Donald Trump in the role of his life
New York César Chelala
Donald Trump achieved the dream of his life: He became a President’s impersonator. Several excellent comedians have proven to be excellent impersonators of celebrities, among them Tina Fey, Rich Little, Jim Carrey, and Robin Williams. Not one to be topped, Donald Trump decided to impersonate a President.
Impersonating another person is a relatively common phenomenon. In New York City, it is estimated that the police arrests about 100 suspects annually for impersonating a police officer.
By becoming an impersonator, and not believing himself to be the real thing, President Trump can say that he is not responsible for the multitude of inane tweets his impersonator has been writing since he became President, which now seem to be coming out of him at an even faster pace. The latest tweets reveal a feud between actress Bette Midler and him.
The origin of the feud is a quote that she attributed to him and that she shared with her 1.53 million Twitter followers that 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.”
After Midler shared the quote it was proved to be a fake. When she realized her mistake, Midler tweeted, “I apologize; turns out to be a fake from way back in ’15-16. Don’t know how I missed it, but it sounds SO much like him that I believed it was true!”
Trump responded with characteristic acerbity. He called Midler a “washed-up psycho” who “was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make ‘your great president’ look really bad. She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!”
The reader cannot fail to have read the words in the paragraph before ‘your great president,’ as if Trump was referring to another person, not to himself. Anybody else in a similar situation would have written, “…in order to make me look bad.” Not Donald Trump in his role as an impersonator. The president, in this case, believes he is clearly somebody else, not President Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump’s behavior seems to be taking a turn for the worst. According to The New York Times, there are 598 people, places and things that Mr. Trump has insulted on Twitter alone since declaring his candidacy in June 2015, a list that is current until May 24 and doesn’t include the last two weeks.
The feud with Bette Midler happens shortly after his continuing feud with former Senator John McCain, who died on August 15, 2018. While continuously disparaging him, Donald Trump seems to forget that while McCain was in captivity, he obtained five medical deferments not to go to Vietnam.
According to Trump, they were due to some bone spurs he had in his feet. Those spurs, that a New York Times investigation proved to have been faked, didn’t stop him from practicing three different sports at the time: baseball, tennis, and squash. And while McCain was undergoing torture in Vietnam, Trump was a well-known figure on New York social circles.
It is possible that his impersonating a President comes from a profound feeling of insecurity of not having able to measure up to a real hero. How else to explain his vitriol against a person who has been dead for almost a year?
Never before in recent history has an American President been as questioned about his mental health and his capacity to hold office as Mr. Trump. His erratic behavior has prompted some Democrats to urge their colleagues to get behind an impeachment process that could potentially oust President Trump from office should it be proven that he is mentally or physically unfit. Donald Trump has decided to impersonate a President. And the world is paying for it.
Dr. César Chelala is a winner of several journalism awards.