Exclusively Online | Spring 2022 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Of Aliens and Trump

Rick Meyer’s regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: Ransom of the Donald.

By Richard E. Meyer

The spaceship circled the planet and touched down. A green alien led a man down the gangway.

“Bring me to a lobbyist,” the man said.


“Yes. Back home, lobbyists get me out of trouble.”

“You’re not at home anymore, Donald. But don’t worry. Your country has a lot of money. It will buy you back.”


The Donald’s problem began at Mar-a-Lago when he called a cab. It was 2024. “Take me to the Republican Convention,” he said.

“It’s in Miami,” the driver said. “That’s more than 70 miles away.”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m rich. My chauffeur has the day off, and I have to get to the convention, or I won’t be nominated again for president.”

“But, sir . . .”

“Never mind. I’ll use an Uber.”

It looked like a spacecraft, but Uber drivers might show up in anything. The Donald climbed aboard. The driver seemed a bit odd – like a green avocado. But the Donald had seen stranger guests at his own parties.

“Hey, this thing can fly!” he said. And the spaceship did, right over Miami.

“Wait! It’s down there!”

“That’s not where we’re going.”


At the bottom of the gangway, a dozen aliens were waiting – a leader and his advisers. Everyone was green.

“I run this place,” the leader said. “We’re in another galaxy. It’s beyond the Milky Way. Call me Chief.”

“At home, some people call me Chief.”

“You are not going home until your country pays us to take you back.”

“You mean I’ve been kidnapped!?”

“Yes, indeed!”

“I have to return, or I can’t move into the White House, which is rightfully mine. It was stolen.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

“Let’s make a deal. I wrote a book called The Art of the Deal.”

“No, you didn’t. You hired a journalist to write it for you. Afterward he said it should be recategorized as fiction. He said writing it was his greatest regret.”

The leader placed the Donald under close watch.


Two days later, the leader summoned his advisers.

“I think we have made a mistake,” he said. “I’ve been on the Galactic Internet. The President of the United States doesn’t want him. The Democrats in Congress don’t want him. A few Republicans are interested. But they won’t pay us anything. They’ll take him back only if we pay them.”

The advisers fell silent.

The smartest finally said: “The Department of Defense and Congress are starting to take aliens seriously. So is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But this guy is trouble. He lies a lot. He’s a joke. If we keep him, nobody will take us seriously – ever again.”

“I guess we bring him back,” the leader said, “And pay the Republicans.”


Guards found the Donald in Nevada, at Area 51. He was carrying a satchel of cash.

“The Secret Service is looking for you,” one guard said. “Where have you been?”

“I was abducted by aliens.”

“Where did you get the money?”

“From the aliens. They told me to give it to the Republican National Committee.”

“You know,” the guard said, “it has gotten to where nobody can believe a word you say.”


A tip of the hat to O. Henry, who explored this prospect in The Ransom of Red Chief.


Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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