“Donnie the Snake”

Every notorious mobster, supervillain, or serial killer had a succinct nickname befitting of their infamy: Al “Scarface” Capone, “Ice Pick Willie” Alderman, and we have “Donnie the Snake.”

Peter Graves Roberts


President Trump read “The Snake” while speaking at CPAC on Feb. 23, a parable he used frequently during the campaign trail. (The Washington Post)

“The elephant in the room is that Trump is the living embodiment of the snake that my father wrote about in that song.” -Africa Brown

“Ice Pick Willie” claimed to have murdered eleven people by inserting an ice pick into their ears. “Scarface” Capone, well, most know his history. “Donnie the Snake?” Incidentally, two of the three I named above were eventually taken down by charges of tax evasion. Food for thought.

Here’s a little backstory on the snake, starting with a quote from a poem by that name, first appropriated by Donald Trump while campaigning in 2016. Civil rights activist Oscar Brown Jr. wrote the poem as a song in 1963. Trump has made it an anti-immigration schtick, often achieving uproarious cheers from his rally goers after reading the poem. According to reporting in the Washington Post:

Trump likes to emphasize the last line, taking gusto as he repeats the snake’s words:

“ ‘Oh, shut up, silly woman!’ said the reptile with a grin. ‘You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in,’ ” Trump will say, his voice often rising to a growl.

Usually, the crowd cheers. Other times, it breaks into a spontaneous chant of “U-S-A!” At CPAC, the audience gave Trump a standing ovation.

Eli Rosenberg-WaPo

After Trump’s performance of “The Snake” at the 2018 CPAC conference, GOP political strategist Steve Schmidt said:

Screenshot of tweet, from story.

“Trumps snake story is vicious, disgraceful, utterly racist and profoundly Un-American,” conservative operative Steve Schmidt wrote on Twitter after CPAC on Friday. “That this is how an American President speaks of immigration is a tragedy. This crowd of cheering extremists are the heirs of the Know-Nothing’s



Peter Graves Roberts

Pete Roberts is a poet, punk writer, backseat journalist and objector. Born and broken in Portsmouth, VA, he now works from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.