After watching Donald Trump’s first “thank you” rally in Ohio on December 1, I did what any smug Republican now does: turned on MSNBC.
The perpetually peeved Christopher Hayes looked like he had just eaten a batch of foul oysters. His face was ashen as he stammered to spin what he had just witnessed, which was perhaps the most hilarious in-your-face-mo-fo victory lap in presidential history.
Trump’s subsequent “thank you” rallies—which seemed more like “thank me” rallies—were just as audacious, with lots of references to his big-league win and all the losers who can eat his dust, from his vanquished opponent to his enfeebled enemies (primarily the media). Then it dawned on me: This is like watching the fictional character Ricky Bobby win the election. The only thing missing was Trump saying, “I’m just a big hairy American winning machine…if you ain’t first, you’re last!”
Will this be the presidency of Ricky Bobby? In the 2006 movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Will Farrell plays a brash, America-lovin’ NASCAR driver who unapologetically flaunts all the perks of fame, from a “red hot smokin’ wife” to his mansion to celebrity endorsements (if you haven’t seen it, cue it up on Nextflix for some laughs. Amy Adams, Jane Lynch, Gary Cole, and John C. Reilly are in it, too).
Life Imitates ‘Art’
Like Trump, Ricky’s fans love his shoot-from-the-lip, self-congratulatory style. They swarm him wherever he goes and he autographs anything from babies to breasts. Stadiums are filled to the rafters with cheering admirers eager for the next victory or malaprop to the media. He gives the middle finger to his competitors. His emotional outbursts are in defense of America, winning, money, or fame. Trade in the jumpsuit and racing helmet for a red tie and hair helmet and voila!—life imitates art, or at least a really funny movie.
There are several LOL scenes in the movie, but one sticks out as particularly Trumpian: the family dinner. Ricky is seated at the dinner table, which is filled with Domino’s pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Taco Bell, ready to say grace. The prayer becomes a non-sequitur stream of random thoughts from arguing about which Jesus to pray to—“Look, I like the baby version the best, do you hear me? I win the races and I get the money!”—to praising himself—“We just thank you for all the races I’ve won and for the twenty-one-point-two-million-dollars, whoot!” Ricky congratulates his two sons for being winners—“They’re winners, they get to do what they want!”—and ends the meal by making out with his wife on top of the table.
Ricky’s antagonist is Jean Girard, a gay French race car driver played by Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame. His character could represent any one of Trump’s elite enemies from the media to academia to Euro globalist snobs. At one point, Ricky Bobby bumps into Girard during a race—“Hey, it’s me, America!”—and forces Girard to spill the macchiato he’s drinking in the car.
Ricky’s other problem is the stuffy, uptight owner of Ricky’s racing team (he inherited it) who can only be compared to conservatives who hate Trump’s style but are stuck with him because he’s a winner.
Real-Life Soundbites From the Movie
Are we about to embark on a Donald J. Ricky Bobby Trump administration? Despite a gracious, magnanimous acceptance speech on November 9, Trump’s actions since Election Day signal more NASCAR driver than cautious diplomat (or weekend golfer). He’s run over everyone from flag burners to a Vanity Fair editor to the drone-stealing Chinese to the “Saturday Night Live” cast.
Some of Trump’s recent comments and tweets sound like soundbites from the movie. During a post-election rally in Wisconsin on December 13, Trump told a raucous crowd that “We like people that win…we wanna start winning again…our country has to start winning again, okay?”
In a tweet on December 27, he took credit for December’s consumer confidence level, “…THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!” Trump spoke to the media on the steps of Mar A Lago on December 28 with boxing promoter Don King, who was holding huge American flag, then wished everyone a happy new year on December 31, “including my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do.”
In the past week, Trump has blasted his predecessor Barack Obama, who looks like he’s trying a lil’ bump and run in his final lap as president. After weeks of subtle and non-so-subtle jabs from Obama and his spokesweasel Josh Earnest, Trump hit back. He mocked Obama for losing swing states he had personally campaigned in, and then this: “Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!” he tweeted on December 28. I mean, c’mon. Not even the best Hollywood screenwriter could make up this material.
The Left’s unhinged post-election reaction will only embolden a Ricky-Bobbyish President Trump. Even some Republicans who opposed Trump seem to be coming along, eager for him to challenge the losers, the whiners, the crybabies, and the capitulators. So start your engines, January 20, 2017 is almost here. As Ricky Bobby would say, it’s time to shake and bake.