Richard Nixon makes a number of mistakes, maybe having to do with the law, but also maybe not? Nixon “had great potential, great talent. Unfortunately it was a very sad legacy in the end. … Such an interesting figure to study.”
2001: The September 11 attacks happen in order that, over a decade later, Donald Trump may have the opportunity of extending magnanimity to his haters and losers.
1979-2003: Saddam Hussein “killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over.” Unfortunately Saddam also did other things, not so good.
2013: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson make the very big mistake of breaking up. But Robert will be better off!
2017-present: Many powerful, strong men keep bothering Donald Trump by coming to the White House to weep openly.
2017: Someone named Frederick Douglass continues to do an amazing job and be recognized “more and more.”
A future date: Decades pass, maybe centuries. Eventually, everyone is gone. The sharks remain. Don’t worry, they will be around long after we are gone.
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter @petridishes.