If you’d spent months criticising other people for not singing the national anthem, you’d think you’d make one hundred per cent - no, make that a mathematically-impossible and X Factor-approved two hundred per cent - certain that you sang the national anthem, without fail, without hesitation and with huge gusto, whenever the chance arose. In fact, you’d probably sing it even when you didn’t need to. Just hanging the washing out? Probably gonna sing the ol’ Star-Spangled Banner while I get the pegs ready. Popping out to buy some milk? “OH SAY CAN YOU SEE BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT…”
But then, the normal rules don’t apply to Donald Trump do they? Which is why he was caught on camera seemingly forgetting the words to the US national anthem at the College Football Playoff National Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday.
He stood on the field for the anthem before the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs played, but only appeared to sing parts of the song.
Trump, of course, took huge issue with the NFL movement to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem, to protest at racial inequality in the States, which was led by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and began in 2016.
At an Alabama rally in August, Trump declared: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired?’”
He then called on NFL fans to boycott games whenever players knelt during the anthem.
Of course, this isn’t the only basic thing about America that Trump doesn’t seem to know - in a recent NY Mag piece by Michael Wolff, ahead of the publication of his incendiary book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, he wrote how Trump had no knowledge of the constitution of the country.
“Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg [a Trump campaign aide] was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” Nunberg recalled, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.””
However, perhaps Trump does know the national anthem but, with the increasing focus on the state of his mental health, his memory is letting him down?
A Hollywood Reporter piece by Wolff had two worrying passages relating to this issue:
“There was more: Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories — now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions — he just couldn’t stop saying something.”
“At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.”
However, while some have described the guessing game over Trump’s mental health as distasteful, as ever, #theresatweetforit:
(Main image: Rex)