Steve Bannon, in his interview with Charlie Rose of CBS, claimed that the Access Hollywood (“grab them”) tape had no lasting impact on last year’s campaign “yet, if you see the mainstream media that day, it was, literally, he was falling into Dante’s inferno.” Let’s fact-check that statement.
The first circle of hell isn’t really hell proper but limbo, for virtuous pagans, and Trump does not qualify because he is a baptized Christian, sorry bad luck Mr. President, better luck in some other universe. The second circle of Dante’s hell is reserved for the lustful. Enough said. Circle #3 is for gluttons, little doubt there (two scoops!). Circle four is for the greedy, whom Trump literally tried to shove out of his way in a futile effort to get back to circle 2, but he fell back downward instead and encountered a few more of his fellow hoarders and spendthrifts (did I mention that Trump Dubai is using a Chinese-government-owned contractor, contrary to one of Trump’s campaign promises?) before descending to the lowest circle of upper hell, the one occupied by the wrathful (“lock her up”; “I’m the fucking president”).
And now unbar the gates of Dis and welcome to Nether Hell. The River Styx will soon be the happiest memory you have left, Donald, as we cross from passive sin to active sin, starting with heresy and idolatry. Trump might at first seem innocent of heretical ideas, but if we scratch just a little we remember his denial that ever needs to repent for anything. If that is not heresy and idolatry, what is? Trump is guilty of obdurate refusal to ever acknowledge humbleness. And this is not yet the worst of the active sins. Next is the seventh circle of Dante’s inferno, home to the violent: the war-makers, tyrants, plunderers, blasphemers, sodomites, the violent against art, and usurers. Perhaps Mr. Trump has not yet committed all of these horrible sins, but we haven’t seen all the tapes yet either, have we?
Over the waterfall we go, over the great cliff, down to the eighth circle, where we are met by Geryon, the Monster of Fraud. A truly Trumpian circle, containing the malicious, the panderers, the seducers, the flatterers, the falsifiers, the sowers of discord, the grafters, the barrators (think “emoluments clause”!), and the simoniacs (not sure about this, but Mueller ought to look into it too IMHO). And finally, the ninth circle of hell, in which the traitors dwell. Not that I feel any great sympathy for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, but do you think in their hearts they harbor any doubt at all that Donald J. Trump belongs right here? Anyone think they would lend him a hand or a rope? Let’s leave Mr. Trump here where he belongs, bearing in mind of course that Dante wrote two more books. And that Trump himself admitted that becoming president was probably his last best shot at getting into heaven–yes, he did really say that!