Master of the Tweet
Now that the threat of impeachment has dwindled away to nothing, the time has come to clear the decks for 2020 by removing all further impediments, obstacles, and annoyances from the path of Donald Trump. A crucial part of this effort will be closing the book on all further criticism of DJT’s tweets.
We have all seen no end of pieces criticizing, condemning and apologizing for Trump’s use of the tweet as his major weapon for undermining the left-wing media monopoly, driving his opponents into a frenzy, and striking fear and confusion into the left. In truth, seldom if ever are Trump’s tweets mentioned in any context at all without the writer shuffling his feet, dropping his head in shame and whimpering, “Maybe he shouldn’t do that… uh, right?”
Not all these people are #NeverTrumpers. Many of them mean well, and are sincerely concerned with the impression that Trump makes and the unintended consequences that may result. But all of it, no matter what the intent, is without exception an exercise in missing the point.
That point is that DJT has honed the tweet, which on the face of it is no more than a social media comment limited in wordage to 280 (though most tweets use much fewer), where only basic concepts can adequately communicated, into a powerful weapon, a means of communication operating beneath the level of media interference that speaks to the public in language that voters understand and deals in concepts that are so intertwined with synthetic PC regulations that they can be handled publicly in no other way.
This marks Trump’s major contribution to the politics of the Infowave epoch, one that no one foresaw and that no one knows how to deal with. The standard Silicon Valley method of handling dissent – banning the violator – won’t work here. Much as Jack Dorsey would love to do it, you can’t ban the President of the United States.
So Trump blithely continues tweeting, at his leisure and in his own time, on topics of his choosing and expressing them in his own unique style. Each tweet is utterly unpredictable, and all of them seem to strike at a weak spot in the American left’s defenses, like cruise missiles coming out of nowhere, striking their target and leaving the enemy with no means of counterstriking. The wails, shrieks, and gibbering arise from the left, and Trump moves on without even bothering to answer. With his tweets, which cost him nothing and require almost no effort, Trump has done more damage to the left than the last half-dozen Republican presidents.
It’s true that he has fumbled his tweets in the past. The notorious Khizr Khan and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz tweets of the 2016 campaign are nothing to be proud of. For a few days, I truly believed that he’d blown his electoral chances with the obtuse and crude Khan tweets, and there are still people out there who believe to this day that Ted Cruz, one the most valuable, and not to put too fine a point on it, noble politicians in the United States, had some connection to the JFK assassination because the President said so.
But everybody makes errors, particularly in evolving a new technique, a process that relies on working through failures. And it can’t be said that Trump has made any such errors lately. His use of the tweet in recent years has been no less than adroit, the results a marvel. They and their effect will be studied for decades to come.
Just consider the “go back where you came from” tweet aimed at the Squad, the most noxious, imbecilic, and vicious gaggle of pols to come down the pike in a long while. Both leftists and Republicans were quick to point out Trump’s grievous error – that the only actual immigrant among them was Ilhan Omar/Elmi. But if Trump had singled her out in the first place, all efforts would have dedicated to protecting the doll-like child-woman Ilhan from assault by Orange Man. As it was, they had to go into detail, in the process underlining exactly what Trump meant in the first place – that Omar/Elmi (or whatever name she’s using this week) originated from Somalia, the most dysfunctional state on the face of the Earth, and that any Somalian has absolutely nothing to tell any American (beyond perhaps how to construct an effective IED or properly aim a rocket-propelled grenade). The left wound up making Trump’s case for him, tarring the rest of the Squad as a byproduct.
Trump welded the Democrats, who had been trying desperately to distance themselves from what they correctly perceived to be a pack of crazies, to the Squad. Omar/Elmi, Sandy O, Tlaib, and the other one whose name I forget have now become the face of the Democratic Party. All their upcoming antics, obtuse blurts, anti-Semitic ravings, and trials and prison sentences will be taken as archetypal Democratic. Trump will not be running against the nominee in 2020 – he will be running against the Squad.
To top it off, his popularity in the polls shot up 5%.
All this with only a handful of words. How is this less than brilliant?
The same can be said of Trump’s latest violation of Twitter good taste against Elijah Cummings, who has for decades posed as a champion of civil rights while doing absolutely nothing for his miserable Baltimore constituents living in what amounts to the American Somalia. Trump immediately put Cummings – and the left – on the defensive, rendering Cummings’ border machinations irrelevant and shifting the argument to territory where Cummings is most vulnerable – his actual record in Congress. The left’s response was less than impressive. One left-wing critic on CNN burst into tears as he bemoaned Trump’s use of the term “infested” to describe Baltimore’s slums. A political movement that has been reduced to tears is one that not much can be expected from.
Clearly, the mighty American left has been reduced to a posse of neurotic twitches trembling as they wait to see what DJT tweets next. How many other 73-year-olds have mastered the internet to this extent?
To deprive Trump of the tweet would be to deprive Cyrano of his sword, Bond of his Walther, or Richtofen of his Fokker Triplane. It would be worse than a blunder, it would be a crime. The GOP and conservatism in general have been on the run for decades. It was Donald Trump who turned this around, and in no small part due to the weapon he has created in the aggressive tweet. It’s time to recognize that the 1890s are long over, that the day of white-glove politics has ended, and that any weapon is acceptable against the kind of trash that comprises the modern American left. Trump’s supporters should not be criticizing him or turning away in embarrassment – they should be paying close attention to learn how it’s done.