Earlier this year, as Donald Trump turned the Republican primary debates into an endless Friars Club Roast, my team and I started talking about this political circus and its impact on democracy.
Is it good or bad to present presidential debates as glitzy, prime-time game shows? Are campaign rallies that feature more group chanting than Wrestlemania a healthy sign of civic engagement? Or is it evidence that the future dystopia that Mike Judge depicted ten years ago in Idiocracy has already arrived?
Inspired by The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, we decided that satire that reveals the absurdity of our current situation is the only fitting response to these times.
And with Trump carpet-bombing political news cycles with low-brow entertainment, we figured why not carpet-bomb low-brow entertainment with politics?
Thus was born Trumped Up Cards: The World’s Biggest Deck, a multi-player card game where players need really big hands to win.
Initially, we made Trumped Up Cards for friends, family, and anyone else who seemed like they had a healthy sense of humor and happened to be in the vicinity when we were giving them out as gifts.
The response was encouraging. Whether the recipients were Democrats, Republicans, independent iconoclasts, semi-indifferent middlecrats, change-the-world techno-utopians, or apolitical entrepreneurs, they said how much they enjoyed playing the game and that we ought to make it more widely available.
As a result, this public version now exists. At TrumpedUpCards.com, the World’s Biggest Deck is now for sale for only $20.16. Act quickly, because after the election is over and a new year begins, we’re raising the price to $20.17!
Any profits will go to charities that are already working to keep America great.
Trumped Up Cards are for free speech advocates, fans of due process and equal protection, immigrants yearning to breathe free, and native-born patriots who believe our diversity and inclusiveness make us stronger (but who draw the line at Russian hackers).
It’s also for people who know the correct definition of “sarcasm,” people who understand that while President Obama found Osama bin Laden he did not found ISIS, and anyone else who shows their commitment to America’s values through their actions, not just their baseball caps.
Of course this latter group includes what Trump refers to as “the dishonest media.”
Without the Fourth Estate’s reporting, Trumped Up Cards would be nothing but hair jokes. Instead, it’s hair jokes plus some context and depth, and for that we think the nation’s journalists deserve a larger-than-average hand.
While Trumped Up Cards is just a game, democracy isn’t. And ultimately that’s why we made it. We hope you play it so much you get all the fun and games out of your system now. And when Election Day arrives, don’t let the joke be on America!
* No, that isn’t a typo. We mean “deck.” Standing 550 stories high when laid end to end, this deck is the world’s biggest deck. It is a much, much bigger deck, and far more beautiful, than any deck that King Tut, Genghis Khan, Leonardo da Vinci, or anyone else has ever produced. Our assessment is based on our own feelings. Our gut is never wrong.
NOTE: Some people have asked me why I post some political content on Medium.com or other platforms, rather than LinkedIn Influencers. When I’m expressing a political opinion that is only my own and must not be confused with the views of LinkedIn, its employees, or its members, I post such content elsewhere, including here on Medium.com.
This was originally published here on September 14, 2016