Is Donald Trump a choke artist?

中国日报网 2016-04-15 13:31



Is Donald Trump a choke artist?

Reader question:

Please explain “choke artist” in this headline: Is Donald Trump a choke artist?

My comments:

“Artist” being pejorative (meaning it’s not a compliment), the headline questions: Will Trump fail at the last hurdle?

In other words, will Trump, the Republic presidential nominee who seems to have been doing so exceedingly well thus far, fail in his bid to become the next President of the United States?

Essentially, that’s the question.

A choke artist is someone who chokes, like, big time.

Let’s take someone who chokes on food drink for an example. If you are quaffing down mouthfuls of food without taking your time chewing, you might choke, i.e. suffocate yourself as the food down your throat blocks the windpipe, thus leaving you unable to breathe.

Understandably, when one chokes one cannot go on eating.

Hence, by extension, if you’re in the middle of doing something and then choke, then figuratively speaking you are failing and cannot continue on with the work.

As a result you won’t be able to get the job done.

Choking always seems to happen at the inopportune moment, when you’re really enjoying the food (or drink) for example. Therefore, people who are called chokers are those who always seem to manage to fail at the last hurdle when victory is to be taken by the collar and ensured.

So, in our question, the headline asks whether Trump will choke at the last moment.

The answer, to me, has always been yes.

From my limited understanding of American politics, I may contend that Trump will prove to be a paper tiger in the end, a dog with all bark and no real bite.

In fact, I think people have always been misled. Everyone except Trump’s die-hard supporters (such as white supremacists) has simply cared too much about the real estate mogul turned reality TV star turned politician.

Do not put too much in store by him. Ignore him. Trump, in the long run, won’t make a dent in politics. In all likelihood, he might even fail to get nominated by the Republic Party after all is said and done, let alone having a chance to compete for the presidency.

Even if, I said even if because it’s extremely unlikely – even if he makes the presidency, he won’t be able to make a difference.

That’s just how American politics works. The President and politicians in general are merely the front men of the system, which is run by the moneyed men from behind the scenes. They’re the invisible hands that lower tax rates for the rich and promote wars.

Take the incumbent Barack Obama as an example, after eight years of the first black man in the White House, what real change and hope (which he so remarkably championed) is there for the average American to see, especially for Obama’s fellow African American?

Little or none, you say.


Still and all I hope the answer to the question is true, that Trump will prove to be choke artist – and drop out or fade away at the last moments.

And in the process, make American politics look a little bit less insane.

Here are media examples of choker or choke artist, someone who has, pejoratively speaking, elevated losing at the big moment to an art form:

1. Badminton’s Lee Chong Wei has made a habit of falling just short in major tournaments but he now has a chance to settle a score with old foe Lin Dan at the Asian Games.

Top-ranked Lee’s list of failures grew again last month when, despite the absence of the much-decorated Lin, he was shocked by Chen Long in the world championships final.

After repeatedly being denied by China’s Lin in world and Olympic finals, it seemed Malaysia’s Lee, 31, had blown a huge chance to place a major trophy in his cabinet.

Even the sympathetic Malaysian media have started to wonder whether their hero, who has lost the last two Olympic finals against Lin, is a “choker”.

Now he will take aim at his first Asian Games title and, along the way, end a dismal run of reverses against his irrepressible Chinese rival.

Four years ago in Guangzhou, Lee was a despondent onlooker as “Super Dan” ripped off his shirt and celebrated wildly after winning a thrilling three-setter to clinch Asian Games gold.

It’s a scene that Lee has watched only too often, notably at the 2012 Olympics when he was a game up before unraveling as Lin fought back.

Last year, Lee also went a game up against Lin in the world championships final but had to retire in the third -- the fifth major final he has lost against China’s golden boy.

- Asian Games: Champ or Choker? Lee Chong Wei Takes Shot at Badminton Glory,, AFP, September 16, 2014.

2. Donald Trump’s post debate interview was a classic for the ages.

Obviously, the Donald is still miffed at Marco Rubio for his attacks tonight during the CNN GOP debate.

Donald Trump called Marco a choke artist who looked like he climbed out of a pool when Christie attacked him.

Trump went on to say Rubio is a choker and “when you’re a choker you’re always a choker.”

- Donald Trump on Rubio: He’s a Choke Artist..., February 25, 2016.

3. Trump lashed out against Romney after the former GOP nominee attacked him earlier today:

Mitt ran probably what was the worst run most people have seen because most people thought the Republican candidate would win. So when Mitt starting raising his head a few months ago, I was very strong: I said Mitt Romney should not run, he’s a choke artist, and I said it very strongly.

…And then Jeb Bush actually convinced Mitt not to run [again in 2016], can you imagine that? Jeb, Jeb Bush told him!

See, Jeb is a good salesman! Now that he’s out, I’ll say Jeb is a good salesman, right? He’s a high-energy salesman, but Mitt was afraid of Jeb because he was afraid that Jeb would get the money and Jeb what get whatever… but I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t afraid of Jeb, I can tell you that.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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