What Would Hell Be Like for Donald Trump?

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Donald Trump

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For some time now I’ve wanted to send Donald Trump to Hell. I mean it literally, not as a phrase. I want him to live in the tactile, sensory hell that the religions have long conjured up with scenes of brimstone, condemnation, and cries of perpetual pain from those who once inflicted severe harm on their fellow human beings.

The more Trump has abused his power and position in this world and the more he has withdrawn from retaliation for his crimes, the more obsessed I am with visualizing ways he can pay in a version of the afterlife.

As I thought about the treatment he deserved for the havoc he continues to wreak the lives of countless other people here in the US and around the world, I almost automatically turned to work Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet, whose Divina Commedia meticulously reproduced in verse form terza rima What awaited the readers of his day when they died? Dante (1265–1321) laid out his otherworldly landscape in three volumes –inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso – this was rightly regarded as one of the most outstanding and influential literary achievements of mankind.

There was nothing abstract about the hell he created. Dante imagined himself taking a journey into the afterlife to meet men and women of his time and past who were rewarded for their virtue or forever scourged for their crimes. From this journey through purgatory and heavenly miracles, guided by his dead child treasure Beatrice, it was the Florentine writer’s descent into the saturated circles of hell that fascinated and delighted readers over the centuries. We hear stories of the wicked as they express their repentance and experience the excruciating torment that he has devised as appropriate reprisals for the damage they have wrought during their earthly existence.

As I see the hellish realities that President Trump has unleashed on America, I inevitably wonder where Dante would have made our villain boss in his after-horror life. In the end, perhaps unsurprisingly, one thing became clear to me: The 45th President has such a multitude of transgressions on his behalf that it fits almost every category and chant that Dante invented for the sinners of his day.

As I pondered what the Italian author would have thought of Trump and his certainty that he was above the laws of society and nature, I was attacked by Dante’s fortune telling and lyrical voice. It came to me like a hallucination. I listened carefully and managed to record the words that this visionary poet from yesterday would use to describe a man who until recently believed himself invincible and invulnerable as he would be judged and condemned when his life was over.

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