Donald J. Trump and Marvel Comics' Loki were both born in the late '40s (Trump in 1946 and Loki in 1949). Both have been portrayed as larger-than-life villains in the media. And both are running to become the next president of the United States.
In the inaugural issue of Marvel's Vote Loki, the Asgardian god of chaos gives up on trying to destroy the world in favor of vying for the Oval Office. While Trump is a real person and Loki is a comic book character, the echoes between their campaign strategies are striking and obviously intentional. Neither claim to care for radical extremists and both show up to guest host Saturday Night Live.
There's one key difference, though—people on both sides of the aisle like Loki. He's running a much slicker, sexier operation, which begs the question: Is this super villain running a better campaign than Donald Trump? The answer, of course, is yes.
These are five lessons Donald Trump could learn from Loki's bid for the presidency.
Taking a firm, definitive stance on guns would win more votes
Despite what he may tell you, Donald Trump doesn't really know what he thinks about guns. In the past, he's expressed support for an assault weapons ban and gun reform meant to limit the potential for more mass shootings in the U.S. He's also said that he "cherishes" the Second Amendment and has vowed to protect it from Hillary Clinton, his presumptive opponent, who's staunchly in favor of gun reform.
In the comic, during a televised debate between the candidates chosen by two other parties, Loki dispatches undercover Hydra agents trying to kill innocent bystanders. If his villainous history is any indication, Loki isn't necessarily anti-gun, but his being president would effectively nullify the need for the Second Amendment. Why would the country need guns if it was being ruled protected by a living god who was impervious to bullets? Loki uses magic to erase the bullets away.
When a reporter asks you a question, try listening to and answering them
Throughout his campaign, Trump's developed a skill for dodging the difficult, probing questions about whether he supports the violence observed at his campaign rallies, if he really believes President Obama is a secret Kenyan, and how he feels about being endorsed by white supremacists. His intention, one imagines, is to deflect attention away from these issues. He fails.
Loki welcomes challenging media inquiries with gusto. In one particular exchange with Nisa Contreras, a Latina reporter whose childhood home was destroyed by one of Loki's attacks, the reformed villain owns up to his past and uses it as an opportunity to ask for forgiveness about what he's done.
Do a better job of pretending to be someone else
In May, The Washington Post broke news that "John Miller" and "John Barron," two men that had allegedly worked for Trump in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, were actually fake names and personae Trump would use during phone interviews to talk about himself in the third person.
In 1991, the publicist "Miller" apparently bragged to People Magazine about Trump's ongoing divorce from Ivanna, his new relationship with Marla Maples, and the many other women that the real estate mogul was allegedly seeing at the time.
“He really didn’t want to make a commitment,” "Miller" told People. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially.”
It goes without saying that pretending to be someone else to brag about yourself to the media is not a good look. Rather than pretending to be someone else, Loki literally becomes someone else—in this instance, a female version of himself. What's more, she is completely transparent about her reasons why.
Loki, like Trump, wasn't polling well with women, so she decided to reinvent her image. It's a bold-faced ploy for votes with no real bearing on Loki's historically fluid gender identity, but at the very least she's honest about her reasoning.
Be ready to explain your policies
A good presidential candidate can rattle off the fine points of both their foreign and domestic policies at the drop of a hat. Trump cannot. Rather, his views and positions are in a constant state of flux that seemingly change depending on which audience he's speaking to.
Loki, conversely, keeps his (or her) views simple (albeit vague) and to the point.
Don't dish it out if you can't take it
If Donald Trump wants President Obama's birth certificate so badly, he shouldn't be so hesitant to make his own available to the public. Loki's willing to do it. What's Trump got to lose?
No matter how you look at it, voting for either Trump or Loki would likely end in a great calamity for the country. The question is what you'd want that calamity to be.
Four years of massive wealth inequality, widespread racism, and the dissolution of basic human civil liberties? Or a few weeks of supernatural mayhem quickly apprehended by a team of spandex-clad superheroes who've been dealing with Loki for more than 70 years?