There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.
On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.
But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:
As you can see, she knows just how to take him on: forcefully, directly, with humor, and without the slightest trace of fear. And better yet, she challenged Trump to his own game and wore it best.
You need not have paid close attention to the video to catch the direct challenge to Trump: “Move over, Donald.” But her monologue also contained several lines of far greater consequence that may have been easier to miss — lines which happen to have been lifted directly from Dwight’s famous speech:
That speech, of course, drew from the work of none other than Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.* Mussolini, you may recall, was in the headlines just over a month ago, when Gawker induced Donald Trump to retweet one of his quotes:**
In other words, at a time when most Republicans had not yet even dreamed of taking on the Donald — indeed, when Donald had yet to publicly impugn the legitimacy of the Obama presidency — this brave little girl identified the enemy and threw the words of Trump’s hero back in his face.
So as establishment Republicans thrash about for some way to take down Trump — a brokered convention? a third party? — allow me to remind you that only one person has directly challenged the Donald and come out ahead: Noa Friedman 2016.***
*”Much of Dwight’s speech is based upon a real speech by infamous Italian leader Benito Mussolini.” Wikipedia.
**Or, in Rubio’s alternative formulation, “It is better to live one day as literally anything than 4 years as Ted’s Veep.” Keep your day job, Little Marco… but on second thought, please don’t do that either.
***And don’t try to tell me the Constitution says she’s too young to be President; one of three Republicans left standing is a Canadian.