London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and his colleagues at City Hall have officially given the go-ahead to fly a “yuge” balloon above London during President Trump’s visit scheduled for next week according to The Independent – and Trump supporters are not exactly thrilled at the prospect.
The blimp, bearing Trump’s signature skin tone and distinct hairstyle, measures about 20 feet in length and will be flown for approximately two hours above Parliament Square Gardens. A crowdfunding campaign that attracted a lot of attention managed to raise about £18,000 in order to provide the funding to make the spectacle happen.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 5, 2018
Republicans Overseas spokesman Drew Liquerman referred to the stunt as “cringeworthy” in a public statement on the matter.
“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for the people flying it, for the British residents of London and for people in the UK.”
Former UKIP leader and figurehead of the successful Brexit campaign Nigel Farage seemed to agree, also deriding the protest for being “ridiculous.”
“This is the biggest insult to a sitting US President ever. Would this be happening if it was Obama? Makes London look ridiculous.”
Mr. Khan and President Trump have a history of enmity going back to at least last June, according to The Daily Mail, with Trump accusing Sadiq Khan of downplaying the real risk of terrorism in his jurisdiction.
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
Not all Trump supporters are angry about the baby Trump balloon. Posters on Reddit’s official Donald Trump subreddit (or domreddit as the community prefers to call itself) r/the_donald have embraced the orange balloon with as much, or more, gusto than they did the infamous “Trump Chicken.” A thread entitled “Hold fast London – The Trump Baby will be your shining beacon of freedom, look toward the sky and free yourselves from the chains of your tyrannical government.” was posted less than 12 hours ago and rests at nearly 5,000 upvotes. Several users in the ensuing threaded comments make remarks stating that the “Trump Baby” is cute and that they would like to own one themselves.
Appropriation of opposing images into their own memes has been a cornerstone of the Trump campaign and their supporters, an early example being when competing presidential candidate referred to some segment of Trump’s base as a “basket of deplorables.” Self-labeling as a deplorable is now a point of pride for many of the populist voters on the text-based social media platform Reddit and even in greater media, with Roseanne calling herself a “proud deplorable” in character according to The Washington Post. The show was later canceled, and Roseanne Barr was stripped of her show for an insensitive Twitter joke targeting Democratic Party fixer Valerie Jarrett.
President Trump is almost sure to comment on the airborne imitation of himself. The world awaits his reply.