In a previous post I talked about the obsession I have with Trump, which by now has grown into a global obsession with Trump. A friend of mine showed me a post about protest art in relation to Trump and it has me spiraling down this infinite hole of examining the political image of Trump. Visually Trump is still magnificent, a politician that by all rights claims not to be a politician, as I mentioned in a previous post he sits in between this visual ground of being and not being. But I wanted to elaborate on what I mean by that because this inherent contradiction has been bothering anyone who follows the Trump cycle.
Trump as a politician is allowed to lie with no repercussions, because his entire platform is based on eliminating "lying politicians" He even dubbed one of his previous opponents "Lying cruz" Yet Trumps whole being is defined by a history of lies. A history of fabricating the truth and building a brand that attempts to over write that truth. Trump is not a businessman, unless his business is the annoyingly tired business of the 21st century "Brand building".
Trump represents this to me the most, the idea that a brand can be so powerful that it disrupts everything you have in your world, that it becomes this unstoppable force of self promotion, hurtling down at you with no way of ever disproving it. Trump's fans aren't concerned with facts and figures, and in an increasingly polarized news cycle they can drum up enough facts and figures of their own to stand behind anyway. They are head strong and stubborn, (like their counterparts) and they stand for the inherent broken part of our system, the polarization along party lines. Its no surprise that some of the same supporters of Bernie sanders (the self described democratic socialist) have turned to supporting Trump (or declared they would) their images are similar, strong, loud, defiant, outsider. And male.
When you look into the talk surrounding Trump there is this huge fear, and with Brexit dominating the news cycle the last few weeks the fear has grown. Now the eerie similarities in image and political rhetoric are taking hold and people are settling down with the idea that Trump might actually win this thing. A man who can make anti-semitic, racist, sexist, and just down right ugly comments could be the next leader of the country.
I was making this connection of Donald Trump to the cartoon character of Donald duck. Not only are the names similar, which is an obvious starter for cartooning, but the mannerisms of both are the same. Both Donalds have an inherent need for the spotlight, a need to be proven masculine and assertive, a need to engage the community around them in a way that says "I'm every bit as good as that Mickey" as a result the characters both fly off the handle at the simplest remark, Their reaction is only to declare themselves the best and their surprising lack of humility prevents them from ever achieving their ultimate dream of success. Donald (The Duck version) is well known for being foul mouthed and quick tempered, for trudging along in the toughest scenarios toward a path that only he can see. And in almost every case that path is never the best one. What do the surrounding characters do in this case? They simply laugh and joke about the sheer craziness of the character.
Running across a good quote by the animator "
As the animator Fred Spencer has put it:
The Duck gets a big kick out of imposing on other people or annoying them, but he immediately loses his temper when the tables are turned. In other words, he can dish it out, but he can't take it
and of course
"Donald is also a bit of a show-off. He likes to brag, especially about how skilled he is at something. He does in fact have many skills—he is something of a Jack of all Trades. Amongst other things, he is a good fisher and a good hockey player. However, his love of bragging often leads him to overestimate his abilities, so that when he sets out to make good on his boasts, he gets in over his head, usually to hilarious effect."
It's interesting to me this correlation between the Fictional and factual Donald. And in some ways they both seem to represent this entire personality split of the American/ Male / White male. And maybe it was initially done that Donald would come to represent this foil. Mickey a rising star and talent who also happens to be portrayed as a black male. In fact the rise of popularity of Mickey over Donald seems to beckon the same critiques those that vote for the Factual Donald. As the white male becomes increasingly more of a minority voice the desire to rage and let loose anger to be "heard" takes hold. The overestimating of ones abilities and boasting a common trait in Male culture.