Donald John Trump is a 75-year-old American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. He is the first U.S. president without any history of government or military service.
After a bitter defeat by Joe Biden in the presidential elections of 2020, Trump and his allies have claimed that the elections were fraudulent. However, no evidence confirming these claims has emerged.
Republican and Democratically elected officials have certified the election as valid. Courts have rejected lawsuit after lawsuit, and a clear majority of Congress has confirmed the final result despite a riotous mob earlier this month that sought to disrupt the process.
The most recent development in this never-ending publicity stunt post his defeat is the spread of rumors that a Trump miniature will be added to Mt. Rushmore.
History of Mt. Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. A father-son duo of sculptors, Gutzon Borglum and Lincoln Borglum, designed the sculpture and oversaw its execution from 1927 to 1941. The sculpture depicts 18m heads of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The choice of the presidents depicts the United States’ birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively.
A U.S. senator hailing from South Dakota, Peter Norbeck, sponsored the ambitious project and secured federal funding. Initially, each president was sculpted from head to waist, but lack of funding brought construction to a standstill on October 31, 1941.
Today, Mt. Rushmore attracts more than 2 million visitors and is often referred to as the “shrine to democracy.”
Prior recommendations for addition to the Mt. Rushmore sculptures
According to the New York Times, Franklin D. Roosevelt was cited as the most popular choice for addition to Mt. Rushmore. Other recommendations include Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Rumors about Trump’s sculpture to be added to Mt. Rushmore adrift
Sunday night set Twitter abuzz with a tweet and picture from erstwhile president Trump. The picture depicted Trump’s face angled so that it seemed to be the fifth face on Mt. Rushmore.
Trump has also allegedly discussed the possibility of his sculpture being added to Mt. Rushmore with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. To tout the New York Times report that published this conversation as fake, Trump tweeted thus mere moments after posting his picture:
“This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad rating @CNN. I never suggested it, although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, it sounds like a good idea to me.”
In a counterargument, Noem has stated, “He said, ‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand.’ I shook his hand, and I said, ‘Mr. President, it would help if you came to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.’ And he goes, ‘Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?’. I started laughing. He wasn’t laughing, so he was earnest.”
This brings to mind a specific controversial claim from Trump’s election rally in July 2017 in this regard:
“Every single president on Mt. Rushmore- I’d ask whether or not you think I will someday be on Mt. Rushmore. But here’s the problem: If I did it, joking, totally joking, the fake news media would say he believes he should be on Mt. Rushmore. So I won’t say it.”
This is a quintessential Trump tactic; wherein he suggests his heart’s desire and leaves room for himself to walk away without any controversial comment being pinned on him.
The New York Times story that ran on Sunday in this regard stated:
Introducing Mr. Trump against the floodlit backdrop of his carved predecessors, the governor played to the president’s craving for adulation by noting that in just three days, more than 125,000 people had signed up for only 7,500 seats; she likened him to Theodore Roosevelt, a leader who “braves the dangers of the arena”; and she mimicked the president’s rhetoric by scorning protesters who she said were seeking to discredit the country’s founders.
“In private, the efforts to charm Mr. Trump were more pointed, according to a person familiar with the episode: Ms. Noem greeted him with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included a fifth presidential likeness: his.”