While Trump Sits Silently in Court He Shares a Post Referring to Himself as ‘Daddy Trump’

Wily Donald Trump always finds a way to get around constraints, and so on Monday Trump’s Truth Social is speaking for him while he is in court, and it’s telling us that people miss “Daddy Trump.”

The Trump trial is underway in a Manhattan courtroom, but is not being televised. A few reporters are inside the courtroom, reporting for the wider public. One of them is Olivia Nuzzi, whose report for New York Magazine I knew to be accurate when she noted, “Donald Trump is glowering in the direction of Judge Merchan as the trial officially begins. Trump is tilting his head dramatically and making trout-like movements with his mouth as he listens to judge Merchan.”

That is a very specific Trump expression we have seen thousands of time.

Nuzzi also noted that while Trump is sitting in the courtroom (effectively muzzled for the first time in his adult life, I note), his Truth Social is speaking for him and telling us how he wants to be viewed, which is…

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As “Daddy Trump.”

“As Trump sits in the courtroom listening to Judge Merchan explain how his criminal trial is going to work, Truth Social sends out push notifications for the spate of posts sent from his account this morning, including one that refers to him as ‘Daddy Trump.’”

“Daddy Trump” is a really interesting choice, because it gets to the heart of Trump’s appeal to his base. He presents himself as a strongman who bullies the weak, and they like this. So seeing him in court being treated like anyone else is no doubt causing some cognitive dissonance for his more intelligent followers. If left alone, this can lead to people re-thinking how they see Trump and he can’t afford that.

This is Trump’s way of reinforcing an image of himself as a beloved, worshipped dictator even as he sits in a courtroom as the defendant in a criminal trial that is essentially about how he allegedly cheated to win the only election he ever won, in 2016.

You can see how the wheels are coming off Trump’s carefully crafted image in many ways, and how these criminal trials are doing damage to him in ways that aren’t even related to the actual charges.

Trump and his surrogates bleat on about how these trials are so good for Trump electorally, but if they really believed that, they wouldn’t be falsely blaming President Joe Biden for Trump’s fate. After all, if these trials were good for Trump, he would be thanking the President of the United States if he really believed Biden was behind these trials.

But of course, Biden is not behind these trials. There is zilch evidence of that allegation and Biden certainly didn’t force Trump to work with the owner of the Enquirer to “catch and kill” negative stories about himself or to pay off an adult film actress to silence an alleged affair.

Biden wasn’t even running against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and so had nothing to do with Trump’s decision to have his personal “fixer” pay Stormy Daniels for her silence. At issue here is Trump is accused of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records for payments to Daniels.

There’s nothing as miserable and frankly psychologically distressing, according to experts, for ex-president Donald Trump as being forced to sit silently in a courtroom while other people speak about him in unflattering ways. Trump is a man whose entire empire and indeed presidency was made up of moments he spun into a narrative as fake as his Trump steaks.

Trump was no one’s “Daddy” as president; in fact, he let the pandemic get way out of control which led to untold deaths, because he was more concerned about his own election in the fall than he was about the people of this nation. A “Daddy” doesn’t allegedly steal top secrets and share them in ways that might help enemies of his family, and a “Daddy” of the country doesn’t incite a terrorist attack against his own family.

But those facts have been whitewashed by conservative media, and that brings us back to why this trial is a problem for Donald Trump: He is being partially silenced from spinning the entire narrative, which leaves slivers of truth to permeate the epistemic closure of his base. Trump knows the biggest danger he faces is being seen as not in control. And so we are being fed “Daddy Trump”, when the reality is a weakened Defendant Trump who falls asleep during his own trial.

Image is screengrab of Trump trout-like movements via Gif shared by Olivia Nuzzi

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