Trump Truths Tied-Up Truck Taunt

A truckload of deplorables.

WaPo (“Donald Trump shares image of Joe Biden with hands and feet tied“):

Former president Donald Trump disseminated on social media on Friday an image of President Biden with his hands and feet tied, the latest example of the Republican candidate’s use of increasingly violent rhetoric and imagery this campaign season.

The image can be seen about halfway through a 20-second video that Trump posted on his Truth Social site. The post says it was recorded Thursday on Long Island, where Trump traveled this week to attend a wake for a recently killed police officer.

In the video, two trucks decorated with giant Trump flags and altered American flags are driving on a highway. On the tailgate door of one of the trucks is the image of Biden bound and lying horizontally.

WaPo didn’t include the video or the photo. MTN (MeidasTouch Network)’s J.D. Wolf (“Trump Posts Image of Joe Biden Kidnapped And Bound With Rope“) posts a screencap of the video and this larger image:

The larger video is at this link. It has been “ReTruth’d” 3.64k times and received 14.4k likes since being posted at 1:38 PM yesterday.

Similar images of Biden have been circulating on social media for months, if not years, on sites including InstagramReddit and Twitter, before the platform changed its name to X. In February, the popular World Star Hip Hop site posted a video of a truck it said was in California featuring such an image.

“This image from Donald Trump is the type of crap you post when you’re calling for a bloodbath or when you tell the Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by,’” said Michael Tyler, communication director for Biden’s campaign, referring to the right-wing group involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. “Trump is regularly inciting political violence and it’s time people take him seriously — just ask the Capitol police officers who were attacked protecting our democracy on January 6.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump’s campaign, sent a lengthy statement distancing the campaign from the image, and accusing Democrats of using violent rhetoric against Trump.

“That picture was on the back of a pick up truck that was traveling down the highway,” Cheung said in the statement. “Democrats and crazed lunatics have not only called for despicable violence against President Trump and his family, they are actually weaponizing the justice system against him.”

The message remained live on Trump’s feed late Friday night.

It’s entirely possible that Trump didn’t even notice the decal on the truck, festooned as it was with flags and Trump logos. Indeed, if I hadn’t been looking for it, I might not have. I suspect that he simply saw it as more of his adoring fans showing their loyalty.

In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing. On first glance, it really looks like the driver has Biden wrapped up in the truck, with the bedliner and wheel wells showing.

We are, alas, in a climate where violent rhetoric is common and the former President incited a riot at the nation’s capitol in an attempt to intimidate Members of Congress from certifying the election results. That Trump inspires these yahoos and eggs them on is shameful.

There’s a cottage industry of these, most of which are available on Amazon for $49.99 or $59.99, depending on the size of the truck.

Why you’d want to put this on your $70,000 pickup truck, I’ll never understand.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, Society, US Politics, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Trump is finally channeling his inner Kathy Griffin.

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  2. Moosebreath says:

    “We are, alas, in a climate where violent rhetoric is common and the former President incited a riot at the nation’s capitol in an attempt to intimidate Members of Congress from certifying the election results. That Trump inspires these yahoos and eggs them on is shameful.”

    No word yet on whether the Secret Service has paid Trump a visit over this threat to a sitting President.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    We have to accept that there is a significant subsection of the population that craves a strongman and will discard freedoms and democracy to get that. When people are frightened that subsection gets bigger. Fox and the rest of the Republican machine trades in fear. The result is obvious. It’s up to the rest of us to preserve what we have.

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  4. Mikey says:

    Why you’d want to put this on your $70,000 pickup truck, I’ll never understand.

    Well, you’re not in the cult, so of course this sort of cretinism mystifies you.

    For Trump’s worshipers, this is the height of humor and the pinnacle of in-group signaling.

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  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing.

    Why?

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  6. It’s entirely possible that Trump didn’t even notice the decal on the truck,

    Gotta admit: Trump and his team ran out of the benefit of the doubt a long time ago.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Gotta admit: Trump and his team ran out of the benefit of the doubt a long time ago

    Amen to that. My whole life I’ve watched Republicans bend over backwards to basically say, “If there is any alternate explanation for this racism/misogyny/sexism then we have to give the Republican the benefit of the doubt and must, of course disregard all the previous such times.”

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  8. Jen says:

    In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing. On first glance, it really looks like the driver has Biden wrapped up in the truck, with the bedliner and wheel wells showing.

    Wow. Just…wow.

    It’s gross and weird, not amusing. These are the nuevo versions of “vanifestos,” and I would park as far away as possible in a parking lot, and would consider exiting a road and taking a different route to avoid. Anyone who plasters their violent political rhetoric *all over their vehicle* is a loon. One bumper sticker? Fine. But this isn’t cute, it’s bonkers.

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  9. drj says:

    It’s not a taunt, it’s a threat.

    If someone tells you who they are, believe them.

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  10. Franklin says:

    It’s about as well thought out as Truck Nutz, some sort of Freudian fantasy where the owners have power and something more substantial than their micropenises.

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  11. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Franklin:

    I like to point out that by adding genitalia the trick was not built with, adding truck nutz makes their pickup trans

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  12. DK says:

    Trashy and classless. So it tracks for the source. The orange thug couldn’t pass a background check for any job, but his dumb enablers think he should be president.

    Doubt this outrage cycle will play so well in the burbs.

