Here’s an image that will ruin your screening of Batman V Superman: Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination is basically Bruce Wayne, but without the muscles, sad origin story, and nominal concern for mankind.
New Yorkers probably hate Trump a lot more than the average Gotham citizen likely regards Bruce Wayne, but the comparison stands up, and to prove it, put together a list of similarities that are likely to make you take another look at both dudes.
Both inherited their fortunes from their father
Trump got his start in real estate thanks to a $1 million loan that he received from his father. He’s had some successes of his own, which he likes to show off at every opportunity (while ignoring his many failures), but he undoubtedly owes a great deal of his notoriety and power to having been born into American wealth, and that’s something he shares with Bruce Wayne.
According to most comics, Bruce inherited Wayne Enterprises (also known as WayneCorp), including Wayne Manor and loyal servant Alfred, when his parents were killed in cold blood when he was a child. Though Bruce expanded Wayne Enterprises’ technology branch in order to secretly improve his career as Batman, most comics depict him as generally disinterested in the company’s many other holdings. It’s difficult to imagine Bruce Wayne being effective as a superhero whose abilities are bolstered by tech and transport devices without the fortune he inherited from his father.
Hates street criminals
Trump has wholeheartedly accepted the term “thug”, despite — or even because — many Americans tend to agree that it’s a racially coded term. His outdated term for street criminals — and blanket condemnation of people without any evidence of their actual guilt — has become an integral part of his political rhetoric. Though many people have called Trump a “bully” during his political campaign, he tends to fire back using words like “thug”, “loser” or “dope.”
Bruce Wayne, similarly, is a superhero who sees Gotham’s small-time criminals in a Trumpish (Trumpesque? Trump-ean?) manner. He gets particular enjoyment out of singling one, weaker criminal out of his pack and threatening him to “tell the others about Batman”. As Bruce Wayne understands it, all criminals in Gotham, including the teenaged purse-snatchers he sometimes apprehends, all know each other, and get together to discuss new threats on a regular basis.
Oh, did you hear Commission Gordon’s daughter turned eighteen? Sweet. You should make a YouTube video asking her to prom. Anyway, there’s a guy dressed as a bat walking around, so steer clear of 51st. He hung me on a lamp-post, but like, whatever.” Batman’s simplistic PR strategy sounds like something Trump himself would enact, considering he likes being feared and* often assumes that ethnic minorities or members of world religions act as monolithic hive-minds.
Refers to self as a savior
Donald Trump, as his poorly made hats announce, wants to “Make America Great Again.” His campaign catchphrase could have been easily adopted at any point in Batman’s comics, had he taken his intentions public. Most of Batman’s larger plot-lines regard his city, Gotham, as a damaged entity worth protecting.
One might assume Trump views America as Batman views Gotham. They both sit astride their accumulated wealth, frowning like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle at society’s seedy underbelly. Trump and Wayne share a similar worldview and identity: they both believe that corruption has marred their environment, and they agree that listening to their strategies is the sole way out of the mire.
Wayne believes Gotham got itself into a mess, and that he is the only sane voice trying to weed out criminals and back-alley deals. Trump believes he, and his fortune and history, have nothing to do with the state of the country, and he also believes he’s the only candidate capable of addressing America’s problems.
Built a team of cronies he resents
We’ve come so far, as a country, since the days of Donald Trump being most famous for two things: his previous catchphrase, “you’re fired!”, and battling with Omarosa Manigault on The Apprentice the way Bruce Wayne often battles with Catwoman in comic books. Why couldn’t Omarosa simply fall in line and take part in Trump’s empire? Why did Catwoman have to be chaotic neutral, instead of Wayne’s lawful good? Both women drove Trump and Wayne nuts.
Trump built an army of ruthless capitalists over fourteen seasons of his reality show, though he never really emoted anything other than disdain for his proteges. Batman, similarly, has become famous for launching the vigilante careers of countless minor heroes, including but not limited to Batgirl, Batwoman, Robin, Nightwing, Black Canary, Oracle, Spoiler, Red Robin, Red Hood, Bluebird, Night Runner, and Batwing. Though he clearly has affection for some Robins and some iterations of Batgirl, more than others, most of his Gotham-local Bat-team knows to stay out of his way.
They have fierce advocates and detractors
Donald Trump’s rapid rise toward the presidency has been wrought with controversy, to say the least. He lashes out at women, Hispanic people, people with disabilities and opposing politicians with vitriol, and American comedians consider him a godsend of material.
Batman, though he’s depicted as pretty benign in (Batman v Superman), has endured his own share of social controversy. The Batman rendered by Frank Miller, whom many fans understand to be the quintessential version of the Dark Knight, was often accused of being a bigot, without empathy and without patience for others’ weaknesses. Bruce Wayne, as Frank Miller wrote him, was a social conservative whose values actually matched a lot of what Trump has said.
If nothing else sticks, Trump told a child back in August that he was, indeed, Batman. Though that might seem like inarguable proof, it is an example of Trump doing something Bruce Wayne would never do: admit to being Batman. Way to go, Donald.