One of the fun things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is trying to figure out how our reality fits in, timeline-wise, with the world created in Marvel's films and television shows. And when it comes to that puzzle, an enduring question fans keep coming back to is a pretty straightforward one: who the president in the MCU is currently. Now one fans things they've solved it -- and the answer is Donald Trump.
Over on Reddit's Marvel Studios community, redditor "mattgargus" has come up with an involved, but very well-considered timeline that breaks down who has held the highest office in the American government for the past 15 years. You can check out the theory in full here but keep reading for the general breakdown.
The theory relies on two things to conclude that, in the MCU as in the real world, Trump was elected in 2016: references within the MCU itself and an understanding of the real presidential timeline. According to the theory, Barack Obama has to have been elected president a little earlier in the MCU than in real life -- 2004 instead of 2008. They arrive at this based on references in Luke Cage as well as Iron Man 2, but specifically it's something Nico Minoru says in Runaways that makes the math add up. Nico says that her parents haven't been on a date since the Obama administration. Given the strained relationship between the Minorus in Runaways, Nico probably wasn't referring to just a year or two before and we know thanks to who was president in Iron Man 3, it had to be pre-2008.
You see, in Iron Man 3 the fictional Matthew Ellis is president and has been for a few years. With Iron Man 3 set in 2012, it's easy to consider that he was elected in 2008. That means that Obama would have had to have been elected at 2004 at the latest. It's something that is possible because we also know that 9/11 happened in the MCU's reality. It's mentioned in Season 1 of The Punisher. If 9/11 happened as it did in reality with George W. Bush as president, it's not terribly difficult to imagine that perhaps if Obama ran in 2003, he could have been elected, making Bush a one-term president.
With Obama's election to office being pushed back to 2004, it leaves enough time for something else we know to have happened in the MCU -- Ellis being re-elected in 2012. This is verified by Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That then leads to 2016 and the election of Trump as president. We know this exists in the MCU even if Trump isn't explicitly mentioned by name. on Runaways, Hillary Clinton's "I'm With Her" slogan is altered to be "I'm With Gert" while on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the concept of "fake news" is referenced.
And honestly, considering everything that's gone down in the MCU, it isn't too hard to imagine that Trump's populist rhetoric would land well with a certain base of voters.
Now, there are always elements of theories that can be picked apart. Some comments on the Reddit post question the political affiliation of Ellis. Others think the Obama timeline could be shifted around a bit more. Still others note that the television series really don't have a genuine connection to the MCU the way the movies do. Still, even with those little nitpicks, it seems like pretty reasonable logic that Trump is president in the world of the MCU.
Unless, of course, he got snapped in Infinity War. That's always a possibility, one that fans will have to wait to find out about when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters in April.1comments
What do you think? Is Trump -- or at least a fictional take on him -- president in the reality of the MCU? Let us know in the comments below.
Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters April 26th.