Odd-Looking 42-Year-Old Manchild Will Bring Cool GOP Kids To Polls For Daddy
Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump among 18-to-29-year-old voters in 2016. Democrats in 2018 collectively did even better against Republicans with that demo, although fewer turned out. There was probably a concert that night. Republicans are now starting to worry that Bernie Sanders, if he were somehow the nominee, might lure young people away from their avocado toast with his pandering concern for their futures and overall well-being. However, they have a plan in place for raising an electoral army of smug young conservatives. This plan involves the president's first-born Tweedledum, Donald Trump Jr., and his adopted Tweedledee, Charlie Kirk. It is not a good plan.
Politico described the pair of Ken dolls as "the 42-year-old son of a billionaire president and his 26-year-old friend." How pathetic is your life when -- even in middle-age -- you're still defined as your father's son? Despite his years of consistent douchebaggery, Trump Jr. will forever remain in the shadow of his father's asshole. Kirk at least founded the awful Turning Point USA. He's pulled his bigotry up by its bootstraps.
Trump Jr. would like nothing more than for his father to remember his name, and he probably figures improving the president's numbers with young voters could help. Trump Jr. is touring college campuses with Kirk and speaking nonsense to people who can't find the exits quickly enough. He usually brings a collection of Milton Berle-fresh jokes about liberals and the oppressive PC culture that prevents someone from crudely shouting at Joe Biden, "OK, Boomer, you've got dementia!" Of course, Trump Jr. was able to say just that without suffering any negative repercussions.
Sean Semanko, a Turning Point USA coordinator, raves that Trump Jr. is a champion for entitled white conservatives who resent having to acknowledge the feelings or even the very existence of other groups of people.
SEMANKO: Being on a campus where there's an oppressive PC culture, just constantly 24/7, really annoys people because it feels like you can't speak your mind. So it's an oppressive politically correct culture and climate on campus and people are just tired of it, and when they see someone like Trump Jr. coming to campus and disrupting that and being a counter force of that, it's refreshing and makes people excited.
Yep, the president's wealthy son is a cultural disrupter! These spoiled brats act like Trump Jr. is Malcolm X or Muhammad Ali touring colleges in the 1960s. If the president's conservative son is freely dragging liberals for their amusement, it's a good sign that conservatives are holding their own in the culture war waging inside their pointy heads.
I am sad to report that Trump Jr. defiled my alma mater, the University of Georgia, in 2018. Student Parker Marlow organized Trump Jr's visit to the campus.
MARLOW: I think he's hilarious. One of the reasons why I like to follow him is because he posts memes all the time and they're hilarious.
That's adorable. The president's misshapen manchild has found something he's good at, and it's posting memes. I hear Eric Trump has a solid collection of YouTube cat videos. (And the saddest YouTube playlist ever.) Let's invite him to UGA next.
According to Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University, there's little evidence Trump Jr. is actually sparking a conservative "revolution" among young people. If anything, he's just helping make existing conservatives more annoying. That's quite the feat, but it doesn't help his father at the polls.
TUFTS: I'm not seeing any big wave of support for him or even for Donald Trump on college campuses. Certainly on some of the ones that are more conservative or located in more conservative parts of the country, it will happen. But even then, you know, it's 40% Republican, 40% Democrat and 20% somewhere in the middle.
Trump Jr. as the ambassador to his fellow kids is a ridiculous concept. C'mon, just look at the guy. He was never at any point in his stupid life what you'd call "cool." (And his own college years? OH BOY. Something something "Diaper Don.")
The fool showed up for an Oprah Winfrey interview in 2009 dressed like Sonny Corleone. If you were alive in 2009, you can confirm that nothing about his appearance -- the suit, the hair -- makes any damn sense. What the hell is going on? It's why Trump looks ashamed to sit next to him. This is still who Trump Jr. is deep inside the pit of despair that's his soul. It's what he sees when he looks in the mirror and cries because he father will never love him. (You know, allegedly.)
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).