Trump’s Base
January 15th, 2018

Evidently there is a segment of society whose allegiance to Donald Trump can never be shaken—only stirred. Until just recently I had no idea how that could possibly be; that is, until I watched a television documentary centering on the life and times of Ric Flair. Who IS Ric Flair, you ask? Well, I learned that he is a retired professional wrestler, reputedly the greatest professional wrestler of all time. Indeed, he has been compared to the self-acclaimed “greatest” heavyweight boxer of all time, Mohammad Ali.

I, myself, would not make such a comparison. It’s true that Ali, like Flair, was a consummate showman; however, boxing differs from wrestling in that the fights are for real. Strut and swagger and boast all you want, but following the preliminary theatrics you’ve got to step into the ring to face a formidable opponent who is determined to beat you senseless, at which time your gift for gab will prove no defense against a sharp left jab.

Oh, sure, you can accidentally get hurt wrestling, but for the most part it’s just play acting. Clearly, the combatants are pulling their punches and only pretending to gouge out one another’s eyeballs. Still, the crowd goes wild after each imaginary blow, same as Trump’s diehard supporters go wild whenever he threatens to punch somebody in the face.

Fact is, Donald Trump can’t even make a fist, but that doesn’t matter to his base. What matters is that, like Ric Flair, he puts on a good show. He blusters, he preens, he insults, he threatens, he gloats. Tasked with reading a prepared statement, he suddenly goes limp, like a pro wrestler feigning concussion–but then, POW! WOW! He veers off script, bounces off the ropes, flexes, pirouettes and tweets WHOOO! WHOOO! To thunderous applause.

Offstage, Trump’s lifestyle mirrors that of Ric Flair, who once described himself as “a linousin’-ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’ wheelin’-dealin’ son-of-a-gun.” Like Flair, Trump sports a ridiculous hairdo and surrounds himself with bling, blondes, and gilded kitsch, leaving in his wake multiple divorces, failed enterprises, unpaid bills and bankruptcies. Supposedly a grown man, his disposition is that of an unruly child.

So if you’re a Wrestlemania fan, then Trump is clearly your man, and the worse his behavior, the more you’ll love him. Because you support a president for whom unsportsmanlike conduct is standard operating procedure.

-Richard Menzies