Current Affairs


Milton Wallace—esteemed New York Times op-ed columnist and dinner party guest extraordinaire—returns to the pages of Current Affairs with a dire warning for Democrats.

I am a man of principle. I know which fork is the salad fork, I part my hair the right way, I think that rap music is just vulgar talking. I understand what’s what. That’s why when I see someone like Donald J. Trump profane the office of the president—an office whose mere mention should bring a single tear to the eye of every patriotic American—I am moved to say, “Sir—how dare you!” I say this alone in my study, softly adding to what I can only imagine is a quiet chorus of dignified men all the way from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side. We are doing everything we can. 

Nobody—nobody, has had harsher words for Donald Trump than me. I have called him “a very rude man.” I said that in print. That’s right, I write unflinchingly, fearlessly, about the president of the United States. Somebody has to. I don’t care if he’s being too racist or not racist enough; it is up to a free press to report these things.

Now the Democrats have an opportunity to nominate someone who shares all of my views: fiscally to the right, socially to the right, knows which fork is the salad fork, won’t raise taxes on hardworking people making over $5 million a year. It pains me to say Democrats may squander this opportunity. 

Democrats, if you nominate an extremist who wants to pay public school teachers a living wage, you are dead to me. If you nominate a loony tunes character who thinks the government should take away people’s choice—their human right—to choose which healthcare plan they can’t afford so that they can die in a way they want, well… say goodbye to Milton L. Wallace!

As a reasonable free thinker, choice is something I value above all else. I have chosen to pen this column my father handed to me, and I choose each of the words to put down herein (do you think somebody edits this? Please, these are the unfettered thoughts of an honest, clear-headed man). If Democrats choose a nominee to the left of Marco Rubio, they have sadly taken away the thing that fills my life with meaning and constantly leaves me half-aroused: my choice. 

Alas, if Democrats make a choice that is the wrong choice, then I will have no choice but to buy a Make America Great Again hat and wear it every single day. I’ll have to donate the maximum amount to Trump’s reelection campaign. I will be forced to write 100 more articles about how I’m voting for Trump, and how it’s the only reasonable thing to do in 2020. Will I call him “Father” in one of these pieces? I probably will. 

In all of this, I will be blameless. I will be making the only reasonable decision I can in this new normal of unreasonable circumstances. My arm has been twisted. It is not my fault. 

Trump is my father now. 

Milton Wallace, the son of Frederik J. Wallace and Victoria Elizabeth Vanderbilt Wallace, has been the New York Times Freedom Columnist ever since the tragic death of his father, who previously held the position (Frederick drowned in 2015, in a swimming pool on a yacht that was itself floating in a swimming pool on a much larger yacht.) Wallace, educated at Andover after a colorful prank on a female student at Horace Mann led to his expulsion, then attended Vanderbilt for reasons unrelated to his mother’s family ties. Studying finance, he later became a Pinochet Fellow at the University of Chicago, graduating with a Master’s degree in Objective Economics. However, Milton’s first love has always been the written word. Shortly after graduation, he became Editor of Omphalos Books, an imprint of Random House that unfortunately ran into financial difficulties under his leadership and had to be shuttered. Afterward, he published his first novel, The Man and the City and the Man, to (some) critical acclaim, and married his first intern. He would go on to marry two more interns and an au pair, the latter of which infamously ran off with the Wallace family gardener. In 2009, Milton published a science fiction adventure tale under the pseudonym Charlie Charlieman. Sadly, it received less critical enthusiasm, with social justice-minded critics haranguing Wallace for the scene where the protagonist Wilton Malice—gentleman traveler, bounty hunter, and man-about-stars—murders his unfaithful space cat girlfriend and her lover, a sentient hedge. Vowing never to write fiction again, Milton Wallace now devotes his entire 2 hour workweek to his columns. He lives on the Upper East Side with his current wife, Rita (a former intern’s intern) and two of his younger children. 

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