If he loses today’s election, President Trump will leave a country where superhero comics fail to match the carelessly destructive nature of contemporary politics. 

 

 

You might have criticism of the 45th president of the United States, like that he is easily the absolute worst that the US has ever elected and may well have delivered a blow to American democracy from which the republic can never recover, but credit where it’s due: Donald J. Trump might be a terrible human being and an utter catastrophe as president, but even his staunchest critics have to concede that he has been an absolutely spectacular cartoon supervillain.

The more you think about it the clearer the parallels become. What’s his Mexican border wall but an enormous an elaborate scheme to achieve a clearly nonsensical end? What is the Republican 2020 election strategy if not an ambitious high stakes heist that will shock the world? What’s with Trump’s endless baffling monologues? His comic-book level misunderstanding of science as magic? The platform shoes and comically billowing outfit? It’s been right in front of us all along.

And it goes deeper than that too. 

Trump has proved expert at manipulating the trappings of power to benefit himself personally, to a degree that even Superman bete noire Lex Luthor would appreciate, perceiving both the big picture and the tiniest details. 

 

But while he’s got Luthor’s megalomania in spades, he’s also got the Joker’s gift for creating endless, pointless, unfathomable chaos – whether that’s by gutting government departments and failing to replace key staff, sending barely-coded declarations to white supremacist groups, or simply demanding that his Attorney General arrest his political enemies via Twitter. 

 

For example: not only has he made the sweeping move to rebuild the Supreme Court as a way to protect himself from the insidious influence of democracy, his attention to personal greed is so exquisitely sensitive that he charged the US taxpayers $3 for a glass of water served to himself while at his own Mar-A-Lago lair during his summit with Japanese President Shinzo Abe. And the equally-bald Lex would be kicking himself for not thinking to claim $70,000 on hairstyling expenses on his taxes as though Donald’s hair is completely natural, grows out of his scalp and is not made of cotton candy.

But while he’s got Luthor’s megalomania in spades, he’s also got the Joker’s gift for creating endless, pointless, unfathomable chaos – whether that’s by gutting government departments and failing to replace key staff, sending barely-coded declarations to white supremacist groups, or simply demanding that his Attorney General arrest his political enemies via Twitter. 

Even his current exhortations for people to change their already-registered votes – something which happens in dozens of cases at most – seems less about desperately finding another vector to claim an increasingly-unlikely electoral victory and more about whimsically creating a deeply annoying new thing for state election supervisors to deal with. And, of course, Trump and Joker also share their complete indifference for having overseen thousands upon thousands upon thousands of deaths.

Donnie’s even got an expendable militia of angry white dumbarses ready to die upon his slightest of whims, exactly how Shredder operates the Foot Clan in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie – although in fairness it’s unlikely that the Proud Boys value gnarly skateboarding moves and radical arcade games over white supremacy and eschewing consensual sex. 

He’s got the entitled elite-railing-against-the-elites insecure rich person complex which characterises Spider-man foe the Vulture, and Trump even evokes Watchman’s Rorschach in his fondness for conspiracy nonsense, unshakeable self-righteousness and utterly inaccurate self-image as a hero. Hell, Spidey’s classic nemesis the Green Goblin even emotionally terrorised his inept son, dooming him to pathetically stumble in his father’s footsteps with destructive, humiliating results. It’s basically the Eric and Don Jr origin story.

In fact, the only thing Trump currently lacks is a base carved the shape of his head, and he even had a bash at getting one of those by asking South Dakota governor Kristi Noem about getting himself added to Mount Rushmore.

So never mind the stacked supreme court, the horrific failure to curb the deadly march of COVID-19, the stoking of America’s racial divide, the rolling back of women’s rights, the gleeful gutting of environmental standards or the shameless ransacking of public purse for his own private benefit: a second Trump term promises a future of Fox News headlines trumpeting new triumphs like “Trump Orbital Laser Death Platform To Bring Thousands Of Jobs To High Atmosphere”, “Air, Water Syphoned From Ungrateful California”, or “Trump Attempts To Buy Greenland, Vows Revenge”.

Sorry, the Greenland one happened last year? Dear God, it has already begun…

 

 

 

 

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