Donald Trump’s rise ahead of Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses has been analyzed as a symptom of a country that has outsourced jobs that many white, middle-class voters now scramble to maintain, if those jobs are still available in the places they live. Others argue it is fear that is being whipped up by the Donald (among other candidates peddling these types of wares) driving people to vote for him despite comments that are characterized as sexist, racist, anti-immigrant, etc. He has managed to anger the establishment, but not enough to keep “respectable” Republican politicians such as Governor Chris Christie (New Jersey) and US Senator Jeff Sessions (Alabama) from endorsing him (Christie – Sessions), at the risk of what George Will argues will be the “shattering their party as a vessel of conservatism.”
Besides Trump supporters, there really is only group salivating at the idea of President Trump as earnestly: comedians and comedy writers.
Already the target of many jokes, the notion of President Trump has inspired many memes, along with other efforts at humor, that have graced various social media. What I find fascinating were two images that showed up in my Facebook feed this week. Both tweets reference dystopian visions of the future, though the Hunger Games provided more hope than the first two Planet of the Apes movies, particularly the ending of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
What strikes me about these two tweets is the set up for both indicate that people are concerned about the authoritarian nature of Trump’s supporters and by extension, his own well established pattern of commentary that call into question his stability and judgement. If he truly believes that he can change libel laws, negotiate treaties without the US Senate, have Mexico pay for a wall, and rule by fiat from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, then the joke is no longer funny and increasingly posts on my social media feed from younger Republicans are seriously using SMH to underscore their incredulity at Trump’s rise as their preferred candidates (usually Senator Rubio or Senator Cruz) fail to gain enough delegates to be convincing alternatives.
The tweets also invoke another theme, perhaps the least funny of the two: the joke is on all of us if Trump is allowed to be the Republican nominee and he wins in November 2016.