Trump’s tweet show should make everyone fear for their lives and the sanctity of this country during his presidency.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

I joined Twitter in 2009, an early(ish) adopter. I thought it was a fun aside but something to easily tire of, like Farmville. Little did I know it would become a monster. But that’s what happens to a lot of fun things, they start out as a little distraction, a lark, and then they make addicts of us.

Donald Trump for his myriad flaws, pathos and tendencies that register high on the Psychopathy Spectrum, is also a man of ill-manner, zero substance and no attention span, so it would stand to reason that a toy built to sate a pre-teen’s short bandwidth for reason yet constant need for stimulus and approval would be his chief form of communication.

You know by now why this is bad, besides the obvious debasing of media (the only time he addresses them is when he calls them dishonest or liars, see: below. That’s not good. You know, real Dictator 101 stuff) but the emerging notion that his party, the party that opposes him, and the American people (not to mention, the, um, world) are going to have to endure this form of staccato flame throwing as the new norm in communication is fucking INSANE.

As a private citizen, he can do or say or post whatever the fuck he chooses on Twitter. Scabby dick pics, disastrous taco salads, the staples that attach his merkin made out of young fox fur to his scalp—whatever. He can even bitch and moan and threaten to quit the platform because there’s no swastika or burning cross emojis. That’s fine, go nuts with your burnt-to-the-nub digits you crazy, syphilitic old man.

But it is simply a bad idea to have as leader of the free world a troubled child with a lit match, a can of kerosene and the wifi password locked inside the principal’s office. Nothing. I repeat, nothing good will come of this.

The reasons are threefold:

  1. His tweets are a one-way street: A perfect example is the mainstream media’s (including CNN and the NYT) rush to give Trump credit earlier this week for holding congress’ feet to the fire for their not-so-covert convening over a midnight seance to exorcise the demon of their own ethics commission in order to clear an even clearer path for misdeeds. Trump was not admonishing them for carrying out such dastardly deeds, he was actually saying, “Just don’t do that first.” You can burn down the village but just be sure to rape and pillage first is what he was saying. Because he wasn’t forced to stand up and explain himself or what he REALLY meant, 140 characters at a time is all the what-used-to-be-free press had to go on. Trump can then use this method time and time and time again AGAINST the media and say they’re putting words in his mouth when, in fact, it’s his fault for throwing ill-formed and half-assed communication out there. See how that works?
  2. It is FUCKING RIDICULOUS: Stand up like a man and defend your policies, get grilled and chastised when you don’t tell the truth. Learn the details and don’t use distraction. In other words, in a press conference when things aren’t going right, which will be the case pretty much every time, you can’t just say look at a 16-year-old’s “album sales” to throw people off the scent. Yet, as insane as that sounds, that’s EXACTLY what he does. C’mon Don, face the nation that somehow elected you. Instead he is hiding. He plans to govern from a bunker or a lofty dark tower. And the ironic part is the media is forced to have to accept this Three-card Monte as transparency or legitimacy. Imagine if the World Series of Poker were held in individual dark rooms where players could isolate themselves and text in their moves and bets. It wouldn’t be poker anymore, because as we all know, poker is as much about tells and personalities as it is about cards. Politics is the EXACT SAME THING. To have Trump be the only one playing from a well-guarded position of power, well, it’s not only not ethical or the norm, but it’s not fair.
  3. He can always backpedal without clarification and continue to change the narrative on the fly, and that is gaslighting: This is kind of a combination of points one and two, but it’s worth noting. After weeks and weeks and weeks of refusing daily briefings and pretending not to acknowledge the very real, very hard evidence from 17 intelligence agencies that our election was hacked by Russians, reports surfaced that the alienation of the intelligence community will not serve him well once in office. So Donald J. Trump switches sides of the canoe and begins to paddle back upstream with a pair of tweets:

…Here he accomplishes two things: 1) He further debases the importance and veracity of the media (once again calling them dishonest and liars) and 2) He pretends everything he’s said and done (and tweeted) over the last six weeks did not happen. He is the dishonest one. He is the liar. But in upside-down gaslighter world, we are supposed to think it’s us who is no-quotes crazy.

Fuck.

And then he simply goes on and does what trolls do best on Twitter, name-calling. Here in his olive branch set of tweets encouraging Dems and Republicans to work together to come up with a healthcare initiative (hint: we already have one) he calls his home state senator Chuck Schumer the Dems’ “head clown”:

And then less than ten minutes later asks for unity?

Hey man, sorry I just gave you a bloody nose, pushed you down in front of your girl and stole your lunch money, but let’s work together to make this playground great again.

I’m OK with the notion that Dr. Evil or Biff Tannen has sent Trump back from the future at such a time that Americans had become dumb enough to even cast a single vote for a ruinous cretin. If it weren’t so tragic it would be funny as fuck. However, there are big stakes out there, entire populations of people in the, you know, actual world that are watching us hang by a frayed thread of ones and zeros and wondering if and when we are the first domino to fall because of this ruthless Juggalo, what happens next.

I’m also talking about what reactions other countries and NGOs will have to his constant barrage of fear-mongering, name-calling and short finger-pointing. At first they may do what China is doing and try to smoke him out by not taking his tweets seriously. That is actually the correct and measured approach (hey, if he can praise Mother Russia, I can give China some credit on their diplomacy—yes, we live in upside-down world) but eventually it’s going to be enough is enough from the other big boys down the block. Remember, he hasn’t yet taken office.

He will be treated by the rest of the world community either like a harmful zealot, a scabrous lunatic or a petulant teenager in need of corrective action, or all three. And make no mistake: whatever punishment comes down on him, comes down on us.

None of this will turn out in our favor. America is now playing the part of the desperate parent of the teen pop sensation. When the rest of the world emancipates itself from us and takes their money and talents away and we say, “Fine, see how you do without us…oops, please take us back” Trump’s tweets won’t seem so funny.

Thanks in large part to him we are quickly losing footing as the world’s technological, innovation and tolerance leaders. Instead, we are downing shots at the bar well past blackout, thinking that morning will never come, that consequence: the obliteration of the dollar, meaningful and consistent attacks on home soil, and the corruption and corrosion of Western society in general isn’t a possibility.

It is. It is happening now. And if you need any proof, log on and get a tutorial on how to kill a 240-year-old country 140 characters at a time.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of the novellaBurgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.

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