Trump Is Still A Joke, But It’s Just Not Funny Anymore

By Caroline Ahern, Copy Editor

I remember when Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in June of 2015. I remember laughing out loud, turning to my mother and saying, “Donald Trump? The guy from Celebrity Apprentice? The guy with an entire building in New York that pretty much only serves as a clean bathroom to stop in between Midtown and the Upper East Side?” It was hilarious, and I was genuinely looking forward to what I assumed would be a trainwreck of a primary campaign.

And there was plenty to laugh at, from “I know more about ISIS than the generals do,” to “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” I thought to myself, how can anyone be so dumb? But then it kept going on, and he still kept winning. Each idiotic, uneducated, hateful statement that came out of his mouth seemed like it had to be the last straw. I truly believed that the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he discussed his ability to sexually assault women whenever he wants because he is a celebrity had to be the end. There was no way that this man who was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by their genitals could get elected as President of the United States. I was wrong.

Now here we are, six months after the election, just over 100 days into the Trump administration, and nothing has changed. Trump and the members of his administration, particularly Press Secretary Sean Spicer, continue to say bizarre, problematic, and just plain wrong statements. Some of my personal favorites reveal Trump’s clear lack of scientific knowledge, such as when he said at his first press conference as president: “You know what uranium is, right? It’s this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things. But nobody talks about that,” as well as Spicer’s hopefully career-defining blunder: “Hitler…didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Every week on Saturday Night Live, comedians like Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon don wigs and costumes to make fun of our political climate. Just this weekend, Hasan Minhaj hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which the President was notably absent from, and cracked jokes about Vladimir Putin, Frederick Douglass, and Trump’s frequent golf trips to Mar-a-Lago. On the same night, Samantha Bee hosted her own program, entitled “Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists and also to satirize the current administration. It featured a sketch in which Bee receives a tape showing her in an alternate reality where Hillary Clinton won the presidency, as well as an appearance from Will Ferrell doing his George W. Bush impression and asking the American people, “How do you like me now?”

But what struck me the most from “Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner” was a comment Bee made in her monologue, in which she praised journalists for their hard work, especially their continuing to fact-check the President, “as if he might someday get embarrassed.” The impenetrability of Trump starts to make sense in light of that comment. He cannot take a joke at his expense, as we saw from his tweets, which called SNL, “biased,” “unwatchable,” “not funny,” and “really bad television,” and his absence from the Correspondents’ Dinner, making him the first president in 36 years to skip the annual event. Donald Trump does not like other people poking fun at him in any way, but when it comes to his own words and actions, Trump cannot be embarrassed, he cannot be shamed.

Photo courtesy of NBC.com


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