Opinion | Demolition Man: the Smash-Up Derby of Trump’s presidency


Crash bang smash ‘em up, put ‘em back again.

Smash bang crack ‘em up, its crash up time my friend!”

There is a game from my childhood called Smash-Up Derby. It was the only gift Santa did not bring me…until now. The game’s concept was simple—two toy cars get smashed together again and again. You could send them rocketing into walls, tables, and chairs—as their doors and engine hoods blew off on impact, only for you to snap them back together for the next round. The commercial’s jingle — “Bang, crash, smash ‘em up!… Smash-Up Derby is fun!” is the same song echoing through the White House as Donald Trump continues to bang, crash, smash ‘em up with everyone from world leaders to his own Secretary of State. It’s “crash up derby time” for Trump.


Is Trump a “f**king moron” as reputedly stated by Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson? A comment, that in spite of a specially convened press conference, Mr. Tillerson has not denied. To date, no less than fourteen members of Trump’s administration have either been fired or have resigned since January. The most recent exodus has included press secretary Sean Spicer, Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The demolition continues.


Members of Trump’s own Republican party have now begun to turn against the Trumpmobile with once-staunch Trump supporter, Republican Senator Bob Corker, publicly referring to Trump’s White House as an “adult day care centre”. If so, where does General Kelly, who is repeatedly exasperated by Trump’s antics fit in? Is Kelly the tough disciplinarian ordering Trump into the corner?

Threatening to revoke Twitter privileges? Unsuccessful thus far. But where does this leave the country and millions of American’s as Trump’s rhetoric inches the nation towards conflict with the equally infantile leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.

Smash ‘em up

Trump continues in his belief that his base dislikes past president Obama sufficiently that Trump may gain traction, not by introducing new legislation, but by simply smashing the old ones to bits. The legislative accomplishments and policies such as transgender protections and health care that have moved the United States into the 21st century in regard to social reform, now threatens to become the metal heap beneath Trump’s administration.

Having repeatedly failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump now sets about the task of hastening its demise, the equivalent of seeing someone slip on a top stair, then pushing them down the rest. Already insurance companies have started to increase their premiums with Trump’s announcement of the elimination of subsidy payments to the insurance companies. By most estimates, Trump’s defunding will affect insurance rates, premiums, and deductibles for over 7 million Americans, many of whom, for the time being, remain Trump supporters. Trump is someone who is willing to extort the American public as a means of fulfilling is own agenda. He is the demolition man. It’s as though it’s never occurred to Trump that by fixing Obamacare, he could placate the majority of Americans as well as his base. That’s what a leader would do, rather than a derby driver.

Trump’s latest smash-up is the decertification of Obama’s Nuclear Deal with Iran, contrary to the fact that top members of Trump’s own administration state that the deal is working. World leaders who have taken part in the deal claim that it is working. It is only Trump who argues to the contrary.

Recently, Trump has chosen to focus and distract over whether or not NFL players should kneel during the national anthem. He has chosen to ignore the racial injustice and police brutality African Americans purport to face, the defacto reason for taking the knee. Trump has chosen to focus on publicly insulting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, rather than addressing the message she is sending, that additional relief efforts are needed. Blacks continue to die at the hands of police while at the same time Americans continue to die in Puerto Rico—the president is myopic. Driving with a blind spot, barely able to see perhaps the few feet in front of him.

I may very well regret ever putting Smash-Up Derby on my Christmas list. Perhaps my parents (or Santa) in their wisdom didn’t see the point of the game, destruction for the sheer sake of entertainment. Better they gave me Lego. Taught me to create. Build. Dream. But for Trump, smash ‘em up still seems to provide him with hours of endless amusement at the American public’s expense.

The problem with Trump’s game is there will come a time  when he simply can’t fit all the pieces back together again.



k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction and poetry, and is an occasional freelance political writer.



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