John Oliver’s donaldjdrumpf.com. (Screenshot)

Since Donald Trump declared he would run for president eight months ago, many have tried to take him down and failed. Rival Republicans, the Republican National Committee and the Huffington Post are just a few examples of those who have swung and missed, trying their best to derail a man who looks more and more like the GOP nominee with every passing primary. And HBO’s John Oliver, who called the candidate a “litigious serial liar, a “bulls— artist” and a “baby with evil, smaller fingers” on “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday, may have swung and missed as well. But no one can say that Oliver didn’t give it a very extended try.

Over 22 minutes, Oliver revived many popular criticisms of Trump. The candidate has no clear policy positions and overstates his net worth, Oliver alleged; he uses his wealth to promote himself as a credible candidate, though wealth does not equal political greatness; his campaign is not self-funded, despite his claims; he is racist. Yet, Oliver said, Trump can no longer be dismissed.

“Donald Trump is America’s back mole,” Oliver said. “It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s gotten frighteningly bigger, it’s gotten hard to ignore it.”

Then Oliver offered a novel strategy for those who wish to battle Trump: refer to the candidate by “Drumpf,” what one biographer said the Trump family name was before it “evolved over the centuries.” Indeed, Gwenda Blair, the author of “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire” (2000), thought it was “fortunate” that “Drumpf” had become “Trump.” 

“’Trump’ is a wonderful word, a marvelous name,” she wrote. “A name Dickens would surely have given to a prominent character if only he had thought of it, ‘Trump’ evokes trump card, trump hand, trump suit — all terms associated with winning. Whether Donald Trump could have had the same success with any other name is an intriguing question.”

This is the very question Oliver now wishes to explore.

“The very name Trump is the cornerstone of his brand,” Oliver said. “If only there were a way to uncouple that magical word from the man he really is.”


Donald “Drumpf” in Texas on Feb. 26. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Oliver then proposed to do this — with “Drumpf” hats sold at the website DonaldJDrumpf.com, the hashtag #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain, and an app that replaces “Trump” with “Drumpf” in Web browsers.

“We cannot keep being blinded by the magic of his name,” Oliver said. Of “Drumpf,” he added: “It’s the sound produced when a morbidly obese pigeon flies into the window of a foreclosed Old Navy.”

“Mr. Drumpf, I await your lawsuit in the morning,” Oliver said.

The video can be seen here.


John Oliver in 2014. (Jesse Dittmar for The Washington Post.)