Donald Trump Forgot The Words To The National Anthem Because Of Course He Did

by Meredith Bland
Image via Jamie Squire/Getty Images

President moves his mouth to tune of anthem

President Trump paints himself as a great patriot. He works very hard to look as though he eats, sleeps, and dreams this country, a country whose history he barely knows and whose constitution he cares little about. If we needed any kind of proof that our president is a man who cares more about his hair than the state of our union, we got it last night at the college football national championship game, when he clearly didn’t know the words to our national anthem.

For reasons that are unclear, Trump decided to attend last night’s game between Alabama and Georgia. He was given all the pomp and circumstance due our country’s leader, which included being brought to the middle of the field and put under a spotlight for the singing of the national anthem.

Certainly, a president who has put so much stock in how football players behave during the anthem will use this opportunity to put his hand over his heart and sing along with pride, right? …Right?

Let’s give this the close examination it deserves because, after all, this is a man who called football players “sons of bitches” and said they should be fired for kneeling during the anthem. He regularly tweets about the issue and uses it as a talking point in many of his speeches. So let’s take a look at how this model of patriotism mumbled his way through the anthem, shall we?

Trump knows the highlights and the big notes — he’s got “can you see” and “bright stars” down pat. It’s when he gets to the section that contains words like “perilous,” “ramparts,” and “gallantly” that he loses his way a bit. He jumps back in for “red glare,” and “bombs bursting in air” (not a surprise) and then mumbles some anthem-like words till he mercifully gets to the end.

Basically, the president sings the anthem the way I sing “One Week” by The Barenaked Ladies (“Gonna wuhnuhmwfnuh hmm humma humm bakuh bakuh hmm hmm vanilla it’s the finest of the flavors….”)

People were unimpressed, to say the least:

Trump supporters came out to praise the president for standing during the anthem. And, well…yes, he did that. I guess if “stands on feet” is your baseline for patriotism then he did a bang-up job. It’s amazing, however, that not being able to sing the words is being ignored because now the only thing that matters is whether you’re standing or not. And to be fair, given this president’s strengths and weaknesses, this is probably the most we could expect from him. Way to go, sir. Obama could never stand still and mumble incoherently the way you do, sir.

You had to laugh, though, at how people like Donald Trump Jr. lauded the president’s performance:

That’s how it’s done, huh? Not that hard? Just show some respect? Do you have eyes with which you can see out of your head, son? Good God. I bet every time Trump gets through a speech without using a racial slur Junior says, “And that, folks, is how it’s done. What a statesman.”

As hilarious as all this is, it’s also infuriating that Trump could be so unabashedly hypocritical about one of the cornerstone lies of his presidency: that he is a great patriot. You put him and any of the NFL players who kneeled this fall in an anthem-singing contest and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts he’ll ask them to hang up his jacket and get him a Diet Coke.

Oh, America. Look what you done did to yourself.