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Stormy Daniels comparing Trump to Mario Kart, Toad great for democracy

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)
Toad from Mario Kart …
running from shame.

Nintendo

  • In her upcoming book, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy
    Daniels, compared President Trump’s penis to Toad, a beloved
    character from Nintendo’s “Mario Kart.”
  • This is gross, but excellent for democracy.

Apologies if I’m the first one to inform you that Stephanie
Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, the adult entertainment star who
was paid $130,000 to stay quiet about her affair with President
Donald Trump, is about to publish a book.

And in that book she describes the president’s
penis
as such
(via The Guardian): 

“He knows he has an unusual penis. … It has a huge
mushroom head. Like a toadstool. … 
I lay there,
annoyed that I was getting f—– by a guy with Yeti pubes and a
d— like the mushroom character in Mario Kart. …

“It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but
clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.”

Naturally, you’re disgusted. Toad is a joyful, innocent cartoon
character and should in no way be used to represent what a grown
man’s sex organ looks like — let alone one that belongs to the
president of the United States.

But man, that sure is funny.

Since an excerpt of her book hit the internet, “Toad” and “Mario
Kart” have been trending on social media, and the internet is generating memes
mocking this situation
at a rapid clip. This is not only
because what Daniels wrote is hilarious, it is because it is more
than that, it’s the chatter of a healthy democracy.

At a time when Americans are worried about the strength of our
democracy — when many sense Trump’s personal penchant for
authoritarianism creeping into our daily political discourse at
all levels — the fact we can all laugh at something this personal
to him is a great sign. 

It shows that Americans still know our leaders are not perfect
individuals, that they are not omniscient or impervious. In fact,
they can be questioned, and they can (and must) be ridiculed.

Our democracy depends on it.

I’m funny, but I’m not joking

Trump — if you believe accounts by journalists like Bob
Woodward
and Michael Wolff — doesn’t quite grasp the
importance of checks and balances that form the backbone of our
democracy. Americans have found this alarming.

More than that, his White House has experienced a number of 
setbacks for trying to claim sweeping authority it doesn’t have.
Like the time it tried to bar transgender Americans from the
military, or, at the very outset of the administration — when it
attempted to ban immigration from certain Middle Eastern and
African countries. (It eventually succeeded in implementing a version of
this.)

Trump has openly expressed his admiration for authoritarian
leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean
dictator Kim Jong-un. He envies the image of a strong,
unequivocal head of state in the form of say, China’s president,
Xi Jinping.

Of course, that comes at a price, part of which is laughter.

Back in August, China banned the children’s film Christopher
Robin
. That is because, ever since Chinese netizens
started using Winnie the Pooh to mock Xi on social media, he has
been Pooh-sona non grata in China.

Authoritarian leaders cannot suffer anyone laughing at their
expense for very practical reasons. It takes away from their
ability to make a populace fear them, and so it cannot be
tolerated. As such, humor in authoritarian countries has
historically taken on a different character.

Instead of being about the man in charge, as this essay from
The
Hoover Institution
notes, humor in dictatorships is about the
system and the individual’s powerlessness in it. The essay points
to a “classic Soviet joke”:

“One secret policeman asks another, ‘So, what do you think
of the government?’ His colleague looks around before replying,
‘The same as you, comrade,’ whereupon Policeman No. 1 declares,
‘In that case, it is my duty to arrest you.'”

Daniels’s joke, meanwhile, strikes directly at the heart of
something for which Trump has always prided himself — his prowess
with women. This is how political humor can and should work in a
democracy, as a vehicle for humanizing and normalizing those in
power.

So laugh at this mushroom penis joke, people. It’s good for
us. 

And come on. This is funny:

 

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