Donald Trump is a member of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame for various forays, including bodyslamming WWE owner Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 23 in 2007. Whether this is appropriately Presidential is something for the voters to decide.
What I haven’t seen pointed out is that Trump’s seemingly novel methods are actually following in the footsteps of some of the paths blazed out by Justin Trudeau, who was elected Prime Minister of Canada last fall.
Trudeau’s path to power included celebrity, bad language, Twitter traffic, and the single most important event in his rise, a bruising 3-round triumph in a widely-publicized charity boxing match over a Conservative politician in 2012.
The video above shows the third round in which the taller Trudeau (in red), then 40, pummeled Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau (in blue), the former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. (Brazeau has since been suspended from Canada’s Senate for various domestic violence and drug-related charges and is now the day manager at an Ottawa strip club.) Note Trudeau’s insolent stroll back to the neutral corner while the ref tries to assess how much neurological damage he’s done to his opponent.
From the NYT Magazine in 2015:
The younger Trudeau’s road to victory as prime minister truly began on a Saturday night in 2012 in a boxing ring in Ottawa. At the time, the Liberal Party was leaderless and lost, after a devastating defeat in the election of 2011 reduced its seats in Parliament to only 34, roughly one-tenth of the total at the time. … Aiming to change the political dynamic, Trudeau literally picked a fight. In what looked like a publicity stunt, he challenged a 37-year-old Conservative senator named Patrick Brazeau, known as Brass Knuckles, to three rounds of boxing to raise money for cancer research.
Everyone expected Trudeau to receive a royal beating, including his wife. Brazeau had a black belt in karate and a military background, and he grew up on hardscrabble First Nations reservations; his bar brawler’s physique, tattoos and trash-talking bravado made him the three-to-one favorite by fight night.
… The bout was stopped in the third round, saving Brazeau the indignity of hitting the canvas.
The commentator recognized the importance of the victory. ‘‘I can hear it already,’’ he sighed. ‘‘Trudeau for leader.’’
- ideology (Trudeau is a Liberal);
- looks (Trudeau is a pretty boy who inherited the looks of his mom Margaret, one of the most famous model-groupies of the 1970s, rather than his dad, the saturnine prime minister Pierre);
- and American stereotypes of Canadians as mild. (In reality, Canadians love punching each other in the head: “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out” — Rodney Dangerfield).