    It’s entirely possible that Trump didn’t even notice the decal on the truck,

    Same lame excuse Trumpers trotted out when he tweeted a video with a MAGAt yelling “White Power!” on June 28, 2020. So Dementia Donald is sloppy, inattentive, and incompetent — as well as trashy, classless, violent bigot. Unfit, and unqualified to be president either way.

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  13. Modulo Myself says:

    I suspect a lot of these people live in an abused fantasy world which goes back to childhood and Dad and his behavior and how it had to be handled by everybody else. This is why racism is considered a problem of noticing, and why Trump has gone onto live in peoples’ heads rent-free, or so they say. (My reaction to that has always been yes, he was president, and you know what else lives in peoples’ heads, rent-free? The rent.) Trump is able to do everything he does because the problem is not his but a problem for the subjects of his actions. And his base, his enablers, defenders, explainers, both-siders, etcetera, all respect this way of doing things.

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  14. Beth says:

    I saw a guy with an “Ultra-MAGA and proud of it!” And a bunch of crap like that on his dorky car. Looked like it was professionally done and cost a good couple of bucks. All I could think is that he must be so unpleasant to be around.

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  15. EddieInCA says:

    @Dr.Joyner

    In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing.

    This troubles me. WTF? This would NEVER be amusing to me. If a Biden supporter did this about Trump, I’d be equally outraged. This is WAY over any line. You might want to rethink your position, Dr. Joyner. This is just wrong under any political climate.

    Amusing? Clever? No. Just no.

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  16. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “This troubles me. WTF? This would NEVER be amusing to me”

    Unlike Dr. J I won’t give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but I will give it to him. My guess is that what he might find amusing is not the image of Biden tied up, but the tromp l’oeil effect of a solid tailgate painted — decalled? — to look like an open one where you can see into it. Kind of like the train tunnels the Coyote would paint onto solid rock faces to convince the Road Runner that he could safely keep moving forward.

    If what was supposed to be inside the cargo space was fluffy bunnies and happy puppies, I might find that amusing…

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  17. just nutha says:

    Well, I’ll agree that in a different political climate, I’d find that tailgate wrap amusing and clever, too.

    Then again, I admit to being sociopathic when/if asked, too.

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  18. James Joyner says:

    @wr:

    My guess is that what he might find amusing is not the image of Biden tied up, but the tromp l’oeil effect of a solid tailgate painted — decalled? — to look like an open one where you can see into it. Kind of like the train tunnels the Coyote would paint onto solid rock faces to convince the Road Runner that he could safely keep moving forward./blockquote> It’s just a decal but, yes, I find the effect clever in that, at first glance, it looks like there’s someone actually tied up in the bed of the truck. And the Wile E Coyote analogy is a good one, in that I would find it cartoonishly silly were in not for the increasingly violent tenor of our politics.

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  19. wr says:

    @James Joyner: I get it. I’m a sucker for tromp l’oeil images…

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  20. gVOR10 says:

    Through W. And Trump we kept hearing lectures that we had to respect the office, if not the man. Weren’t those lectures coming from Republicans!

    Even if you don’t think it’s funny, you might give it a point or two for clever the first couple times you see it. But I see they’re only about 50 bucks, so, like a boat prop in the hitch receiver, I suspect we’re going to be seeing them long after any novelty has worn off.

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  21. anjin-san says:

    In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing.

    Thanks for that example of how to lose respect built up over years in a single moment.

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  22. DK says:

    @wr:

    Kind of like the train tunnels the Coyote would paint onto solid rock faces to convince the Road Runner that he could safely keep moving forward.

    Wile E. Coyote cartoons are hilarious!

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: If it were a random stock photo guy, it would be kind of great. Dark humor, visual gag, Wile E. Coyote, just funny.

    But not when it’s a recognizable person. But that first glance is funny.

    Of course, I’ve thought about adding decals to my SUV so it looks like a work vehicle for crime scene cleanup, so any time I park anywhere people feel uneasy. I expect it would get pretty old pretty quickly though.

    Also, a big panel van would be better.

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  24. DK says:

    @Gustopher:

    But not when it’s a recognizable person. But that first glance is funny.

    Think you’re agreeing with James, as do I. I guess it’s mildly amusing, in the way that shoving Mrs. Gunderson in the wood chipper was mildly amusing.

    But I also dislike the Coen Brothers’ droll misanthropy.

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  25. CSK says:

    @wr:

    Trump l’oil.

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  26. Gustopher says:

    @DK: 80% agreeing with James.

    I shift against it much faster than he does — I don’t do the “well, with these political times” stuff.

    In a different political climate, I would find the decal—available in at least one other variant judging from the links in the WaPo report—clever, if not amusing.

    No, you just don’t use violent imagery of any political figure, regardless of the political climate. It’s corrosive to the idea of American democracy.

    Those who do should be gently corrected and/or shunned (people do stupid shit, but there are limits and if someone consistently goes past those limits they should be shunned, canceled, ostracized, whatever)

    Also, troll culture can quickly just get lame, especially when it becomes that specific. I don’t hate the “Trump pissing on Biden-Harris sign” more than the “Calvin pissing” window decals, but it’s just a dumber version. It’s trolling for low-energy, uncreative people. Do better.

    (Now, if they could somehow get a recognizable version of John Calvin pissing on the notion of free will…)

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  27. anjin-san says:

    Tell me James, do you doubt that Trump would actually do that to his political opponents if he could get away with it?

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