Some of the most memorable moments of the 2016 presidential campaign came to us as Donald Trump ad-libbed his way into political theater.
Sure, the Commander in Chief had a few moments of awkward phrasing and questionable word choice, but that is simply par for the course for anyone attempting to survive the grueling and ungodly schedule of a candidate of that magnitude. Just look at Joe Biden, the King of The Gaffes for any further confirmation of that.
One of the more endearing bits of Trump’s routine, however, came as he would inject a bit of colloquial wit into his stump speeches and debate performances by giving his opponents nicknames. Throughout the campaign, and then well on into the first year of his presidency, Trump has bequeathed a number of politicians and heads of state with their own unique moniker.
We had “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz and “Little Marco” Rubio in the republican primaries. We had “Poor Bernie” Sanders at times, named both for his socialist views and his treatment by the DNC. Most famously there was “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, a nickname that was so robustly obvious that the American people latched onto it in droves. And, most recently, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has been labeled “Rocket Man” for his incessant military testing.
Now, as Trump maneuvers about the Asian continent for the first time as President, China has returned the favor that the Commander in Chief bestowed upon his former colleagues by giving the American President a few nicknames of his own.
“They call him ‘Donald the Strong.’ They heap praise on his family. They fawn over his rapid-fire tweets. They have even created an online fan club.
“In America, President Trump faces a feisty press corps, damaging investigations into associates and sagging approval ratings.
“But in China, where Mr. Trump arrived Wednesday, he has acquired a legion of admirers who hail him as a straight-talking politician and business mogul with a knack for deal-making.
“They refer to him as ‘Uncle Trump,’ ‘Grand Commander’ and ‘Donald the Strong.’ After Mr. Trump’s visit to the Forbidden City on Wednesday with President Xi Jinping, one fan wrote on social media, ‘Long live Emperor Trump!’
“Mr. Trump’s Chinese fans praise his irrepressible style, his skill as an entertainer and his willingness to say what he thinks. Many also like the fact that he seems less inhibited than previous American presidents about recognizing China as a superpower and as an equal on the global stage.
“And after years of American presidents lecturing China on issues like political prisoners and democracy, many also say they are relieved to see a leader who seems to care more about making deals than idealism.”
This incredible change in perception surrounding an American President could only come about during the era of Trump, especially in a nation such as China, which values strength in business as much as it does.
Personally, I’m partial to “Uncle Trump”, but “Emperor Trump” isn’t too terrible either.