Friday 20 January 2017

The man Trump wishes he was

Comics are late due to privatised Post Office so let's talk about the man who, so horrifically soon, will officially become President of the United States Of America. Specifically, let's talk about the man who is everything Trump thinks he is...
This is Vincent Kennedy McMahon. If you're unaware of this interesting individual he is the majority owner and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation before the pandas sued). He is, alongside WCW's Eric Bischoff, basically responsible for making the entire wrestling industry what it is today for good or ill. He and Trump actually had a wrestling match together once. It wasn't good.

The thing is that everything Trump tries to sell himself as, Vince actually is. Where Trump claims to have started from the bottom with a “small” multi-million dollar loan from his father, Vince actually grew up in a trailer park. Whilst they both run the companies their fathers made, Trump inherited his and has spent years losing money whilst Vince spent years gaining the money and influence to buy his father's company and grew it from a regional promotion to the largest and most successful company in his industry. What's more, Vince has taken pains to make sure his children knew how the company worked before they had active roles in it, having Shane and Stephanie working phones, merchandise stalls and small on screen bit parts before handing them any real power. Trump, meanwhile, wants to name his children to senior advisor roles in spite of their not having experience in politics and there being literal anti-nepotism laws meant to prevent this.

Where Trump has a string of bankruptcies to his name the worst that can be said about Vince is that he had a stupid idea for an NFL alternative that died after a single season. By contrast, however, he was a driving force in creating the pay-per-view system, the WWE Network is one of the most successful streaming services in the world and he has had successful interests in movies, music promotion and hockey to varying degrees.

Whilst Trump imagines he's loved for being plain spoken and direct (instead of being a gibbering idiot who couldn't construct a sentence with a set of step-by-step instructions), Vince McMahon is actually beloved for the bluff, old school businessman persona he projects on screen.

What's more, where Trump has a narcissist's desire for applause at all times, Vince glories in being booed. He has, basically non-stop since 1997, played a bad guy and put himself through some truly humiliating storylines just to rile the audience and get them invested. This is a man who contrived to give himself a pinfall victory over God so he could be seen as provoking a born again Christian into beating him up; he has pissed himself on live television on one of the highest rated shows in the world; been shown putting his wife into a medically induced coma; he's been covered in manure; knocked unconscious multiple times; had penis pumps delivered to him; and, legitimately, tore both his quads whilst trying to yell at two of his employees on air and still managed to do the segment.

Vince is far from perfect, he's known to have some troubles with empathy, tends towards over-reaction and like most businessmen at his level he has a ruthless streak you probably wouldn't want to get in the way of. In theory, all of this also describes Trump but Vince has the decency to provide a lot more entertainment, actually makes money for his shareholders, is actually a self-made man and has the thickest skin imaginable.

He probably wouldn't make a very good president, either, but he also probably has the sense to realise this and not try. 

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