Impotus Americanus trends after Lincoln Project releases David Attenborough-style video mocking Trump
On Friday, July 31, a strange term seemed to be taking up space on social media: Impotus Americanus. At first glance, it seems like binomial nomenclature, the system of naming in which two terms are used to denote a species of a living organism, the first one indicating the genus and the second the specific epithet. It was invented by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in the eighteenth century.
So what creature then is Impotus Americanus?
On Friday, The Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent current and former Republicans with the goal of preventing the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, shared a video. Titled ‘Nationalist Geographic’ (a clever pun on National Geographic, the globally-popular magazine that deals with science, geography, history, and world culture and Trump’s ideological tenet), the video description calls Impotus Americanus “one of the heaviest leaders in the animal kingdom.”
Just a second into the video, it becomes apparent that it is a joke on President Donald Trump. Stylized in British naturalist Sir David Attenborough’s oft-used wildlife documentary format like in ‘Planet Earth’, the one-minute-something video begins with a drone shot of Trump playing golf.
The video takes potshots at Trump in many ways. For starters, it lists Impotus Americanus’ type as “Narcissistic Sociopath”. It also lists “human souls” under their diet. “Notable for its exotic plumage, the Trump is typically a ruddy orange color, not found in nature,” the narrator states in the video, taking digs at Trump’s physical appearance.
But the video does more than just make fun of the president’s looks. Along with a video of Trump hanging out with now-dead pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, the narrator says of Trump, “In its youth, it was known to pursue females with other predators like ‘Molestus Epstein’.”
The video further calls Trump “the most corrupt of its species”. It ends with calling the species to be endangered in November, “due to its own incompetence and failure”.
On Thursday, July 30, The Hill reported that a group called ‘Meme 2020’ is partnering with The Lincoln Project with a new campaign targeting young voters through popular Instagram accounts. Meme 2020, The Hill reported, made its first foray into politics earlier this year with a push backing Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.
“Meme 2020 is laser focussed on building out this new medium that has been largely undeveloped in political advertising,” said Ryan Patrick Kelley, chief of staff of Meme 2020.
“The Lincoln Project is resonating all over America because we speak to conservatives and independents in a way they‘ll understand," said Sarah Lenti, executive director of the Lincoln Project. "Meme 2020 works much the same way: we’re using the language of the internet to speak to younger voters."
Post the release of the video, nearly 60,000 people on Twitter were talking about the term (at the time of writing this). In fact, as many pointed out, when one searches for Impotus Americanus on Twitter, the first two results are that of the Twitter accounts of The Lincoln Project and Donald Trump.