Trump Naming

The phenomena of Trump dishing out negative branding through nicknaming his political opponents is one of the more ridiculous aspects of his 2016 campaign. Thus far, Trump himself does not have a Trump-style name of his own, and that’s probably for the best. Trump’s own brand is its own brand, for good or ill. Trying to name him something would only narrow the focus of his unsavoriness to one limited aspect.

You could call him “Lyin’ Donald,” an off-shoot of his name for Cruz, but he’s also very much a “Liddle Donald” (what he called Rubio), a petty man in many ways. You could tack “Crazy” to him, as he’s done to Sanders, but with the revelations of Trump U, he’s apparently also “Crooked” (his term for Clinton).

Or maybe you go for the kitchen sink approach and dub him “Lyin’ Widdle Crooked Crazy Donald.” That’s too much of a mouthful. Plus, it lacks whatever name he inevitably tags onto President Obama (maybe we’ll throw “Slacker” in there for now, since he’s had plenty of time to brand Obama and hasn’t done so).

No, rather than calling him “Tabloid Donald” for his affinity for trash journalism (and trashing journalists), or “Trumpelstiltskin” for trying to spin bullshit into gold, or “Prima Donald” for his vanity, all of which would be accurate enough, we should just call him Donald Trump, because that’s the only name that could embody all of the ignorant and wicked aspects of him.

Sure, if he were a villain in Batman, he might be called “The Swindler,” and if he were a DJ, he’d be “DJ Trump… Trump… Trump…” because he’s such a broken record on so many issues, but choosing any one particular name, “Trashmouth Donald” or “Hapless Donald” or “Dastardly Donald,” it just would not really get to the heart of the matter. It would inevitably leave out so many parts of this despicable figure of politics in 2016.

With the tactic of “will not say,” for example, he jabs below the belt like the 1943 Warner Brothers cartoon “To Duck….or not To Duck”, where Daffy Duck fights Elmer Fudd. The duck referee wants a clean fight, and so demonstrates on Fudd the moves that are barred, which Daffy then also demonstrates, leaving Fudd clobbered before the fight begins. That’s Trump, but how do you put a name on that?

And how do you name his repeated insistence that he has some infallible plan to tackle some hairy, intractable issue, and yet he will only reveal it if he is in fact elected president. Do we even have a word for that, other than bullshit?

We could call him a flip-flopper (“Take-backsy Donald?”) or a human pretzel (“Dlanodon?”) for repeatedly reversing himself, sometimes intra-paragraph, or for bending the truth so much that one begins to construct non-Euclidean sketches to try to make sense, but that leaves out his fervent denial of science, his wont for conspiracy, his complete lack of understanding of the Constitution, and so on.

Hanging just one word on him, however much it might seem to be a convenient branding move, could never do as well as well as knowing him by his own name, and knowing all the foibles and hobgoblins that name stands for. Donald Trump is Donald Trump, which is just worse than any other name we could try to add.