Barron Trump, the youngest son of President-elect Donald Trump, was hardly seen during the 2016 campaign. However, despite his absence (or, perhaps, because of it), the 10-year-old has become something of a weird internet darling. He’s become manga, not #MAGA.
The youngest Trump is also The Donald’s only child by Melania, his third wife, and the future first lady. He’s 13 years younger than the next-youngest Trump, Tiffany, and more than two decades younger than Trump’s children from his first marriage to Ivana: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.
Melania wanted to keep Barron out of the spotlight during most of the campaign, so he only made three public appearances — a campaign rally in South Carolina, during Trump’s RNC acceptance speech, and his general election victory speech in the wee hours of the morning. It was Barron’s presence at that last event that really caught the internet’s eye. Trump gave his speech at 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning. That’s way too late for a 10-year-old to be up on a school night, and it showed! Poor, sleepy Barron could hardly keep his eyes open.
The internet took notice of Barron because it empathized with Barron. Amidst all the emotion and tension of the election, with its incredibly high stakes, Barron just… didn’t give a shit. Barron’s 10. He probably just wanted to go play Minecraft or eat sour candy, not deal with all his Dad’s pomp. A lot of people feel the same way, only they’re not preteens, so they don’t have a ready excuse.
At one point during the speech, Barron even rolled his eyes at his dad, the President-elect.
If ¯_(ツ)_/¯ has taught us anything, it’s that the internet loves apathy. Barron, from what little we’ve seen of him, has that in spades.
As BuzzFeed reported, people in Japan were especially taken by his attitude and cherubic looks. Barron could easily be the main character in a genre of manga known as bishonen, which means “beautiful boy.”
“Guys, the boy behind Trump is fighting so hard not to fall asleep, so please watch Trump’s speech,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I don’t know if that boy on TV is Trump’s son or grandson,” added another. “I heard he’s very cute, but I wonder if he’ll start looking like his father when he grows old.”
Manga artist Yuusuke Hori created what is so far the best Barron Trump meme when he drew cover art for a (sadly fictional) manga about Barron. “My loud, annoying dad is president, so the quiet unassuming life I wanted is completely over,” reads the text on the cover, fitting in with the image of Barron as a kid who just doesn’t care about what’s going on around him. (Chapter one is titled “Also, My Mom and Sister Are Too Sexy”).
Of all the Trumps, Barron is the safest. Donald is an unstable Twitter egg and President-elect. His other sons are goons, Ivanka is dangerously savvy, and the joke about Tiffany is that Donald keeps forgetting or subtly dissing her. Barron, meanwhile, looks like he just wants to play with Legos and not have to deal with any of this.
And to that, the Internet says, “same.”