Donald Trump loves to give people nicknames.
From Crooked Hillary to Lyin’ Ted Cruz to Horseface Stormy Daniels; from Little Rocket Man Kim Jong Un to Low Energy Jeb to Pocahontas; from the Failing New York Times to Little Marco Rubio to Crazy Joe Biden, Trump has never been shy about attaching vicious and controversial sobriquets to his perceived enemies’ identities.
Trump’s opponents have struggled to fight back. They briefly tried Cadet Bone Spurs, Traitor Trump, and The Former Guy, but none of those stuck.
I have a new, and perhaps more powerful, suggestion: How about “Donald Rapist Trump”?
I know that the nickname is not alliterative. And it’s not really insulting. In fact, it’s factual. This nickname simply speaks the truth, as held by a jury in New York and the federal judge overseeing the case.
I naturally checked the definition of “rapist” before I wrote this column, because I’m as sensitive as anyone to a possible defamation lawsuit. To be a “rapist,” a person needs only to have committed rape; the person does not need to have been convicted of rape.
That’s true of Trump. Last year, the federal jury in the first E. Jean Carroll case—a civil lawsuit, not a criminal one—found that Trump had committed sexual assault. The judge later held that Trump’s conduct was, in the common vernacular, rape. So my proposed nickname is accurate and true.
If, on appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the judgment in the E. Jean Carroll trial, then everyone should probably stop using my nickname. If the judgment is reversed, “Donald Rapist Trump” could then arguably become defamatory.
But the Second Circuit won’t get around to deciding any appeal until after the 2024 election. As Trump knows as well as anyone, the 2024 election is the finish line.
On Nov. 6, 2024—the day after the election—we can all stop calling him “Donald Rapist Trump.” The need for my nickname will be over.
Trump, of course, might sue me for defamation for having written this column.
In the words of George W. Bush: “Bring ‘em on!”
Defending Trump’s case might be a little expensive, but I’ll bet I get out pretty quickly: Trump’s a rapist, and a federal jury and judge have so held. Shouldn’t that do the trick?
Besides, Trump’s lawsuit against me (or anyone else) would trigger the Streisand Effect: By filing a lawsuit, Trump would draw attention to the existence of the nickname “Donald Rapist Trump.” This would cause tens of millions of people who didn’t read this column to become aware of both the nickname and the fact that it made Trump unhappy.
“On Nov. 6, 2024—the day after the election—we can all stop calling him ‘Donald Rapist Trump.’ The need for my nickname will be over.
The lawsuit would actually hurt Trump much more than this column does. With luck, every time those tens of millions of people saw Trump’s image or heard Trump’s voice, those people would think of Trump alone in a dressing room with E. Jean Carroll, forcibly molesting her.
It’s not a pretty image. Wouldn’t that at least slightly reduce Christian evangelical support for Trump?
Not only that: Trump has recently been forced to pay the other side’s legal fees in Trump’s case against The New York Times and one against Hillary Clinton and some Democratic operatives. Awards of legal fees are actually pretty uncommon, but apparently not in the lawsuits that Trump brings. Maybe Trump would be ordered to pay my legal fees if Trump sued me and lost.
Of course, President Joe Biden should not refer to Trump by his new nickname. That would be beneath Biden and beneath the office of the presidency. And reputable news sources shouldn’t adopt the nickname. Calling a candidate for the presidency “Donald Rapist Trump” might suggest that The New York Times, for instance, was slightly biased.
But the rest of us aren’t so constrained.
So, come on Bill Kristol, Charlie Sykes, George Conway, and the rest of the Never Trumpers. Come on Lincoln Project, and the Daily Kos, and the other entities openly opposed to Trump. Come on, Democratic operatives hoping to keep Trump away from the White House.
Now’s your time!
It’s “Donald Rapist Trump” from now to November. Let’s not let the public forget it!