Opinion: 'Diaper Don'? Trump supporters turn the tables on childish critics

The political rise and permanence of Donald Trump have forced this country to confront so many existential questions:

Can our democracy survive another Trump administration?

Can an American president really and truly be above the law?

Y: Do real men wear diapers?

We won't know the answers to the first two questions for a while yet.

opinion columnist

Robin Abcarian

But thanks to Trump's most ardent supporters, we can safely say that yes, real men wear diapers. (And astronauts, of course, who call them “maximum absorbency garments”).

Let me stipulate that I know nothing about Trump's bladder, bowels, or personal hygiene. I have never been close enough to the man to smell anything about it, nor do I expect to.

However, the “Diaper Don” meme, which began on a completely different basis, has become inevitable lately on social media and a running joke among his more puerile critics, who believe, or desperately want to believe, that Trump is incontinent. . .

Unsurprisingly, the virulently anti-Trump Lincoln Project has had fun with the rumor, publishing a fake commercial and a blog post that begins: “Are You Incontinent? Does your family hate you? Is your lawyer testifying against you? Is he facing decades in prison? So will there ever be a product for you?

This blow would seem to be designed to hit hard the vanity of a man who does not admit faults, weaknesses or physical illnesses. I mean, aside from vomiting on the Japanese Prime Minister, pooping your pants is about as undignified as it gets.

The need to appear infallible – a hallmark of dictators throughout history – is an important part of Trump's “only I can fix it” self-mythologization.

Remember his return to the White House after being treated for a severe bout of COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2020? In her 2022 book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman revealed that the president told aides he wanted to rip off his shirt on the House balcony. White and reveal a Superman t-shirt. below. They dissuaded him, but not before he ordered one of his assistants to buy the costume.

I must say that there is something transgressive in the reaction among his believers to Trump's possible incontinence: they think it is funny. In fact, they seem very happy about the possibility: they have started wearing large disposable diapers over their pants at campaign rallies. They wear t-shirts and hats that say “Real Men Wear Diapers” and “Diapers Before Democrats.” Somehow, on Planet MAGA, the diaper rumor has become a challenge that must be used to own the libraries.

“Just as his base has 'taken back' the former president's legal troubles by accepting his mugshot, they appear to be embracing Trump's rumored diaper use with shirts, hats and even adult diapers worn outside of his clothing,” wrote the author. from the “Dispatches from Trumpland” blog in April. (British press stories, of course, report that Trump fans wear “diapers.”)

At an April rally in rural Pennsylvania, a man was photographed holding a seven-foot black banner with the slogan in stark white. It was eerily reminiscent of those POW and MIA flags.

Keeping in mind Trump's legendary love of absurd opulence, some of his fans have taken the diaper issue to the extreme. Last weekend, a woman at Trump's South Jersey Shore rally was photographed holding a huge diaper made of gold lamé against her shorts.

The diaper rumor spin is reminiscent of the way Biden supporters have co-opted the phrase “Come on, Brandon” and turned it into the “Dark Brandon” meme. (That phrase was accidentally coined in 2021 by a reporter at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, who incorrectly described what race fans were chanting in the background.)

This isn't the first time we've been told unpleasant anecdotes about alleged rude behavior by presidential candidates: In 2020, Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar was accused by anonymous staff of eating her salad with a comb. Last year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was caught on camera wiping his nose before touching his supporters. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was lampooned for his dry mouth when he reached for a bottle of water during his response to President Obama's State of the Union address in 2013. (Two years later, on the campaign trail, Trump would mock Rubio: “He sweats more than any young man I've ever seen in my life.”)

And of course, President Biden has had the embarrassing tendency to squeeze the shoulders of any woman within reach.

Joking aside, I wonder if it's possible that this silly campaign moment could help destigmatize adult diapers. For many people who need them, possibly including Trump, they are no laughing matter. Or it shouldn't be, anyway.


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