“The wind whispered through the forest.
A storm is coming . . . you cannot defeat the storm.
From the trees rose a resounding voice.
I fear nothing.
I come when the Trumpet sounds.
I am the storm, the great American grizzly.
Introducing the original Trumpy Bear.”
I first became aware of this “fearless, super-plush American grizzly” when I was watching one of the country music channels. All of a sudden, there it was, an ad for a “limited edition collectible teddy bear” created to appeal to all those Trump-loving, patriotic Americans in the heartland.
Wearing a red tie and a mop of orange-blond hair that our president is (in)famous for, Trumpy Bear comes with an American flag stuffed inside him and a Certificate of Authenticity, as befits a collector’s item.
“God bless America and God bless Trumpy Bear,” gushes a woman while she hugs Trumpy Bear. The Trumpy Bear ad shows testimony from various Trump supporters who are also proud Trumpy Bear owners. Trumpy Bears are seen cradled on a woman’s lap, hanging atop a flag pole, riding with a Marine veteran on his motor cycle and with a golfer on his golf cart and adorning a businessman’s desk, while wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap. (For the record, Trump has not endorsed Trumpy Bear.)
Like Trump himself, the promoters use patriotism as a tool to sell products, in this case Trumpy Bear. “Show your patriotism. Proudly display Trumpy Bear on Flag Day and on any American holiday. Trumpy Bear can even honor your own American heroes.”
At first I thought this was a joke, like one of the commercial parodies that Saturday Night Live is famous for. But the ad is quite serious. Exceptional Products, which markets and promotes Trumpy Bear, claims that Trumpy Bear is the real deal. It quotes a “vision statement” from V. L. Lange, who invented Trumpy Bear for Reel Vision:
“In 1902 the teddy bear was born and named after President Teddy Roosevelt. When President Donald Trump was elected to office as the first non-politician president, I felt it was time to name an American fearless grizzly bear after our new Commander in Chief. I designed the Trumpy Bear in a recognizable image of our current president.
“This iconic bear should be viewed as the symbol that anyone can run for president of this great country of ours. The weight of the responsibilities that come with the presidency can be a burden that I, for one, could never endure.
“And no, this is not a joke. I want it to be perfectly clear that the men who served in our military spoke from their hearts in the Trumpy Bear commercial. Any vilification of a veteran should never be tolerated.”
I would never vilify a veteran, nor make fun of anyone with deeply-held patriotic feelings. Though Trumpy Bear is a clumsy attempt to make money out of misguided Trump supporters, those of us who live in blue state bubbles must admit that there are many Americans out there who support Donald Trump, and not necessarily because they are bigots.
Many of them would go so far as to buy a stupid teddy bear named and modeled after their hero. Those of us who hate Trump might buy Trumpy Bear, too, if only to dress him up in funny costumes or laugh at him at parties.
In any case, Exceptional Products should make some good money. If you still want to buy Trumpy Bear, he will only cost you two easy payments of $19.95, plus postage and handling. Visit TheTrumpyBear.com.
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