What People Are Getting Wrong This Week: Are Trump Fans Really Wearing Diapers?

What People Are Getting Wrong This Week: Are Trump Fans Really Wearing Diapers?

I don’t like writing about Donald Trump, and I definitely don’t want to write about his damn diapers, but one of the most widely spread pieces of (probable) misinformation this week concerns the ex-president’s Pampers, so I’m going to dig in. (retch)

According to actual news sources like Sky News and MSN, along with thousands of Twitter/X accounts, Donald Trump’s fans have embraced their idol’s alleged incontinence and are walking around rallies wearing spite-diapers and merchandise that proclaims “real men wear diapers,” “Diaper Don,” and “diapers over Democrats.” But are they really doing this? For that matter, does Donald Trump wear diapers in the first place? Well, depends. (See what I did there?)

The origin story of Von Sh*tzinPantz

The first widely spread claim that that Donald Trump wears diapers was from stand-up comedian Noel Casler. Back in 2018, Casler, who says he worked on Trump’s reality show The Apprentice, claimed that Trump “would often soil himself” on the set. Was Casler telling the truth? It’s hard to say. This is not the kind of scoop that top journalists lower themselves to chasing down, so we’ll get no help there, but it’s worth noting that no one else who worked on The Apprentice, as far as I can tell, came forward to say “yes, this happened,” despite Casler’s claim that it was common knowledge on the set. On the other hand, Trump is well-known for his employee NDAs and who would want to risk crossing a powerful, litigious lunatic like Trump? On the other-other-hand, Donald Trump looks like he’s taking a dump all the time. But ultimately, Diaper Don is unconfirmed.

It is definitely true that a rumor that Trump wears diapers and shits himself is widely believed. It made its way into the official court record of Trump’s criminal trial in New York this week in the form of a tweet from Michael Cohen that refers to Trump as “Von ShitzInPantz.” So the scent is in the air, so to speak. But whether Trump fans are actually responding to the rumors by wearing diapers and shirts that read “Diaper Don” is questionable. Yeah, there are photos, and yeah, everyone I know believes it, but I’m not convinced—it’s just too perfect.

Exhibit one: the photographs

We both know the photos themselves provide no evidence—they could be posed, photoshopped, or created by AI—but their source gives us some clues. All of the photos of people wearing diaper-centric Donald Trump gear so far originated in a single place: Dispatches from Trumpland, a blog that seems to have launched in December, and purports to be a pro-Trump website.

If Dispatches is really a pro-Trump blog, it’s a lazy one. It hosts a total of five non-diaper-related posts, mainly even-handed articles covering the GOP primary. They seemed like AI writing to me, so I ran this post by three AI-writing detection services, and they all returned definite “It’s AI” results. The posts about diapers, though come back as “human.”

Unlike the boring primary articles, the diaper posts are vague on details. The first one offers no location for the photos of Trumpers in diaper gear, but mentions “a merch cart picked up by the news in Michigan,” without providing a link. (If that story exists, I can’t find it.) The second diaper post says the pictures were taken at “Trump’s latest event in rural Pennsylvania” without mentioning where or when this event happened.

All this combined strongly suggests the site is astroturf, a political smear job that only exists to spread the photos. Everything else on the site seems designed to provide a thin veneer of plausibility (as long as you don’t take 10 minutes to look into it.)

Exhibit number two: the psychology of Trump’s supporters and detractors

Another data point: If we know anything about Trump supporters, we know they’re proud of the things they do (no matter how onerous). So why don’t we have any verified Trump supporters posting diaper pictures? If anyone really believed that wearing “real men wear diapers” merch would trigger liberal tears, why isn’t your shitty uncle wearing that t-shirt right now? Trump supporters missing a chance to own libs stretches credibility past the breaking point.

It also doesn’t seem like them to embrace something seen as weakness and pin it on their pal Donny. They like Trump to be seen as strong, not a doddering old pants-shitter. Reclaiming insults is a liberal thing.

On the other side of the coin, Trumpers trying to do a “Dark Brandon” but only succeeding in making themselves look more ridiculous is exactly the kind of thing you’d send to your friend group and post on Threads with the caption, “get a load of what these assholes are up to now!” It’s just too pat. Too perfect. Too clearly playing into the biases of one group.

I respect the hustle, but seeing how the sausage is made makes me a little queasy. Sure, it’s effective propaganda, and there’s no “unfair” in democracy, so I see the political wisdom of shaming Trump supporters and providing a ton of “they write themselves” jokes for late night comedians, but the idealist in me wants to say, “Shouldn’t we be better? Do we really need to invent ridiculous things Trump supporters do?”

We may never know whether this is grassroots or astroturf

You can now buy all manner of “real men wear diapers” t-shirts at online shops like teepublic, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence they were sold before Dispatches from Trumpland’s April 11th, first-diaper-sighting post. No doubt we’ll be seeing this merchandise in the wild soon, probably from both Trump fans who believe in it and Trump haters who are doing it mockingly. And Trump-shits-himself will no doubt be a running a theme of this nightmarish election year, repeated as often as “Hillary Clinton is on death’s door!” was in 2016. Remember that one?

Seriously, this whole thing is gross

Rolling around in the mud may be necessary to win an election in 2024, but the more I think about this specific smear, the uglier it seems. Not because of Trump (fuck him) or his supporters (fuck them too) but because real men do wear diapers. Real women wear diapers. Not being able to control one’s bowels isn’t a sign of weakness and it isn’t particularly funny. It’s an indignity that isn’t fair, and happens to the great and to the terrible alike.

I understand that the finer point here is making fun of the slavish and weird devotion Trump’s fans have to their idol, but, at the risk of being a party pooper, using adult diapers as a medium of ridicule is really not fair to people who are incontinent. Ageism is as much an -ism as any other, and if you imagine using the same tactic with some other marginalized group, pointing at Trump and saying, “Ha! Von Shitshispants” is a lot less funny.

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