Trump vs. DeSantis in a Shakespearean duel | The Pillar

The media world has been buzzing about a new online software “bot” that can write articles that look too human. Chatbot GPT (available online for free) is powered by a very smart artificial intelligence that could allegedly threaten our writers’ business. Or so it is said.

Barry Golson
Barry Golson [ Barry Golson ]

I think I’ll give it a try. I typed, “Write a hypothetical debate between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in Shakespeare’s verse.” Here’s what came out verbatim in less than ten seconds:

Donald Trump:

oh fair and noble ron desantis i do protest

They are not impressed by your policies and actions.

Your plan to reopen schools, it’s not enough,

For the safety of our children, we must think twice.

Ron DeSantis:

But good and noble Trump, I must disagree,

For our economy, we have to let schools be.

Science, it does support my position,

And kids, they’re going to have a chance.

trump card:

But I still stand firm in my faith,

The safety of our children must not be fleeting.

We must prioritize their well-being,

Before we risk their health and future, let’s stand up.


But good and noble Trump, don’t forget,

Education is a right, we cannot allow

The epidemic took it away, for our youth,

We have to find a way to balance safety and authenticity.

So far so good, but… I’m asking Chatbot GPT to rephrase “debate” in a more realistic way, in terms that both people might use. The robot refused. It told me it was “not programmed” for sarcasm or insult.

aha! A job as a professional (human) writer, I decided. I pick up where the robot left off, with a stronger narrative arc. Let the (human) reader decide which best reflects reality:

trump card:

However, to be fair Ron, it depends on what is being taught.

In any case, I believe that education is not

What’s the big deal, ain’t all ’tis crack’d be,

Because I love the uneducated and they love me too!


Ah, good Trump, despite your jawlines and regal looks,

It is said that you have never read a book,

In fact, you can’t last more than one tweet,

(Or any other rose that smells sweet.)

trump card:

Phew, I have enough knowledge for everyone to use!

Raising a couple takes more than schooling,

What is the use of learning children face to face?

For proof, watch my sons: them Need Yale?


Alas, poor Donald, many years before you fell,

I did teach my toddlers to build The Wall,

I now believe it’s time to start a whole new saga,

While somehow hanging on to MAGA, of course!

trump card:

Odds bodkins, Ron, at your governor’s residence!

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Shall I compare you to a sanctimonious toad?

Little Ron might dream of Mar A Lago, so elegant,

But he belongs in Winnebago in Tallahassee!


Oh Trump, why are you such an idiot?

Don’t you see that I have the courage of youth,

You have to know what to expect:

I’ll wipe the floor with your sad corpse!

trump card:

Ron, my palm trees are sparkling as I say this,

Friends, countrymen, Russia, are you listening?

If the patriotic uprising comes, you, Ron.

Better seek protection from my… Qanon forces!


Decide now, fair reader. If you vote against me, I’ll hand over my job as an essayist to the nearest robot. You can count on it!

Guest columnist Barry Golson covers the senior scene in Tampa Bay. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Playboy, Forbes, and AARP. He is the author of Gringos in Paradise (Scribner).he can reach