Seconds out for Grudge Match 2: the ageing bull versus the old pretender. It’s a trash-talking, fist-pumping, shadow-boxing spectacular featuring two rich alpha-males who hate each other. Initially, these men appear to be worlds apart. But as they lumberingly circle the ring – trading insults, playing to the gallery – it becomes harder to tell which is which.
Here is the story so far. In 2016, Robert De Niro makes a video in which he calls Donald Trump a punk, a pig, a dog and a bozo and says that what he would really like to do is punch the guy in the face. On Sunday night he barrels on stage at the Tony award ceremony, shouts “**** Trump!” as his intro and then shakes his fists in the air as though he already has. Trump duly hits back, labelling De Niro “a very low IQ individual [who] received to [sic] many shots to the head” and advising him to “Wake up, Punchy!” So let’s score the first round to De Niro and the last one to Trump – although he gets docked a point for misspelling the word “too”.
US - Discourse - De - Niro - Trump
I’m not sure how much this brawling adds to the US’s political discourse, but it’s bizarrely revealing about both De Niro and Trump. I’m not even convinced this qualifies as the culture wars, exactly. Far safer to view it as a spat between two Gotham millionaires with bulging property portfolios and a shared interest in New York gangster movies. Their language is identical; their mode of attack is the same. In what sense does this battle highlight the differences between them? If anything, it shows how much they have in common.
De Niro, for instance, refers to Trump as a “bullshit artist” and “a con”, implying that the man is a bad actor...
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