Donald Trump with Newsweek and Economist Covers

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Remix by Andrew Couts

2 new magazine covers sum up Trump’s America right now

Times are tense in America right now—and it's just the beginning.


Andrew Couts


Posted on Aug 4, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 9:40 pm CDT

Lazy and dangerous—that’s how two major publications are describing President Donald Trump following a wild week that caps off a tumultuous first six months.

The first eye-grabbing cover adorns the latest issue of Newsweek. It features Trump, slumped in a chair, Cheetos littered across his lap, a remote in his hand, under the headline “LAZY BOY.”

The article that accompanies the provocative cover paints the picture of a “boy king” president who, one-seventh of the way into his first term in office, is both “bored” by the job of leader of the free world and so “overwhelmed and frustrated” by the task of governing that he regularly drops what he’s doing to golf.

The second cover, from the Economist, adds a dose of apocalyptic doom to the mix. Featuring an illustration of a nuclear mushroom cloud embodying the faces of Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (and a small Twitter-esque bird), the cover encapsulates the other part of the Trump era equation: The threat of mass destruction.

Nuclear war with North Korea took a step too far into the realm of possibility last week when the Hermit kingdom launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking California. It is an act of appalling aggression from a country that has long thought itself as America’s enemy no. 1.

As the Economist writes in its cover story, “How to Avoid Nuclear War with North Korea”:

“In charge of this terrifying arsenal is a man who was brought up as a demigod and cares nothing for human life—witness the innocents beaten to death with hammers in his gigantic gulag. Last week his foreign ministry vowed that if the regime’s ‘supreme dignity’ is threatened, it will ‘pre-emptively annihilate’ the countries that threaten it, with all means ‘including the nuclear ones.’ Only a fool could fail to be alarmed.”

Indeed—Americans are alarmed. A Washington Post–ABC News poll released last month found a record-high 66 percent of respondents view North Korea as a “serious threat” and 39 percent are concerned about a “full-scale war” with the country.

Adding to this concern, no doubt, is Trump’s decision to try to manhandle North Korea publicly on Twitter. This is not an accident nor a result of Trump sitting around being bored. Rather, it is an intentional White House strategy.

Speaking with Fox News this week, Trump national security adviser Sebastian Gorka said the president’s Twitter feed was one of the administration’s most valuable means of pressuring China into reigning in North Korea.

The news out of Trump’s America is not all bad, of course. The economy added 209,000 jobs in July, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.3 percent, a 16-year low. The stock market, meanwhile, is booming. But the sense of lurking disaster permeates across the American expanse.

If many Americans view Trump as lazy and dangerous, as these covers suggest, it seems only right to ask, what explosive tweet will Trump post during his long vacation?

Share this article
*First Published: Aug 4, 2017, 11:20 am CDT