ORANGE, California. Air Force One touched down this morning in this city of 140,000, an island of Republicans in the ocean of blue-state California. “It’s an outpost of normalcy in a wilderness of weirdness,” says Tom “Scotty” Swanson, a retired Air Force major. “You raise a family here, you stand a chance your daughter won’t come home from college with a ring in her nose or a lesbian.”
While not the county seat, Orange is considered the nation’s center of orangeness, and thus a fitting site for today’s announcement by President Donald Trump proclaiming March “Orange History Month,” following on the exit of February, traditionally Black History Month in America.
“No disrespect to black, I like a little black cocktail dress, but orange is a great color,” Trump told pool reporters on the Presidential plane. “It’s the color of baby aspirin, which as you know is so safe it’s given to babies. It’s also my color,” said the spray-tanned chief executive, “so it’s the best, I have the best color.”
Traditionally a downtrodden people, Orange Americans asserted themselves in the 1960s when Orange Julius, a frothy orange-vanilla drink, began to appear at the nation’s lunch counters, demanding equal treatment with soft drinks. “It was scary,” Julius recalled. “We were caught in the crossfire between ‘white’ drinks like 7-Up, Sprite and Teem, and blacks like Dr. Pepper, Coke and Pepsi. I was lucky to get out of some strip malls alive.”
Thereafter, thanks to a burgeoning “Orange Power” movement, members of the ethnic group made dramatic strides, with Anita Bryant introducing the country to the sensuous strains of middle-of-the-road “orange soul” music, O.J. Simpson setting records as a football player, and George Hamilton achieving breakthroughs in the science of tanning.
While there have been a number of world leaders named “William of Orange,” Trump is the first “Donald” to wear the distinctive mark of a fruit-flavored head of state. “He’s really something special, isn’t he?” a teary-eyed Otto the Orange, official mascot of Syracuse University, said as Trump’s plane taxied towards the food court at John Wayne Airport. “This is a day I’ve waited for all my life,” he says with a lump in his throat. “I had despaired of ever seeing someone in the White House who looked like me.”