For thousands of years, people have sought—and found—omens amongst the tapestry of nature. A crow flying in a certain direction, the movement of ripples of water, a certain arrangement of animal intestines. Well, I have spent the majority of my life amongst buildings and concrete, and have not had the easy and regular access to such things as crows and intestines.
But I do consume a lot of popular culture and media. And it was there where I found my numerous “Trump Omens”—signs that, to me, indicated that Donald J. Trump would be voted President of the United States in 2016 despite vigorous polling indicating otherwise.
Now, many articles out there will give you a list of movies and TV shows that “predicted” the political rise of Donald J. Trump; common ones cited include Back To The Future II with Biff Tannen, the 1957 movie A Face In The Crowd, Network with its populist ranting hero Howard Beale, Warren Beatty in Bulworth, and of course Idiocracy. This is not exactly what I’m going to talk about here; I am not so interested in these broad political metaphors, this sort of hindsight is 20/20 situations.
Instead, in this post I’m going to focus on what I feel to be honest-to-God actual “omens” heralding Trump as president—including some that I might have received an immediate intuitive reaction to, but might not seem that obvious to others.
I. THE SIMPSONS EPISODE
In the 2000 Simpsons episode “Bart To The Future,” a grown-up Lisa Simpson is President of the United States. In one scene, she mentions that she’s “inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump”:
Simply hearing about the clip at the time gave me the immediate creeps. It was one of those intuitive “hits” where I felt like: this is so strange, it’s probably going to come true. To be remembered: The Simpsons have a long history of weird predictive-like phenomena (there’s also the whole weird “Bart Is Dead” thing).
To be sure, there were several other supposed “Simpsons predictions” regarding Trump that were not exactly true; a couple showing Trump on the campaign trail were from a 2015 FOX “Animation Domination” special that came out as he was actually campaigning.
But the one with Lisa: yes, I definitely believe that was an intuitive “hit,” as they say.
II. THE CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES
Here we have a bizarre, possibly once-of-a-lifetime occurrence that immediately made me think: “oh crap, Trump’s gonna win.” Why that, specifically? Because the Cubs finally winning the World Series is like the populist wet dream—the dream of the underdog triumphing, that seemed to fit in so well with what was going on in the U.S. presidential race at that time.
Remember again: many polls at the time, right up to the day of the election, had Trump losing bigly. Huffington Post or one of those type sites had him only having like a 3% chance. Almost every mainstream news outlet had countless editorials pronouncing that he was unfit for the job and would probably never be elected. And yet he was. Now compare that to the legendary losing streak of the Cubs, who hadn’t won a World Series since 1908.
Important to note here: this “omens” thing is not a matter of who one wants more to be president. Given the choice I was handed with, I wanted Hillary Clinton to be president; in the end, she seemed more qualified and emotionally stable to run the country. But the omens are a separate matter from what one wants and doesn’t want. An omen lets you know that shit is going to go down, before it goes down.
III. NEGIN FROM “WALKING DEAD”
Here’s a pop-cultural phenomenon that was going on right at the most crucial parts of the presidential race. Negin, a supporting character on the AMC horror TV series The Walking Dead, suddenly became the most popular and prominent person on the show; the image of his cruel grin and barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat blasted all over advertising just as the days ticked down to election.
Negin seemed to channel a lot of the swagger, anger, and raging animus energy that Trump was putting forth during the campaign. He seemed like such a cruel character, but during the Fall of 2016 he was almost presented as a sort of violent anti-hero.
“The Spirit Of The Age,” and all that.
Bonus: the actor who played Negin also played the Comedian in the movie version of Watchmen (to me, a crucial detail).
IV. MR. ROBOT’S “MONOPOLY MAN”
This is one that only struck me a couple months after the election, when I saw a political cartoon referencing the mascot for the game Monopoly in connection with Trump.
All of the sudden I had the realization the “F Society” mascot in the TV show Mr. Robot, who of course is supposed to resemble that Monopoly guy…was he supposed to “represent” the rise of Trump? I don’t mean in a conscious intentional way on the part of the producers, but as some sort of esoteric “predictive” energy.
Think about it…the F Society guy is created in the image of the stereotype of a millionaire…he is used as the anarchic symbol that is going to bring down the “elite” political and economic structure…broadcasted on viral videos…and yet there are destructive aspects of him (and of the meme<—this is important) that are so explosive that his subconscious “handler,” Elliot Alderson, doesn’t even understand.
I mean…why in the hell would a cliche “rich guy” be the symbol of F Society anyway? (I know there is an origin for the mask in the TV show itself, but I’m looking for the deeper meaning) Could it be that in the end, this “anarchist” hero was just a tool for the elite anyhow? (which brings us back to Watchmen, Comedian, Ozymandias, and…oh, that will all be for another post in the future I’m sure)
V. PRESIDENT LUTHOR
The “President Luthor” storyline that started in 2000—oh, definitely! Many people have remarked at how Trump seems like a “cartoon villain”—and Jimmy Kimmel has even done a skit actually featuring animation of Superman nemesis Lex Luthor with Trump sound bites.
Well, I suggest you look up these old issues with haughty magnate Luthor as president of the United States; then cross-reference them with the 1989 one-shot Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography, with a cover actually modeled after that of Trump’s The Art Of The Deal.
As for omens of the future of Trump’s presidency…I’ve been quietly collecting these from the Internet and other sources as well. At some time I will share them…but as of now, I think I’m gonna wait.