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Homer J. and Donald J.: One of Them Is OK

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Two "J." Birds of a Feather?


Both share J as their middle initial but, unfortunately for the United States, the two men have much more than that in common. In hindsight, part of Donald J. Trump's appeal back in 2016 was his similarity to Homer J. Simpson, neither the smartest nor the most charismatic Presidential candidate, but a guy who spoke his mind without regard for political correctness.

Seven years before that election, in the 2009 episode called "Coming To Homerica," Simpson convinces his fellow Springfield denizens to build a wall to keep out immigrants from neighboring Ogdenville. Trump, as everyone knows, ran his campaign on the promise of constructing a barrier to keep out those wanting to leave Mexico for the Land of the Free.

The patriarch of the animated family, like the real life Commander-in-Chief, has constantly expressed skepticism of science. While Trump vehemently ignores ecological findings and medical specialists, Homer has shown similar cynicism in basic agrarian science.

In an episode called "Lisa the Vegetarian," Homer tries to get the girl to eat a piece of sausage. She insists that she will eat nothing that comes from an animal, the same answer she gives when Homer offers her a slice of bacon and then a helping of pork.

When she explains that all three come from the same animal, Homer mocks her by saying "Yeah, right, Lisa, some magical animal in some fantasy land." Such an inane remark would, sadly enough, not be surprising if it came from our current President.

Homer J. has experienced nearly as many business failings as Donald J., and he, too, almost always emerges unscathed. While Trump suffered huge setbacks in the XFL and the hotel business, among others, Homer failed to maintain his Mr. Plow gig and a short tenure as the owner of an ice cream truck.

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Each character has enjoyed the worship of Christians, in spite of his notorious trespssses. Trump has been equated with Jesus by many among the religious right, and Simpson himself was considered the Savior in "Thank God It's Doomsday."

Let us not forget the classic "The Cartridge Family" in which Homer, because of his new obsession with firearms, becomes an ardent advocate of the NRA. Ditto for Donald who, even after the mass shooting at Parkland High School, continues to espouse the guns rights lobby that donates millions for his campaign.

In a somewhat more sober episode centered on "Homer's Enemy" Frank Grimes, Simpson is indirectly the cause of the man's death. In spite of that circumstance, Homer is still revered by those in his immediate circle.

The same could be applied to Trump, whose delayed response to the coronavirus threat very likely indirectly led to more deaths than had he acted earlier. Too, those in his immediate circle, be they his family or his fledgling but vociferous base of supporters, continue to stand by him.

Oh, and let us not forget the physical similarity of the two middle J's, especially their obesity. In regard to their weight there is not an exact match, for one is less bloated than the other. Homer weighs in at 239 pounds, while Trump tips the scale at 245.

Of course the biggest difference in the two well-known figures is that one is a cartoon character, whose sometimes abrasive ways makes us laugh. The other, because he lives in our reality, too often makes us cry.

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