By Ralph Nader
March 16, 2018
Trump Imitation Day will take place online on April 1, this April Fools’ Day, 2018—a day driven by the vast and varied online networks of America with all of their imagination and organizational capability.
Here is the rationale behind this special style of giving Trump a reverse dose of Trumpism. Trump has proven repeatedly that he is a serial prevaricator, bully, cheater, boaster, malicious myth-maker, racist, abuser of women, slanderer, violator of laws and the Constitution and emerging war-monger.
Openly, through his appointees, he is destroying crucial, long-held health, safety and economic protections for consumers, workers and the environment in the service of Big Business. He is dictatorial and loves brutal dictators in numerous foreign countries.
No matter how many serious exposes, critiques, corrections of his hundreds of false statements (fake facts), entreaties to be truthful and connect with reality, along with the heartfelt pleas of aggrieved Americans, Trump doesn’t relent or admit and correct his fictions. He refuses to recognize blatant wrong-doing and continues his foul-mouthed attacks on anyone who arouses his thin-skinned ire. Even more, he doubles down on his deficiencies of character and personality—all relayed by a supine, ratings-driven mass media that mostly denies his targets their rebuttals.
Maybe we can get through to him by giving him a taste of his own medicine, turning his style of aggressive personal attacks against him.
Take, for example his juvenile use of pejorative nicknames. It started with “Low Energy” Jeb Bush, “Lyin” Ted Cruz and “Little Marco” Rubio during his primary campaign in 2015-2016. His repertoire expanded to “Crooked” Hillary in the main campaign, spread as President to “Liddle Bob Corker,” “Cryin’ Chuck” Schumer, “Flaky” Jeff Flake, “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren, “Low I.Q.” Rep. Maxine Waters, and “Lamb the Sham” for Pennsylvania House of Representatives winning candidate and Marine veteran Conor Lamb.
He even labelled NBC’s Meet the Press anchor as “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd” while calling the media the “enemy of the people.” Never in American history has a President of the United States stooped to his gutter level. Why is this so troubling? Because the mass media repeat these outbursts and make these slurs and insults stick in their ditto-heading, day after day “reporting.” It is as if he owns the mass media. This mindless echoing of Trump even includes the otherwise critical New York Times and the Washington Post.
That is why, for Trump Imitation Day, nick-names have to be announced for Trump—say, “Corrupt Donald,” “Cheating Donald,” or “Tall-Tale Trump—until the press recovers its senses and stops being Trump’s nick-name bullhorn.
Wherever Trump brags and boasts about himself in demonstrably false ways he should be countered with truthful monikers. When he talks of being a fabulous businessman, he gets back the moniker, “a failed gambling czar whose companies went bankrupt.” When he says he loves and respects women, he gets back, “female assaulter in chief.”
When he talks about how rich he is, ask him to prove it by finally releasing his tax returns, like all other modern Presidents have done. Is he refusing to disclose because he has evaded taxes?
When he boasts about how academically smart he was, ask him to prove his academic credentials. Fordham University has him listed as “failure to complete.”Also, how does the public really know he was born in the U.S. since he hasn’t released his birth certificate, as he demanded Barack Obama do. Tit for tat.
When he refers the deadly, air-poisoning mineral, as “beautiful clean coal,” demand that he go down into a coal mine, as I did while pushing for the Mine Safety Act of 1969. Tell him to visit coal miners dying in hospital rooms from “black lung” disease. (Hundreds of thousands of miners have lost their lives from this occupational disease since 1900.)
Bring him back to reality by hurling concise, memorable facts and truth against his lies and insults. Be pithy, clever, and unrelenting. When he repeals or fails to enforce lifesaving, health protecting regulations, don’t just accuse him of “de-regulation” in wonky terms. Tell him he is killing, injuring or sickening consumers and workers, and tell him he is poisoning the water, air and food where children and families are trying to live. Otherwise, Trump—riding on tweets and a sensation-crazed mass media – will dissolve the rationality of our society and intimidate many good people into silence.
Trump knows how to intimidate and play the bully. In 1990, he told Playboy magazine, “When somebody tries to sucker punch me, when they’re after my ass, I push back a hell of a lot harder than I was pushed in the first place….Those people don’t come back for seconds.”
OK America, give him some of his own medicine and watch him flail, bellow and smear until his ugly persona crumbles beyond the sixty percent of the American people who already reject this Electoral College selectee.
Don’t give up. Repetition is key to countering his revolting behavior, like lancing a giant boil. He will either come to his senses or he will check out and retire to Mar-a-Lago. There he can watch the rising ocean and contemplate his repeated description of climate change as a hoax.