The “You won’t do it”-style of schoolyard taunting, according to researchers, seemed to have pushed him into making his bid in the first place. So I have fantasized many times about a scenario in which the votes come in, and then Donald decides to hang it up. The hypothetical scene is not unlike a even-more-cartoony version of Boris Johnson’s surprise abdication of his leading campaign for Prime Minister after his surprise Brexit victory.
Trump still hasn’t convinced me he holds any convictions; he simply loves to perform them. But he performs them well. I don’t believe, especially as the polls stack up dangerously in his favor, that all hope is lost for convincing Trump of a simple truth: He doesn’t actually want to be President. It’s a lot of work behind closed doors; when you carry the 1s, it’s more boring cabinet meetings than photo ops and glamorous stage entrances.
On the flip side, Trump has a long history as an entertainer. If he wants to try something new professionally — with his career in finance, higher education, etc. drawing to an untoward close — it seems a music career is the logical way to go. It’s the last stronghold to conquer after he’s won the presidency (but not had to actually do the job).
He’ll need a big enough contract to justify the decision, but Trump is a music lover — unlike many candidates, he’s known for making his own campaign rally playlist. He’s hitherto been largely a hip-hop muse — first, as a stoner idol of sorts for Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, and most recently, a dart board for Compton gangsta-rap luminary YG.
But let’s not forget: musical talent runs in his family. His lesser-known daughter Tiffany Trump is a notable avant-garde music artist. Look no further than her psychedelic, Autotune-drenched, midnight-house étude “Like a Bird”:
Ms. Trump’s elliptical single was recorded in 2011, but it could be music an alien race listens to in a club scene in The Expanse, or a Disney Channel original movie in the Xenon lineage. Did Oneohtrix Point Never work on this?
It’s a shame Tiffany didn’t record any more music following “Like a Bird,” but perhaps, were her father to attempt a singing/rapping career, they could unite for a charming/questionable “Something Stupid”-like duet:
But one worries, for Tiffany’s sake, that he’d reserve that spot for Ivanka, the golden child:
But does Donald have the range? Can he croon, outside out of Songify videos and recuts? Can he wail on guitar? Can he sing Fats Domino and tickle the ivories like Putin?
We know he once took lessons:
A thorough excavation of the internet for “Donald Trump singing” turns up regrettably limited results, though one gets the sense that the Donald is really itching to get in on the action here, when this budget-Josh-Holloway goon serenaded Trump and his reluctant new supporter Ben Carson back in March with “Stand By Me”:
You can see, from Donald’s intermittent clapping, that he can at least keep a beat. The best indication that Trump could reasonably hack it as a song-and-dance man, with a performance-art bent, is The Great Depressing SNL Aberration of 2016:
Here — just objectively — Trump evidences not only his serpentine dance style, but a unique, bristly vocal timbre and an ability to slide fluidly into key, even when he begins a given phrase wholly out-of-pitch. He’s a fixer-upper, for sure, but get a couple of coaches in there and he could be a thoroughly distinctive pop singer.
We know a few of his influences, but knowing Trump, he’d find a good way to speak to the zeitgeist musically. He’s hip; he’s wit’ it.
It’s a shame his idols Steven Tyler and Joe Perry probably won’t agree to back him up on any of his new jams, or give him voice or guitar lessons. They are registered Republicans, but still couldn’t handle him using “Dream On” in a public appearance.
Trump’s use of the song has also offered evidence that Trump may also have proclivities toward being a drummer. Who’s the drummer from Aerosmith again?
But if he decides to play the skin, and be the side man, who will jam with him? Will Bill invite him to the big house to play some jazz standards?
I have to admit: Going through all of this has forced me to confront the ego-crushing, Orwellian truth that Donald Trump may well be elected the next president of our country.
Sorry you had to go through all this with me; maybe you learned something, and maybe you did the opposite. American soldiers on.