Not so long ago the best known American called Donald was Walt Disney’s lovable duck. Today there’s also President Trump. I’ve been familiar with the comic book character since childhood. The other Donald is relatively new to me.
Let me start with the original one.
For those who don’t know him he’s a white duck with a prominent yellow beak. He usually wears a sailor’s shirt and cap. Although he never wears trousers he always sports a bow tie. Along with his beloved Daisy Duck and three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, he was a reassuring companion on hot summer afternoons in the ’60s and ’70s. We literally beat the heat together!
The Duck is some 10 years older than the President but they were both born in June.
I wonder if this is why they seem so similar?
Let me quote from ‘Wikipedia’s biography of Donald Duck’.
“Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality … Donald’s two dominant personality traits are his short temper and his positive outlook on life.” Would I be unfair if I said this could also be a description of Mr. Trump?
Part of the Duck’s charm is you’re never quite sure what he’s saying and often suspect he isn’t either. As a portrait on BBC News states: “The secret to his longevity lies in his distinctive – but unintelligible – command of language.”
Most people would say that’s equally true of the President. In Mr. Trump’s case it’s not uncommon to work out what he means despite how he has said it. In an interview earlier this month the editors of The Economist were told “we need reciprocality”. That’s so much more impressive than mere reciprocity and certainly less likely to be forgotten.
In fact, the similarities run deeper.
“The Duck gets a big kick out of imposing on other people or annoying them, but he immediately loses his temper when the tables are turned. In other words, he can dish it out but he can’t take it.” Now, doesn’t that remind you of the President?
But wait, there’s more.
“Donald is also a bit of a show-off. He likes to brag, especially about how skilled he is at something… his love of bragging often leads him to overestimate his abilities, so that when he sets out to make good on his boasts, he gets in over his head, usually to hilarious effect.” Now, which Donald would you say best fits that description? I’ve quoted Wikipedia on the Duck but it could just as easily have been Washington commentary on the President.
Of course, both the Duck and the President are great achievers. The Duck has won an Oscar and played a major part in the war effort of the 1940s. Such is his fame in Finland voters register a protest by marking the name Donald Duck. The President is, of course, a billionaire and, as Americans love to tell you, the most powerful man on earth.
Whenever they appear both the Duck and the President dominate the situation but they’re usually never alone. The Duck family includes Daisy, the three nephews and Uncle Scrooge McDuck. The President’s entourage comprises Melania, Ivanka and Jared. He also has three sons but they’re rarely seen.
Asked about his creation, Walt Disney once said: “Like many large families we have a problem child. You’re right, it’s Donald Duck.” However, beyond Daisy there are no other female ducks in Donald’s life. The President, as we know, is somewhat different. Not only is he a much married man but his affection for the female sex is legendary.
Of the Duck it’s been said he’s irascible when things don’t go his way but he has a heart of gold and is devoted to his friends. Now, irascibility is not a quality unknown to the President and, at the moment, things certainly aren’t going his way. But will we ever find out if he has a heart of gold or is devoted to his friends? Time could be running out.
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