Giving Trump the Clap: Harder Than You Think

Here’s a question for you.

Who has the toughest job in the world?

OJ Simpson’s PR team? Mine-sweeping dogs in the Congo? Scottish dentists?

Wrong.

I’ll tell you who has the toughest job in the world: the person who’s trying to decide at what points to clap during one of Trump’s speeches. Now that’s a tough call. When exactly do you do it?

When he makes a cogent point? He doesn’t. When he says something witty? He hasn’t. When he finishes a sentence? He barely starts one. Well, you’d better go off and get strategising, my friend, else that’s one pair of thoroughly unclapped hands you’re going to … have on your… hands… there.

The reason it’s tough to gauge when to clap is because Trump gives speeches like he’s: a) battling a powerful stroke, b) conducting an orchestra as he comes up on a huge dunt of speed, c) patronisingly enunciating dinner choices to a half-deaf nontegenarian relative, d) trying to break his jaw to better swallow a rat, and e) a cunt. Usually all five at once. Trying to determine when to clap is like trying to find the best time to jump through a jet engine propeller: there just isn’t one. I guess you’d have to listen out for certain keywords and phrases – like ‘wall’ and ‘bad dudes’ and ‘shit-holes’, and generally anything a little bit racist – and start clapping in the hope that Trump will cease speaking long enough to allow a dead-eyed smile of self-congratulation to seep out across his sickening toad face.

I think it might help with clap-timings if a gargantuan screen could be installed at every Trump rally, with a live interpreter in the bottom-right corner; like they have for deaf people, only tailored for a different kind of impairment (that impairment being an unshakable admiration for Donald Trump). I’m thinking the interpreter could be a figure in a white hood who keeps the crowd stimulated by smashing a tiny Mexican vihuela every eight seconds.

Jesus, Trump’s recently started applauding himself during his speeches, which admittedly makes the whole business of judging applause breaks much easier, but does seem to be taking a job away from other people. Tsk tsk. I thought you were trying to make America great, Donald.

Maybe I’m wrong to criticise the cadence and content of the guy’s speeches. I’m no linguist. Maybe he’s a genius. He might be a genius, right? Let’s examine some evidence, in the form of the Trump-propelled sentence that follows, in which Trump speculates about whether or not Obama ever called the relatives of fallen marines while in office (Spoiler alert: he did): “I don’t know if he did. I was told that he didn’t often, and a lot of presidents don’t – they write letters… President Obama, I think, probably did and maybe he didn’t. I don’t know, that’s what I’m told.”

Whatever you think of Trump, you’ve got to admit that It’s a real talent to come up with a sentence that’s also its own opposite. When Trump speaks it’s like a dog vomitting a scrabble set into a wind tunnel, as a blind man with seven missing fingers tries to catch the letters.

Narcissism features heavily in his repertoire. Indeed, most of his scattergun diatribes seem to boil down to one catchy slogan: “Tough on people who aren’t me, tough on the causes of people who aren’t me.” His answer for every question is ‘I’m the best’, even if the question isn’t really a question, and it’s just somebody nearby coughing. He’ll tell that cough he’s the best just to avoid doubt. Plus he’s the best at coughing. Believe him. Believe him.

A steadfast opposition to truth is another favourite pick from his oratorical trick-bag. He’s like Bart Simpson when he became the I-Didn’t-Do-It-Boy, except Trump really believes that he didn’t do it, or believes that he did do it and doesn’t really care that he did it, but he’ll be damned if you think that he did it. Because he didn’t. Did he? I don’t know anymore. Probably best to assume he did, even if he didn’t. All hail the Lie Lord of the Multiverse. Behold: Schrodinger’s President! Until you open the door of the Oval Office to peek inside, two wholly separate certainties exist simultaneously: that he’s a liar, and that he’s a f***ing liar. That’s underselling it somewhat. Trump doesn’t just lie: he picks up words like they’re lead pipes and bashes reality in the face with them.

Trump’s such a good snake-oil salesman that he’s managed to become the greatest Scientologist who ever lived who isn’t actually a Scientologist. I’ll bet David Miscaviage would give his eye-teeth (and they probably appear in one of Hubbard’s books) to get Trump off a cloud and into his spaceship. Trump could be the Scientologists’ Messianic Hulk; their pie-faced space Jesus of lies. I’d like to hope that if Trump ever even looked in the general direction of an E-meter that Lady Universe would almost immediately crunch herself, and every single one of us, into oblivion. Trump definitely sings from the same song sheet as Hubbard’s church when it comes to fighting dirty against facts, and knowing how best to smear and marginalise your opponents.

Trump regularly declares his critics and opponents ‘sick’, with ‘critics and opponents’ defined as anyone who dares challenge his world-view or loose relationship to facts. Really, though, imagine being condemned as ‘sick’ by the man who’s spent years making boastful allusions to pronging his own daughter, albeit in a Back to the Future-style alternate timeline. Except up-for-it instead of scared and revolted. Great Clot! Trump’s like a bolt of lightening: you never know where or when he’s going to strike next . Do you remember how scornful the Doc was when Marty told him that Ronald Reagan was president? Fuck, if he ever finds out that ‘Biff Tannen’ is now our president he’ll travel back in time to the Big Bang and take a shit on it.

Anyway, I’m finished. You can clap now.


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