In case you missed the original story a few weeks ago, Donald Trump threatened me with a $100,000 lawsuit over my ownership of the top-level domain trump.foundation, a domain name I registered in good faith. Mr. Trump believed the domain infringed on his “Trump” trademark, even though the word trump was first used over 400 years ago.
After weeks of legal advice and soul searching, I decided it probably wasn’t in my best interest to get in a legal kerfuffle with an elderly wig who throws a hissy every few weeks for attention (and who has millions of dollars to dump into a lawsuit). So, I agreed to transfer ownership of the domain to Mr. Trump if his organization reimbursed the original cost of registration -- $39.99. Mr. Trump’s attorney said that request was acceptable, and now I have a $39.99 check from The Trump Corporation.
Sure, $39.99 doesn’t seem like a lot. And sure, I may not be able to afford a $25,000 Ivanka Trump diamond-capped seed pearl double tassel lariat, on a vintage-style seed pearl chain, accented by a small diamond-set oval station -- every boy’s dream tassel lariat -- but there’s still a lot of things $39.99 can buy. For example, $39.99 can buy nearly 4,000 copies of Trump’s book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” which is listed on Amazon for $0.01 and makes for great kindling (shipping and handling not included). It can buy two bottles of Trump’s cologne “Success,” which you can spray directly into your own eyes to avoid imagining what a Trump presidency would look like. And finally, $39.99 can get you six Merriam-Webster dictionaries where you can look up the word trump and not see a picture of Donald Trump, because trump is a fucking word that has been used since 1529. But, I have a better idea of how to spend this money.
Funded entirely (and accidentally) by a check from The Trump Corporation, the Tronald Dump Foundation was established in May 2015 with a single mission: slightly annoy Donald Trump. For decades, the Trumpinator has been masquerading around claiming he’s a successful businessman, but the man has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times! FOUR! That’s three times and one more additional time! If life was an episode of “The Apprentice,” Don would've been fired years ago.
While Donald “The Hairpiece” Trump may have had a legitimate claim on trump.foundation because of his trademark, he has no such claim on TronaldDump.Foundation. The Tronald Dump Foundation is clearly a parody, meaning it’s protected free speech. Just like we have to listen to the unbearable things that come out of Donald Trump’s dumb stupid mouth, so too does he have to listen to what I say about his stupid face.
For example, I can say “Donald Trump is a goofball” and he can’t do anything about it. I can also say “Every night, Donald Trump dresses up as Benjamin Franklin and flies a kite atop Trump Tower” without repercussion, because making a joke is protected free speech. In fact, I can even share a photo of Donald Trump dressed as Benjamin Franklin flying a kite atop Trump Tower and still be protected by free speech rights, because it’s clearly a parody.
Parody is protected free speech, and because Donald Trump is (unfortunately) a well-known public figure, I can post that manipulated photo -- and own TronaldDump.Foundation -- without facing a serious lawsuit. When a reasonable person looks at that picture, they know it isn’t real, just like a reasonable person knows Barack Obama was born in the United States even though he doesn’t look like the previous 42 presidents we’ve had (I’m not counting you twice, Grover).
In any event, I’m happy to have this trump.foundation nonsense behind me. Now I can look toward to a bright future with TronaldDump.Foundation. I hope you never know what it’s like to stand toe-to-toe with a wealthy, human-sized orange who once Tweeted, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He said that. A guy with a billion dollars said that. God help us.
I encourage you to follow Sometimes Weekly on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest and greatest blog posts as soon as they’re available. One of our lucky followers will win a free copy of Donald Trump’s $0.01 book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal.” Just kidding, I literally wouldn’t spend a penny on that book.
Nick Butler was Time Magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year. He believes strongly that Donald Trump is a goofball.