In Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, in front of a half-empty stadium, Donald Trump drank a glass of water and deeply owned everyone. They said it couldn’t be done in four years and he did it in three and a half, folks. Despite the fact that he claims to not have time to read Twitter, Trump responded to a trend of ableist online derision about the way he drinks water not by critiquing it for its scattershot pettiness, but by accepting it on its merits.
Some people online seem to have enough spare time and the capacity to make fun of the president for holding a glass with two hands, as if the whole concept of having a human body and using it to do things isn’t already a universally strange one. Imagine how we must look to dogs with our fancy stemware that we got for a wedding gift and never use and our opposable thumbs. But do dogs mock us? No, they do not. They let us do what we must to hydrate so as to keep the sacred, centuries-long peace between species. But we are unfortunately not dogs, and that’s how we ended up with this president, eschewing the opportunity to lead and instead giving into the the lowest of our increasingly minuscule common denominators by performing the consumption of a glass of water, this time with one hand. Well, let me be the first to say "mission: accomplished." Apparently the water glass thing is the only thing we’ve got against him, despite the fact that it is not a thing. So the jig is up. Put that in your highball and gulp it.
Not only did he drink the water glass filled with liberal tears, but he then threw it away. Tossed! To the side! Yes, to prove his total control over the situation (that situation being a country in the grips of multiple crises, all of them escalating), he sipped from a water glass and then chucked it to the side of the stage like he was a Dynasty character hurling a coupe of burnt champagne into a fireplace. Remarkable!
No other president has done this on camera in front of a small group of his supporters. I’m fairly certain that JFK probably launched a beer stein across the Oval at one point or another. And, if I had to guess, I’d say Theodore Roosevelt likely flung a spent tin cup against a Sequoia once or twice before picking it back up, rinsing it in the clean-flowing water of a nearby stream, and tucking it back in his satchel. But that’s it! End of list!
Did President Obama put his lips to a glass like he was taking in the communion wine and then give that Blood of Christ the heave ho? Oh no! No, he did not, you partisan hacks! Where is your king now? (Actually, I’m receiving word that President Obama did indeed demonstratively drink water during his presidency to prove its potability, but I am choosing to ignore that information in favor of perishing atop this hill I have constructed.)
So, I hereby apologize to the president. I have apparently messed up, even though, to be honest, I rarely think about how a president, or anyone else, holds a glass. There are some medical professionals online who are, perhaps with good intentions, attempting to divine information about the president's health from the way he moves through space and interacts with objects, but that is not me. I have not practiced medicine since guest starring on Chicago Hope as a child prodigy in 1997.
Anyway, I apologize for doubting the president’s capacity to lead John Mulaney’s proverbial hospital horse to water even though I did not actually consider it all. Perhaps I should have put more thought into the president’s appendages in relationship to beverages but alas, I was distracted by all of the other things like the flagrant abuse of power, the rampant racism, his own well-documented ableism, the atrocity at the border, his incompetent COVID-19 response, and his terrible taste in interior decor. But even though I'm not really involved in this hands thing, I suppose I must admit I have sinned against the president in my heart.
Where do we go from here? Probably back to Crate and Barrel to pick up another glass because the green room at the BOK Center in Tulsa is missing one from their set. Is it safe to just break a cocktail glass on a stage like an overeager frat boy yeeting a Solo cup at a basement soiree? No, probably not. That seems like something the Secret Service, at least, would discourage.
Also, I am not certain if the Trump campaign is selling splash zone seats (though they surely will soon as they’re never ones to pass up an opportunity to collect money from marks). Yes, future Trump rallies will pivot from even the semblance of meaningful content and devolve completely into bootleg Gallagher shows. Watch the President of the United States smash a cantaloupe and feel the surge of patriotism for the first time! Stare in awe and barely contained rage as a charlatan takes a sledgehammer to a case of bottled water meant to hydrate peaceful protesters! Behold! For a small fee, a reality television star will knock over a full aquarium from a dentist’s office, sending fish and flora and 300 gallons of dechlorinated water gushing across the stage, into his dwindling audience, and out over the fracked fields of this once-great (citation needed) nation!