Saturday Night Live asks whether it is appropriate to make fun of Trump

Michael Che wonders whether we should start to talk about Donald Trump the way we talk about Lenny in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.


  1. Allison says

    I can’t do videos, so I’ll respond to the summary of it in the OP:

    whether we should start to talk about Donald Trump the way we talk about Lenny in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

    Since this was Saturday Night Live, it was probably meant satirically, but even so, I’m troubled by the suggestion (however ironically meant) that we should let Trump off the hook on the assumption that is what we now term “mentally disabled.”

    First of all, there is no evidence whatsoever that he suffers from an actual imparement. What he is doing now is no different from what he did in the past, and he has not only gotten away with it for at least 30 years, but he’s gotten rich (or at least a rich lifestyle) off it and it has even gotten him into the White House. It would be irrational for him to change his behavior. If you want to blame anyone, blame a dysfunctional political system and a greedy, racist populace that (still) thinks someone who behaves like Trump is the kind of guy they want running the country. After all, the GOP leadership is full of people who think like him, Trump is just better at doing what they would like to be able to do, they just lack his chutzpah.

    Second of all, conflating his behavior with mental disability (or, for that matter, mental illness) is an insult and a smear of the mentally disabled. Most mentally disabled people are not racist egomaniacs. And if you think about why lazy thinkers like to use “mental disability” or “mental illness” to sigmatize people who don’t have either of those conditions, it’s an expression of society’s bigotry against the mentally disabled and mentally ill. If we didn’t at some level see mental disability or illness as basically just moral degeneracy, it wouldn’t occur to us to use those conditions as a way to express hatred of someone who doesn’t have them.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I think it’s fair to question whether Trump may be showing signs of dementia. I have seen more than one person who has been following him for some time saying he’s always been narcissistic, but he hasn’t always been this incoherent.

  3. Sam N says

    I seriously don’t know what all the hemming and hawing is about. Even IF Donald Trump is neurologically demented, he made the choice to become president that affects hundreds of millions of people’s lives. He gets to be trashed on whatever way people decide to. An absolute moron with the best intentions still deserves to be trashed if they have power and can destroy other people’s lives. Just because he may belong in a mental institution, how does that truly reflect the way we interact with him? Given the power dynamic. I think this hypersensitivity is insane. Reserve it for the people who have no power and don’t do incredibly destructive things. Any way you can get under Trump’s skin or undermine him, is fair game. Any. I will defend that.

  4. John Morales says

    Sam, the usual justification is splash damage, but yeah… not really a thing here.

    (Or one could be all Christian about it: “they know not what they do”)

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