Colson: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck …
I’m not quite sure why, but I find myself unable to contemplate politics right now without factoring in something about Donald Duck … er, I mean Donald Trump.
Sorry about that momentary slip of the keyboard, my fingers went to type out the name of our most outrageous political figure in the U.S. today. But my fingers twitched, I hit the “D” instead of the “T”, spellcheck filled in the “uck,” and there it was.
Wait, on second thought, I’m not sorry at all.
Because Trump so reminds me of that other Donald, the quacking, mumbling, hyperactive duck that Wikipedia calls a “temperamental foil to Mickey Mouse” in the cartoon universe created by Walt Disney.
Like Trump, the cartoon version has a wild, untamed lock of feathers, but it’s on his ass, not his head, and it’s white, not red.
But, again, hang on a second. Donald The Trump’s unruly bangs are on his head, true, but given what comes out of his mouth, it might as well be his ass.
Like Trump, The Duck has a rich male relative (in The Trump’s case it’s his dad, in The Duck’s case it’s Uncle Scrooge McDuck), though Daddy Trump’s wealth passed to his son while miserly Uncle Scrooge never let go of a farthing.
Also like Trump, The Duck is known for his possibly profane (who can tell?), energetic and unintelligible yelling and squawking about this, that and the other thing. In The Duck’s case, this tendency has prompted his fans in Norway to create a linguistic moniker for his blather — Donaldisms — and surely it won’t be long before The Trump’s utterances are so labeled.
Finally, Donald the Duck is way too old (he’s 84) to be cavorting around doing cartwheels and explosive comedic moves, and The Trump (he’s 69) should recognize the same age-based limitations to his political behavior.
Although in The Duck’s case this wild behavior is meant to entertain, to be hilarious, to provide children with an example of how not to be.
The same could be true in The Trump’s case, I guess. After all, how could anyone (even The Trump himself) take his run for the U.S. presidency as anything but a laugh line at the end of a long monologue spoken from the wings of the world’s stage?
But, on further reflection, it appears we must put up with “The Donald,” caricature that he is, since he apparently is rich enough to do pretty much whatever he wants to do.
Which leaves the rest of us with the unsettled feeling that we’re being had in some strangely funny but ultimately frightening way.
Why frightening, you ask?
Well, take the news reports a couple of weeks ago in which two brothers from Boston allegedly pissed upon and then beat up a homeless Hispanic man with some sort of metal pole, and then told police that they’d been inspired by Trump’s earlier racist spoutings about Latinos.
Trump reportedly responded that the assault was “a shame,” but went on to credit his followers with being “passionate” voters who “want this country to be great again.”
If that’s Trump’s idea of national greatness, can you imagine what he might do if he ever got control of this country’s nuclear arsenal? Given his hateful preoccupation with Latin Americans, I’d say Mexico City has cause for concern.
It was only 70 years ago, after all, that we nuked the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in order to convince Japan to surrender at the end of World War II. And Trump’s rhetorical condemnation of Hispanic immigrants is different from the anti-Nippon hysteria of that time only as a matter of degree.
It also is worth noting that, during that same war, the U.S. and state governments were guilty of the very same kind of racist behavior that we condemned Adolph Hitler for when we created concentration camps for Japanese-Americans out of fear that they would act as spies for their native country.
Granted, we never marched the Japanese into genocidal ovens in our concentration camps, but conditions were bare-bones and pretty grim in some of them.
Would you put it past Trump to do the same for Latino immigrants, whether legal or illegal, as a way of drumming up support among the illiterate and undereducated lumpenproletariat that seems to comprise Trump’s biggest block of supporters?
I sure wouldn’t.
I’m not sure how, or even if either Donald — The Trump or The Duck — would respond if called upon to come up with a realistic, practical “final solution” to the immigration issue, or any of the myriad other problems facing this once-great nation of ours.
In fact, I’m not sure we’d be able to understand the responses — in either case.
But, hey, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck … well, you get the idea.