In an interview in 2017, I asked former United States (US) President Barack Obama the following question: “America is famous for two Donalds – Donald Duck and Donald Trump. Which is more representative of your country?” Obama didn’t really answer so I’ll give you my opinion instead. Read on and judge whether yours is all that different from mine.
I’ve spent weeks hoping Donald Trump would lose and now that it seems he has I’m going to miss him. I’m addicted to his tweets and utterances. Every one catches your attention and makes you wonder what sort of man he is. Google has a vast collection and I’ve selected a few in memory of someone who may have been exasperating, but was also often entertaining.
Way back in 1998, this is what he said: “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” Twenty-two years later he’s proved he was right.
However, its Trump’s tweets about himself that are truly unforgettable. He has the gall to say things the rest of us would never express. Here’s a selection: ‘The beauty of me is that I’m very rich’; ‘I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has’; ‘Nobody has better respect for intelligence than Donald Trump’; ‘My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well-documented, are various other parts of my body’; ‘I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me. I’m the most successful person ever to run.’
Trump is well aware sexual innuendo immediately grabs attention. Even as President, he never shied away. Sample this: ‘I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and everybody. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss’; “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything’; But it’s what he said of Hillary Clinton that makes you gasp: ‘If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?’
Trump also couldn’t stop boasting of his vigour and vitality. He saw himself as a rampant teenager rather than the septuagenarian he is. After recovering from Covid-19, he said to Fox News: ‘I’m back because I’m a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young. And so I’m lucky that way’. To Playboy magazine in 2004, he boasted he never needed Viagra. ‘I think Viagra is wonderful if you need it, if you have medical issues, if you’ve had surgery. I’ve just never needed it. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if there were an anti-Viagra, something with the opposite effect. I’m not bragging. I’m just lucky. I don’t need it.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right. There’s definitely something priapic about him.
Even in his exchanges with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, Trump couldn’t resist double-entendre. After ‘Rocketman’ delivered the first blow calling Trump a dotard, he responded with the following tweet: ‘Will someone from his regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it’s much bigger & more powerful than his, and my Button works!’
This is the sort of stuff I would wake up to almost every morning over the last four years. CNN never failed to draw attention to Trump’s tweets and comments. Now I shall be left with a Trump-shaped hole and no conceivable way of filling it.
Still, we have two months more of Trumpisms to look forward to. Perhaps his anguish will fire up his eloquence. If he’s going to depart the presidency kicking and screaming, I want to hear every word he has to say. And when the curtain comes down, I’ll be there to say covfefe.
Karan Thapar is the author of Devil’s Advocate: The Untold Story