During the Cold War, it was a satire staple to imply that politicians comparing nuclear arsenals was a form of willy-waving. When Frankie Goes to Hollywood had Holly Johnson purring about “sex and horror” while a load of missile-phalluses went bang in the “Two Tribes” video, they were taking the piss. When Donald Trump calls North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “Little Rocket Man”, he just means it. In 2018’s regime of idiots, there is no space left for jokes, because the leader of the free world is so far beyond embarrassment that he makes the penis references all by himself.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times’,” tweeted Donald Trump on Tuesday. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Like it’s not bad enough that we all have to get used to the constant low thrum of incipient annihilation again, this time around we don’t even get the consolation of cracking wise in the face of nuclear apocalypse, because the President is pre-empting the punch lines.
In the 1980s, the women of the Greenham Common protests marshalled a thoroughgoing critique of male violence that presented mutually assured destruction as the ultimate d***-swinging dead end. It had force, because it was uncovering something hidden and shameful about the logic of power. Point out to Trump that it sounds like he’s talking about his wang, and all he’d have to do in answer would be to smirk.
The man who said “when you’re a star they let you do it” probably doesn’t have any problems whatsoever with you drawing parallels between military might and sexual prowess.
Analysing someone’s Freudian slips works when they’re socially functional enough to be trying to hide things. Donald Trump, though, is a pillow of id stuffed into an ugly suit. He’s an urge for gratification made grasping ambulatory, unattractive flesh. He’s certainly never made any secret of his obsession with proving he’s got the biggest erection. This, after all, is the man whose immediate response to the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers was to brag that his own Trump Building was now the biggest in downtown Manhattan.
You think he means his c**k? He’s manifestly happy for you to think he means his c**k: Graydon Carter’s “short-fingered vulgarian” dig at Trump has run and run because Trump couldn’t help himself responding to it, and he couldn’t help himself responding because he doesn’t care if you think he’s defending the size of his penis. When Marco Rubio tried to make hay with the insinuations during the battle for the Republican nomination, Trump just came right out and said it: “he referred to my hands – ‘if they’re small, something else must be small’. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
Unparalleled volumes of his campaign utterances were dedicated to which women did and didn’t give him that plutonium feeling in his pants. And if a woman got in his way, his first line of attack was to point to her vagina, such as when he made his crack about Megyn Kelly having “blood coming out of her wherever” or his snide retweet about Hillary Clinton not being able to “satisfy”. As far as his presidential qualifications are concerned, he’s always emphasised one thing above all others: his knob. Which might not be a great metric of worthiness to rule, but is definitely the only one he could win on.
Dr Strangelove gave us the glorious, mocking image of the Bomb as schlong, with the scene where Major Kong rides to impact with a Fat Man sticking out between his legs. If you photoshopped Trump’s face onto that, the boastful goat would probably take it as a compliment and hit RT. The chance to spray the fallout from his toxic masculinity worldwide? It’s a thermonuclear dream. Even if you’re tempted to snigger at his “button” (not the most impressive penis euphemism ever), the fun kind of dies with the thought that he does literally have command of America’s nuclear arsenal.
Whatever deficiencies you might attribute to Trump, it isn’t going to make it hurt one bit less when he unleashes his overcompensation. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” said Clinton, and for some reason half of the USA didn’t listen to her. Actually, the reason’s pretty obvious: she’s a woman, and women don’t get listened to. The trouble with Donald Trump’s penis isn’t its size, as much as he seems to need to reassure himself on that point. It’s that he won the election because of it.
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