Photos: Acid Betty (Logo), Lady Bunny (Sergio Kardenas), Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore)
Drag queens certainly know how to read someone--especially when the target has bad hair--so I knew it would be a fruitful exercise to ask a bevy of drag personalities for their views of that pandering old windbag, Donald Trump, the highly undignified Presidential candidate who deals in antagonism, scapegoating, and below-the-belt wisecracks. Sure enough, they did not disappoint.
"Trump scares me. His continuous spewing of hate, spreading of ignorance, and his go-to-strategy of stirring up hate mongering, is scary. Honestly, the idea that Trump might actually get voted into the Presidency is still a difficult pill for me to swallow, and the realization of that potential should frighten every female, minority, and member of the LGBTQ community. If Trump is elected into office, my faith in the intelligence of my fellow Americans will forever be destroyed and even worse, I'll be forced to buy a 'Stupid American' shirt. I've already applied for citizenship to every country welcoming artistic and acidic drag queens. You know, Canada, Australia, the UK... I hear Syria is affordable. I'm considering all options at the moment."
"Trump has opened our eyes to the hatred here in America. But I hope to believe that some good may come from it, like fighting fire with fire; setting off small explosions on a mountaintop to start an avalanche now as a precaution to avoid a bigger uncontrolled disaster later. Now that we are aware of what lives among us, hopefully we will take bigger chances to ensure that our country is on the correct path."
"I feel Donald Trump is an embarrassment to our country. He is the epitome of a punchline. His crass behavior and ludicrous ideas are so ridiculous, I'm still baffled he's even a viable candidate."
"Donald Trump is going to get what he deserves--and it's not the Presidency!"
"Whenever I'm asked about politics, I tend to change the subject or defer to the opinionated and brilliant Lady Bunny. Politics are like sports to me. No matter how much I try and pay attention and form my own opinion, it goes in one ear and out the other. I try to surround myself with intelligent people who know more than I do and retain what information I can. Also, I'm not voting for Trump."
"I've never cared for Trump. About five years ago, I was in L.A. and saw a life-size cut-out of him in Walgreens advertising some photo developing offer. I remember thinking, 'Clueless L.A. types. Don't they know that people in NYC, where he's from, can't stand him?' Now he's leading as the Republican nominee. The GOP was always awful, but now they're being led by someone who even they're afraid of. And we're all struggling to make sense of how this happened. Some are attracted to him because he's a TV star or they like his blatant racism/Islamophobia/misogyny. But there are a lot of working class people who support him because they're being told the recession is over, yet they aren't feeling it. They go for the 'angry' candidates. The smarter ones gravitate towards Bernie Sanders and the dumber ones like Trump. I guess they think, 'Him rich. Him gon' run country like a business and make me rich, too.' I still can't believe that he'll get the nomination and I keep waiting for him to drop out and announce his new show, How to Punk the Media.
"Love him or hate him, he certainly has exposed our news media's descent into TMZ territory. Even 'left-leaning' news like MSNBC gives Trump the top story and bulk of the broadcast every night. When they interview the Democratic candidates, they ask them about Trump's latest gaffe. This continually puts the ball in Trump's court and prevents much comparison of the Democrats' contrasting policies. We all know that Trump called Mexican rapists, that he wants to ban Muslims, thinks Carly Fiorina is ugly, mocked a reporter with disabilities and John McCain's war record. But by focusing on his never-ending outrages, do we know the difference between Hillary's health care plan and Bernie's? Or how their tax plans would shake down for a student, a family of four and a retiree? It's never discussed because Trump snatches all the headlines and therefore ratings and ad dollars for the networks. A democracy can't work without an informed electorate, and our media mainly focuses on one candidate. The fact that Trump mocked Hillary for taking a bathroom break during a debate does not inform anyone's choices. Our media is literally in the toilet.
