Donald Trump Jr posed in front of a “Don Jr 2024” sign in Nevada on Saturday, posted the picture online and waited for “the lib heads to explode”.
“Hahahahaha,” wrote the president’s oldest son, on Instagram. “Oh boy. This was a sign up at the Fallon Nevada Livestock Auction. This will make the lib heads explode.” (“Lib” being short for liberal.)
“To whomever made that thanks for the compliment … but let’s get through 2020 with a big win first!!!!!”
Though Nevada went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden leads Donald Trump Sr there this year, it is considered a swing state. Democratic voters are concentrated in Las Vegas and its suburbs while Republicans can be found in more rural areas.
Trump Jr, 42, is best known as an internet provocateur who shares both his father’s brashness and his inclination for sharing disinformation.
Since his father won the White House he has not been involved in policy like his sister, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, or as active in running the Trump Organization as his brother, Eric. He also has two half-siblings, Tiffany and Barron.
But Don Jr does seem to be the Trump offspring most inclined to politics and he has turned into a valuable campaign surrogate with a knack for communicating with the president’s base.
“Don Jr represents the emotional center of the MAGA universe,” Jason Miller, a senior advisor on Trump’s campaign, told the New York Times, using an acronym for “Make America Great Again”, a Trump slogan.
Trump Jr has only joked about running for office but he – and his sister – have registered strongly in polls regarding notional Republican candidates for 2024, whether to succeed his father or to attempt to deny Joe Biden a second term.
The president’s oldest son has also published two books with political themes, seeing the first top bestseller lists, if with help from the party, and suffering embarrassment over a mistake on the cover of the second.
A Vice reporter recently suggested that Pennsylvania Republicans were floating the idea of Trump Jr replacing Pat Toomey, a Republican senator who has announced he will retire. Trump Jr himself has not spoken about the Pennsylvania seat.
Speaking to the Guardian this week, Rick Wilson, a former Republican consultant and member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, called Trump Jr “a post-Republican Republican … there only to engage in that performative dickery that is lib-owning in the Trump world. It is a political performance art to show your contempt for norms, institutions and education.”
Wilson went on to explain why, should Trump Jr actually consider a run for office, that might be an asset.
“It has become the ideological underpinning of the GOP. There’s no party of ideas any longer. There’s no there there except for sort of the screeching fury of Trumpism.”