The One Time I Almost Found Donald Trump Sort of Charming
As readers of this blog are perhaps aware, I am not, generally speaking, a fan of Donald Trump. If you were to ask me where my feelings about him stood on a scale of “like” to “dislike”, I’d say they fall squarely in the “despise with an intensity and ferocity that even I sometimes find unnerving.”
I have a visceral negative reaction to the sound of Trump’s voice and the sight of his face. If he’s blathering away on a television somewhere in public, I turn it off or walk away. I fucking hate the guy. It’s no exaggeration to say that my intense, soul-deep revulsion towards Donald Trump and everything he stands for might be one of my defining characteristics. If my son were to grow up remembering me as a dude who just really fucking hated Donald Trump, it would not be an unfair or inaccurate characterization.
When it comes to the former host of The Apprentice, I am #notafan. If I were to make a list of dudes that I was feeling, and dudes that I’m NOT feeling, Trump would definitely fall on the “not feeling” side of the ledger.
I don’t just hate Trump in the broad strokes, I hate everything about him. I hate everything he does. I hate everything he is. I hate the man he is now. I hate the man he was and the man he will be in the future.
My hatred of Trump was not always so complete and exhaustive. Like a lot of people, I derived no small amount of schadenfreude from watching Trump give verbal wedgies to the loathsome likes of Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio during the Republican presidential primaries. That guilty enjoyment was predicated on the ultimately false notion that Trump was fundamentally harmless, that he’d get his jollies running a high-profile stunt campaign, and then swagger off to run Trump TV once he was defeated for the nomination by a real grown-up who was also a real politician.
It’s consequently impossible to derive amusement from Trump’s antics now because he is profoundly harmful. He’s dangerous. He’s a menace. The only real question is how much of a danger he represents, on an existential, practical and “this crazy motherfucker might blow up the world” level.
So it pains me to say that Donald Trump did something recently that I kind of found somewhat appealing. Weird, huh? I really was not expecting that, but when I saw those pictures of Donald Trump grinning like a maniac as he showed off hundreds upon hundreds of Wendy’s and McDonald’s hamburgers on fancy china that he was about to serve to the Clemson football team I found them kind of cute.
Oh sure, there were creepy elements of Trump’s epic, iconic display of fried meat products. For starters, he was saving money and fucking people over by using his ostensible fortune (BILLIONS of dollars, supposedly) to feed championship footballers cheap fast food of questionable quality instead of steak and lobster. That said, I will vouch that the quarter pounders with the fresh beef they’re serving now is a quality burger on par with something like Five Guys.
When I looked at those pictures of Trump surrounded by fast food I saw a man in a child-like frenzy of pure joy. He was like a goddamn wide-eyed tot on Christmas morning, overjoyed at the magnificent bounty Santa had left him. He was in a state of beef and grease-inducing ecstasy. The joy he was feeling at being in the presence of so many McDonalds’ hamburgers and so many college football macho men was goddamned infectious even if you find the President to be a Cancerous boil on the face of humanity, as I do.
What semi-charmed me about Trump’s cheeseburger orgy was that for once Trump was not deriving pleasure from being cruel or hurting people with ugly personal attacks. He wasn’t getting his jollies from ripping families apart or discriminating against Muslims or African-Americans. No, he was just radiating happiness because he was excited to eat a lot of fast food, something he only gets to do all the time, every day of his life.
He was like a big kid, which is why articles that sneered at Trump’s bad and low taste, literally and figuratively, came off a little like snobby rich kids making fun of the chubby kid for being really into the ice cream cake at his birthday party.
I never thought I’d say this, but let the miserable bastard have his fun. The Clemson Tigers are world-class athletes. They’ll be able to bounce back from a few Big Macs. It’s a testament to how low the bar has been set for Trump that all it takes for him to sail over it is to do something that is not actively evil, but I know I’m not alone in being a died-in-the-wool Trump hater who saw something poignantly human, even endearing about Trump taking so much pleasure in getting to live out—on a national stage no less—such a tacky fantasy of culinary excess.
Get exclusive content, vote in polls and support independent media by pledging over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace