The Parable of the Cake

I am pleased that the cake thing made it to The Daily Show. The story serves as a solid parable for Donald Trump’s history in salesmanship. It goes as follows:

It was the absolute best cake. A tremendous cake. It was the cake made for third inaugural ball of newly-Presidented Donald Trump. As it is in the age of social media, many people saw it, and some felt it looked a bit familiar. Indeed, it was identical to an Obama inaugural cake, four years earlier.

Some modest detective work traced Trump’s cake to the Buttercream Bake Shop. Eager to make a special cake for the President of the United States, Buttercream happily offered to compose an original design. But no. Someone sent a picture and requested this exact cake. It’s perfect! So Buttercream replicated the cake.


Duff Goldman designed the original cake for Obama’s 2013 Inauguration. The cake’s design represents the four major branches of US armed forces. It had nine layers, and four flavors: red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting; lemon-poppy with Swiss buttercream frosting; pineapple-coconut cake, also with the Swiss buttercream; and pumpkin-chocolate chip cake with chocolate fudge frosting. It was pretty darned spectacular, and Goldman was proud of it. At first he was miffed that someone plagiarized his cake, but once Goldman heard it was a request by a customer for an exact duplicate, he became sportsmanlike about it.

But the Buttercream duplicate was the same only visually. The Trump version was made of Styrofoam. A wedge of the bottom-most layer was actual cake for the celebratory cutting (no-one mentions exactly what kind. I assume angel-food with strawberries), but the rest of it was a prop. A prop with a continuing story, as the discarded cake was then rescued and delivered to Trevor Noah at the Daily Show studio, who has petitioned the Daily Show audience what should be done with this cake…prop…thing.

And this kinda demonstrates how Trump has worked all his life: to him, the facade, the illusion, is the only thing, and no effort is made into putting substance underneath the veneer. He sold his voters a feeling much like what he’s sold to fellow contractors and students at the Trump academy. He’s going to promise a better economy, a run of victories, a greater America, but in the end all we’re going to have is a stupid cake-prop.

And a conspicuous dearth of cake.


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