"The focus on Trump has also caused us to overlook how scary all of the other GOP nominees are. In fact, Trump is to their left on a few issues like slamming the TPP, advocating for health care as a right, and calling out the Iraq war as a farce--which Hillary can't do because she was in on it. But as proven by his recent statement on women who get abortions deserving a punishment, which he immediately walked back, Trump has no clear positions. He once supported Planned Parenthood and abortion rights, but now he needs to snatch the anti-abortion evangelical vote away from Cruz. So he'll say anything. The sad thing is that we aren't ignoring him. Registered Republicans only make up 18% of America's voters and Trump has between 40% and 60% of their support. So all this fuss over around 9% of the total voters?"
MARTI GOULD CUMMINGS
"The only wall we should be building is one around Trump and his supporters, so they can't get to the rest of us. What a waste of space he is."
"At first, he was comical, but now it's downright tragic!!!"
MRS. KASHA DAVIS
"I'm literally physically repulsed and angered by his image and the sound of his voice. He infuriates me to the core. No one will ever see eye to eye with any candidate from any party in my mind ever. But I see nothing in him other than a complete and utterly blatant need for fame and personal justification for his half assed blurbs on his leadership plans. Anger-based leadership shows a lack of emotional intelligence, as shown by the turmoil that he is proving to stir up, and it's scary. As a proud American, I'm bottom line embarrassed by the behavior and his inability to clearly articulate any solid plans. I see good in everything in life, and if there is any good to come out of this insanity, it's that we are seeing examples of the work that we must continue to do to improve how we respect one another. We can't tolerate hate and improper treatment of one another because of social status, race, gender, sexuality and so on. This is our home and we must not turn against one another. I'm now stepping off the soap box and returning to my regularly scheduled program of making people laugh at me, themselves and the world we create for one another. Muah." So in other words, Kasha likes him, lol? "Correct. I have enjoyed his casinos in my day. I love a dirty slot!"
"If Donald Trump wins, there will be a lot more drag gigs in the city, because everyone will move out of the country!"
"Disgusting pig, goddamn douchebag, fucking around with America and its people, all so he, in his mind, can rub one out over the desk in the Oval Office while he screams 'I did it. I'm a man. I'm the President.' Stupid and dangerous. Thinking with his cock. He has no concern for anything other than his oversized ego. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. The media should be absolutely ashamed of what they've done to get him where he is. I don't understand at all how anyone can hear this fool speak and not be concerned or appalled. Feel the fucking Bern!!!!"
"The only thing uglier than Trump's racist, misogynistic views is the roadkill that's on top of his head."
As for what trans star AMANDA LEPORE thinks about Donald Trump: "I don't think about Donald Trump!"
TAKE MY WITCH...PLEASE
Speaking of scary politicians engaging in witch hunts, let's move on to the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible, set during the Salem witch trials, though written as a commentary on Senator Joe McCarthy's rabid hunt for "commies" in the paranoid 1950s. The revival is brought to you by Ivo van Hove, the director du jour who visibly puts his stamp on established products in ways that make critics get wet. For his other Arthur Miller revival this season, A View From The Bridge, von Hove took away accents, made everyone barefoot, placed them in a big sandbox, and had a pulsing drumbeat throughout. This time, some of the same devices are used, like the modern dress, and the drumbeat (though there's also some droning violin sounds through the long evening; the music comes from Philip Glass). Add to that a hodgepodge of accents, a roaming dog playing a wolf, levitation, house lights left on in stretches, and a palette of only white, black, and grey, all melding into the ultimately monotonous set for a heady comment on the pervasiveness of the gray area--i.e, half truths, untruths, and uncertainties. The directorial touches sometimes result in powerful images and exchanges, but while Sophie Okonedo is strong as the accused Elizabeth Proctor, Ben Whishaw seems oddly cast as her fiery, beleaguered husband, and as the finger pointing brat, Saoirse Ronan doesn't electrify (almost receding, the way another movie star, Keira Knightley, did earlier this season in Therese Raquin). The production starts slowly, then becomes eye opening, then comes alive again in court, then loses steam in the last stretch, with a cluster of characters together--most of them facing upstage--as that drumbeat pulses into your skull. The result is the kind of show that you can recommend to critics, but not necessarily to friends. Oh, and Donald Trump would probably like it. He'd no doubt cheer at the end, thinking justice was served.
Saoirse Ronan in The Crucible; Photo by Jan Versweyveld