Here’s a shocker: Donald J Trump is likely not, in fact, the healthiest person to ever run for/occupy the office of the President of the United States. His physician, Harold Bornstein, who had “unequivocally”— if inelegantly — given Trump a most glowing bill of clean health during the 2015 campaign has now declared that his letter doing so was “dictated” by the president. Bornstein’s hyperbole, he now claims, was “black humour”.
The question of the good doctor’s questionable sense of humour aside, the world must now ask: Is Trump, the character most knew from a “reality” show, actually a clumsily crafted work of fiction?
Here’s what Trump has claimed: He is a rich, successful businessman, ladies man, healthier than Hercules, and man whose Art of the Deal would lead him to reorder the world for an isolationist America’s benefit. This is what we know thus far: Trump has filed for bankruptcy multiple times, he has used his considerable resources to prevent adult film actress Stormy Daniels from stirring things up and been recorded boasting about assaulting women, and may or may not have quite the deal with a certain strongman who was once a spy. That he has built a constituency large enough to claim office, makes him president of more than just the US — he is also leader and exemplar of the dangerously innocuous phrase used to describe a particular time: The post-truth age.
The appeal of The Trump Show, perhaps, lies in the way his facts (or fictions) don’t really matter. In a twisted inversion of The Truman Show (1998), the eponymous character in the current drama is someone who occupies tremendous screen time, but essential aspects of his biodata often stand falsified, and people watch him anyway. In the age of which he is champion, is Trump a fictional character on reality television?