While we all ponder the linguistic difference between “hole” and “house,” I’m going to say something that will shock some, if not most of y’all, because it defends Donald Trump. Yes, President Trump, appearing to act in the manner of a Completely Normal American for possibly the first time since he was just a young stable genius, gloriously botched the singing of the national anthem at the national college football championship game.
I have now watched the video of Trump singing the anthem like it’s the Zapruder film (ask your parents) and I can say without equivocation the only time Trump appeared to sing lustily and accurately was during the “bombs bursting in air” part. The rest of the time he was a hilarious – and, again, completely normal – half beat behind all the words. Somewhere in the middle, he appeared to give up altogether and stare at the sky as though he was witnessing a solar eclipse.
But “bombs bursting in air”? NAILED IT.
As with many completely psychologically fit Americans, Trump started out the gate without even a stumble. “O, say, can you see by the dawn’s early light…” But shortly after country singer Zac Brown crooned “broad stripes and bright stars,” Trump seemed to lose interest in pretending to know the words, again, like a perfectly normal American.
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It must be pointed out, however, if you’re going to constantly blather on about how professional football players and other snowflakes should respect the anthem, you should prolly make sure you know the words like it’s the McDonald’s menu and be prepared to belt it out flawlessly on command.
“We love our anthem,” Trump said in Nashville, just hours before standing on the football field in Atlanta and singing what appeared in a frame-by-frame breakdown to be “mommie makes me mash my M&M’s...” and later, “in the jungle, the mighty jungle...” It was hard to tell but that’s my best guess.
In Trump’s defense, nobody has ever really not screwed up at least a word or two in the anthem. It’s no “Free Bird,” is all I’m saying. There has long been a movement to replace the anthem with something less weird and with fewer ramparts but it always tends to lose momentum after some idiot suggests “Free Bird” would be a great replacement. In other words, this bird you cannot change.
Trump botched the anthem gloriously but rallied at the very end, as most of us do, with an exuberant and camera-chewing “hoooommme of theeeee braaaave.” In fact, Trump seemed so pleased with himself, I thought he might do that thing where famous singers add a whole bunch of unnecessary syllables to the end (“ho-oh-oh-oh-ohm of thaaa—talkin’ ’bout tha-hahahahahah- bray-hay-hay-hay-hay-ave” which makes bitter old white men lose their minds every time so there’s that.)
In conclusion, I believe we can all agree Trump appeared to behave completely normally during the singing of the anthem he loves “so much, really just the most love, believe me.”
Celia Rivenbark is an NYT-bestselling author who writes op/ed humor. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.