You should be eternally grateful that the worst thing you can really say about Donald Trump is that he’s mean to knuckleheads on social media – and that literally is the worst thing you can say about Donald Trump without stepping into the territory of my new book, The 21 Biggest Lies About Donald Trump (and You!). Yeah, sometimes he tweets mean things, but always about terrible people. Get over it.
You should be glad he’s not, you know, destroying your healthcare, invading Iraq, or defiling the Oval Office like the last three nice guy tweeters did. So he’s poking Joe Scarborough, whose only fan is Nickelback because his music (Trigger Warning – NSFE: Not Safe For Ears) keeps them from being rock’s saddest punchline?
What’s the problem? Is Scarborough going to cry? In what way does his fussy fury matter?
This is purely an aesthetic critique – mean tweets just don’t seem to be something we would think that a president would do. It’s unseemly, they tut-tut. But so what? Thousands of parents have had their kids come home alive from a hitch in the service because Trump didn’t send them off to Whocaresistan to die in whatever new war cruise ship commando Bill Kristol and his lame establishment pals dreamed up. Dead soldiers, now that’s unseemly. And having a president who doesn’t squander their lives just because the establishment insists on it as a fair trade for a few jabs about Mr. Mika’s intern mortality rate.
I love Trump’s tweeting, from his eccentric grammar to his wacky capitalization, from his occasional hilarious typos to his caustic venom when he’s in full effect mode. I love how he uses his tweets to seize and set the narrative, and I love watching the debate suddenly become not, say, if gropey Grandpa Badfinger is senile but just how demented he is. And if Trump didn’t tweet, we wouldn’t have “covfefe,” and western civilization would be less grand for it.
But I may be a minority. Many of us on the conservative tip who don’t wear their “Hardcore” tab on their left shoulder are troubled by his social media mongering. These are nice people who feel most comfortable with other nice people (which is why it is sometimes hard to get them woke to how the libs truly hate them and want them disenfranchised, enslaved, or worse), and they are concerned because Trump is not the norm. But they should be concerned that the spongey likes of Jeb! and Mitt Romney (“R”- Miracle Whip) – who would never dream of tweeting something interesting, much less something inflammatory – are the norm, because the gentleman loser norm isn’t cutting it anymore.
You talk to these folks and they really like all the conservative things Trump has done. Judges – yay! Protecting the Second Amendment – huzzah! Record low unemployment pre-pangolin pandemic panic – whoopee! But they inevitably, every time, shake their heads and sigh and wish that Trump would just stop with his infernal tweeting.
But he can’t stop tweeting. It’s who he is. Trump is like the scorpion that the frog lets ride on his back across the river who then stings the frog because that’s who the scorpion is. Except in this analogy, the frog carries Trump over the water and, on the way across, Trump is on his iPhone tweeting about how dumb Don Lemon is.
The fact is that Trump is a human being, not a Golden Corral – you don’t get to pile up only the stuff you want on your plate and leave the stuff that you don’t want on the steam table. If you want a fighter, and we did and do want a fighter, then you can’t start freaking out because he throws a punch.
Leaving aside that Trump is not a bully who starts these fights – that’s Lie No. 16 in my new book – the fact is that we didn’t elect Donald Trump to be President Feelgood Happy Time. We elected him to take a sledgehammer to the garbage establishment whose corruption, incompetence, and greed impoverished, insulted, and sometimes even killed normal Americans, regardless of which half of what the great Michael Walsh labeled the Bipartisan Fusion Party sat in the White House. And when you elect a sledgehammerer – and Trump is the John Henry of American politics – don’t come to me shaking your head muttering, “Goodness gracious, I expected him to be more subtle.”
Yet, as ubiquitous as the complaints about his tweeting are – it’s an absolute staple of any mainstream media anthropological study of Homo Trumpicus conducted out in the wilds of actual America – I am not convinced that people really care all that much about his lack of social media graces. Instead of being a substantive objection to him, perhaps such desultory head-shakes over his mean tweets are simply a way to signify nostalgia for a time when a human jackhammer like Trump was unnecessary. Of course, Trump did not destroy the hazily-recalled and largely mythical genteel world of norms and unwritten rules – Trump was the avenging response to an establishment that itself gleefully blew up those norms and unwritten rules with the cultural C4 that was “Bu$Hitler” chants and claims that Mitt Romney enjoyed infecting innocent workers with cancer when he wasn’t busy plotting the return of slavery.
Those expressing reservations about Trump’s tweets always do so with a “but,” as in “I really wish he wouldn’t tweet so much, BUT I’m still voting for him.” They understand the necessity of Trump, but also wish his brand of flamethrowing was not necessary. What they are doing when they bemoan his tweeting is registering their preference for another era, one where the left was not out to destroy America as currently constituted, along with the normals who constitute it.
But in the real world of today, the left is out to destroy America as currently constituted, along with the normals who constitute it, and if some social media drama is the price of victory so be it.
Mr. President, #KeepTweeting.