Those of you who follow the news no doubt saw the important, world-changing event that President-elect Donald Trump was involved in earlier this week:
Wait, sorry, I didn't mean the total non-event of two insane yet oddly brilliant entertainers meeting each other and somehow making the front page of major news publications. I meant this newsworthy event:
Oops, no, wrong again. Sorry! I didn't mean the "news" that a recount confirmed that the man who won the election did, in fact, win the election. What I meant to bring up was a little announcement sandwiched in between those two tweets:
Yeah, in addition to meeting Yeezy and bragging about 131 votes like he was running for president of the junior high student body, Trump announced that Rex Tillerson would be his secretary of state. It's one of the most important positions in the American government, and it was not a move that went over well, to put it lightly.
Tillerson has no political experience, sports ties to the Russian government, and hasn't made many of his political positions public, which may not make him the suuuper best pick to represent America's interests abroad. But regardless of whether you like him or not, the point is that the decision was controversial. So it was announced by Trump on the same day he announced that yes, he had still won, and also that he had just picked up some sweet tips for making a mixtape.
And if you dig into Trump's tweets, as I've had the misfortune of doing, you'll notice that this is a trend. He says one or two things that are stupid, irrelevant, or even offensive (to people who already don't like him), and once that becomes the story of the day, something more important but boring quietly gets announced. It's a strategy dudes use in sitcoms to distract their girlfriends from bad news. ("How was your day, honey?" "Oh, you know, I had a great lunch, fixed Steve's mistakes at work, and, uh, crashedyourcar. You know, same old.") And it's being used by a man who's about to be the goddamn president. Let's look at what Trump tweeted on December 7th.
Trump insulted the leader of a labor union that most people have never heard of. That caused a storm of "Hey, what was with that dick move?" tweets and news articles. On the same day, he named Scott Pruitt, a man with close ties to the fossil fuel industry and who doesn't believe in climate change, to run the Environmental Protection Agency. That's not even putting the fox in charge of the hen house; that's just telling the fox to put its feet up while you make it some fucking chicken wings.
December 10th saw Trump talking about football and the television equivalent of an anal prolapse better known as The Apprentice ...
... on the same day that the "CIA [concluded] with 'high confidence' Russia tried 'to help Trump get elected.'" That's almost like the plot of a TV show that Trump shouldn't work on. How about November 19th and 20th, just a few days into Year Zero?
Complaints about Saturday Night Live (a show he hosted) and Hamilton (a show I would pay the price of a front-row ticket to never have to hear another goddamn word about) came right after Trump settled the Trump University lawsuit by paying $25 million to avoid having to go to court and admit that his teachers were essentially high-end robbers. The president-elect, a man who ran on the strength of his business prowess, distracted us from the story of his business scam with the absurd notion that Saturday Night Live is still culturally relevant and that musicals are actually enjoyable, which is like a cat being distracted by a laser pointer with a broken battery.
On November 22nd, he tried to pick a fight with The New York Times ...
... and a day later, while we were still trying to figure out what the hell that was all about, he quietly announced that NASA's climate change research would be scrapped because it's "politicized science." You know, the kind of science where you study the nuance and implication of facts that make some people sad, like all those politicized studies about cigarettes causing cancer. But you can see the same pattern: Trump tweets something bombastic and nonsensical, then makes a low-key announcement about actual policy. Trump is like a boxer whose signature move is distracting his opponent by flashing his penis, and we keep getting shocked by it every time.
And this is all what's happened in the weeks after Trump got elected and the rest of the world started looking at America like it's the international equivalent of the kid who acts like he wants to shoot up the school. On October 12th, when Trump was accused of intentionally walking in on underage beauty pageant contestants while they were changing, Trump complained about the media ignoring WikiLeaks, even though that's how you're supposed to treat petulant children. He also mocked Hillary Clinton, who was running for president, for not yet accomplishing the things she said she would try to do if she became president.
On October 1st, when the failing New York Times announced that successful businessman Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 taxes and may have avoided paying taxes for the next 18 years because of it, Trump was complaining about the sound level during a debate.
On June 20th, when Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired over an accusation that he grabbed and bruised a reporter, Trump was tweeting a clarification of his argument on how the day could have been saved at the Pulse nightclub shooting. Because that's what everyone looks for in a tragedy: retroactive finger-pointing from our leaders.
And on March 11th, when Trump University was in the news for being terrible again, Trump was randomly insulting Politico and The New York Daily News.
I'm going to stop there, because you're probably sick of seeing Trump's scandals recapped for what feels like the thousandth time, god knows I'm sick of reading his Twitter account, and by this point, you either get the idea or have jumped down to the comments to call me something you think is clever and which will make your parents just super proud of you. But whenever you see Trump tweet something stupid, which is often, put aside the knee-jerk reaction to gawk and remember that there's probably something far more important but much more boring going on. And even worse, we all might have to read more than 140 characters to get the gist of it.
It's tempting to get mad at Trump for all of this, but remember the timeless expression "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me several dozen times, oops, we elected a rambling demagogue." Trump's the one saying the words, but he's not clicking on the headlines about nothing and gossiping on social media. Or, to put it another way, if we're all more concerned about who laughed at our tweets about Trump meeting Kayne than we are about who's being put in charge of the government, maybe we shouldn't be so shocked that he got elected.
For more insane Trump secrets check out 8 Less Known Trump Stories That'd Derail Any Other Campaign and find out how we all got into this nightmare mess in How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind.
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