Trump Supporter Compares Him To O.J. Simpson, Which Seems Fair
Politico reached out to Trump supporters (again) for explanations -- maybe even rational ones -- for their unwavering support of the tweeting toddler in the White House. This has become its own unique brand of bozo journalism, and the responses were as absurd as always. One guy described the billionaire wife collector whose name is on several garish buildings as an "Everyman." That's almost a lucid observation compared to this one:
Oh, FFS (again)!Politico
O.J. Simpson, as you probably recall, is the former football player turned (alleged, I guess) double murderer. He's not a straight-talking politician who has no time for namby-pamby political correctness. He's just a sociopath who got away with murder. It's bizarre that Trump fan Keith Swartz would compare Simpson to the president, but let's try to unpack this. Chris Rock used to joke about how much Simpson's acquittal infuriated white people. There's a great moment in Spike Lee's Bamboozled when Damon Wayans's character "motivates" his all-white writers room by asking them to "tap into" their "O.J." rage: "How did you feel when the glove didn't fit?"
Hey, no one likes to see killers walk free, but way too many white people act like the Simpson verdict was the moment they "lost faith" in our justice system. It's as if they'd never heard of lynchings or witch trials except when using them as rhetorical descriptions for the suffering of powerful white men.
Trump and Simpson do share a common link. Trump is white backlash personified. He represents a "champion" against a society where minorities (racial, sexual, gender) have "gotten one" over on white men for decades. Simpson killed a white woman and a white man, and his crooked black lawyer convinced a biased black jury to let him go free. If a black man can "beat the system," then why can't their white "Everyman" Trump?
Of course, white men have beaten the system fairly regularly since Simpson, and even before! Years before Trump ran for president, George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin, and it didn't cost Zimmerman his fortune or reputation (he didn't have much of either). It didn't even cost him a fulfilling acting career as Leslie Nielsen's sidekick in the Naked Gun movies.
Swartz doesn't sound like that uncle most black people have who thinks Simpson was framed. He doesn't pretend that Trump is anything other than human scum. He calls the president "manic, uneducated, illogical" and "essentially a horrible person … vulgar, amoral, narcissistic." However, he appreciates what Trump has "accomplished." He doesn't actually list any of these achievements, because the only one that matters is that Trump has defied the very people Swartz resents most.
Simpson, like some gross character from Greek tragedy, wasn't content to simply live in comfortable, remorseless obscurity after his acquittal. He wound up serving nine years for armed robbery after breaking into a hotel room and stealing O.J. Simpson sports memorabilia. Trump is likely just as stupid a criminal as Simpson. No matter what Trump might get away with now, he'll eventually get caught for something comparatively nickel and dime. If some form of justice is eventually served, we're fine with Trump being "our O.J."
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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.