By putting his head on iconic people, Trump is letting the Democratic Party know he doesn’t take their impeachment or primaries seriously . . .
by Paul Moomjean
A recent trend in President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has come to light, that is both beyond ridiculous yet also effective in maintaining the circus that is his reign. In the past few weeks, Trump has put his head onto three different people, two of them movie characters (Rocky Balboa and Thanos from the Avengers films) and one of the recent Time Magazine Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg. What makes these “meme” posts so fascinating, like a multi-car crash pile up, is that they appear to be random, out-of-nowhere conceptual ideas, yet they seemingly fit in with Trump’s re-election strategy. Make the whole process a joke, and the one crying for seriousness will look like Chicken Little.
When I was a high school teacher, I would see slackers and bullies try to devalue the educational process by making jokes to hide their insecurities about their lack of understanding of the material being introduced, reviewed or examined. The theory is, if they downplay the seriousness of the objectives, they can get other people in class to not take it seriously, and then anyone who cares to work hard will be seen as a nerd or teacher’s pet.
By putting his head on iconic people, Trump is letting the Democratic Party know he doesn’t take their impeachment or primaries seriously, which fuels his base with “fake news” fever and makes independents feel the whole political process is a joke without a punchline worth listening to.
Trump’s Rocky meme, his head on a chiseled, bare-chested Sylvester Stallone image from Rocky III, plays up the hero image Trump has seen himself as. The caption-free tweet went viral, with the Internet buzzing that the irony is that Rocky was against the Russians, not bowing to them. Yet, the silliness of the meme took the attention off impeachment hearings. If the DNC is the tortoise, then Trump is the obnoxious hare. While slow and steady won the race in that old fable, the outcome here isn’t as sure.
The absurdity of Trump embodying the Thanos character is more confusing than anything else. Using a clip from the last Marvel Avenger: Endgame film, Trump’s face is seen smirking as he snaps his finger, wiping out Nancy Pelosi and other democrats, claiming Trump’s re-election is “inevitable.” The irony, of course, is that the clip he used was the moment of Thanos being defeated by the heroes. While one could argue the campaign engineers behind the video meme were ignorant to that fact, I suggest they wanted the fanboys to lose their minds, which did happen. Twitter went crazy, and even one of the artists behind the creation of Thanos spoke out.
James Starlin told CNN he was “shocked” and “saddened.”
“I am old enough where I remember our presidents — when they spoke to the public — they did so to encourage, to inspire, to lead, not to complain like some teenage girl who’s had a bad day. And that’s what I see so much going on with this particular administration.”
The sexist remark aside, by drawing in the artists, Trump maintains the narrative, keeps his opponents mad, and keeps focus off the serious issues trailing him.
Yet the weirdest posting is an edited image of President Trump’s head on 16-year-old climate activist and Time’s Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg.
“There’s only one Person of The Year,” the campaign wrote with the changed picture.
Not only is Trump mocking a teenager, he is also mocking the media that continues to ignore him as a person of stature. By photoshopping his head on a teenage girl’s body, he is attempting to devalue the honor he so desires. He even went as far as to mock her social skills, tweeting out that she needs to find friends.
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
With impeachment hearings not going his way and nearly every DNC candidate beating him in the polls, Trump has returned to the one “go-to” tactic that has won him success: mockery. He might be upset he’s not Person of the Year, but he’s certainly Troll of the Decade.