Donald Trump isn’t an omnipotent being with superpowers, and he definitely wasn’t portrayed by Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in a critically acclaimed HBO series, but there are still similarities to be found between the current president and “Watchmen’s” Doctor Manhattan — if your mind is as creative and clever as “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci’s.
In a Monday article for Intelligencer, one of New York Magazine’s brands, Inanucci wrote about the chaotic few days that followed Trump’s announcement that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Though much of his article was dedicated to recounting Trump’s actions following the president’s diagnosis — such as staging a motorcade outside his hospital — Iannucci also compared the president and his recent actions to projects such as HBO’s Chernobyl” and Iannucci’s own “The Death of Stalin” film. As for “Watchmen,” the satirist noted that like Doctor Manhattan, Trump claims to be able to “see all time at once” and rationalizes absurd events without offering any proof.
“The suitable cultural reference here would be Doctor Manhattan from ‘Watchmen,’ who, like Trump, is a huge and peculiarly colored guy who thinks he’s unbeatable and is an incorrigible dick-swinger,” Iannucci wrote.
Comparisons to comic book characters aside, Iannucci also mused that Trump’s recent efforts to obscure information about his coronavirus treatment followed in the “tradition of dictators and authoritarians who fall ill.” Iannucci stressed that much of Trump’s presidency has been focused on distorting the truth to the point of absurdity.
“All of Trump’s behavior has been devoted to building this kingdom on Earth. And we’ve all become familiar with how his alternative facts stack together to protect it. It started with the claim that his inauguration crowd was the biggest ever, an assertion that was annoyingly undermined by a threefold enemy — public testimony, photography, and arithmetic,” Iannucci said in the Intelligencer article. “The next three years were then devoted to chipping away at the credibility of those forces — demeaning anything anyone said under oath, denying anything caught on-camera, offering different numbers from those cited — so that a near majority of people have now come to accept everything he says. Some do it because they’ve always believed him, many yield out of sheer exhaustion.”
Iannucci’s full article can be read here.