Happy Fifth Anniversary to the Dumbest Tweet of All Time
September 11th is, of course, a day of incredible importance in American history. National treasure Ludacris was born on September 11th. Jay-Z dropped the classic album The Blueprint on September 11th, 2001 and exactly five years ago, on September 11th, 2013, a racist reality show clown named Donald Trump composed the single stupidest tweet when he wrote on this most solemn of days, “I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”
There were so many places Trump could have gone with the tweet. He could have effusively praised, possibly even by name, his beloved first responders for having risked life and limb running into burning buildings and dodging fatal debris in search of lives to save. He could have gone the patriotic route and written about how our response to the terrorist attacks illustrated the greatness and resilience of the American people are our indefatigable fighting spirit. He could have hailed the leadership of his future lawyer/flunky/sidekick/mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani.
Instead, Trump adopted a bizarrely upbeat tone more appropriate to the opening of a new Spenser’s Gifts or Trump Casino than the anniversary of a day widely considered one of the saddest, most tragic and death-saturated in American history to send an ironic, tongue-in-cheek shout out to the “losers and haters” on what he describes, with fumbling non-eloquence, as “this special date, September 11th.”
Tragedies make people think about what’s really important. They blast away all the bullshit and pretense and posturing and force us to wrestle with the essential, with death, with life, with the great, grand unknowable meaning of it all.
What did Trump find important and essential in his tweet commemorating the 12th anniversary of a horrific, historic day burned indelibly into the minds of Americans, particularly New Yorkers, some with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Obviously not the dead or the destroyed buildings or firefighters or first responders or America’s Mayor, none of whom are mentioned in the tweet.
Instead, he makes this about him. He makes it all about his paranoid worldview and sense of himself as a righteous warrior for truth and justice beset at all sides by sinister conspirators and jealousy-choked saboteurs out to destroy his kingdom and the King Lear-like fool at the top.
Trump genuinely seems to think that one of the greatest strengths is his ability to not only make enemies, but also to zealously cultivate those enemies, attacking them whenever and wherever as a way of broadcasting to a sometimes forgetful world just how much he despises them and everything they stand for.
Trump decided to spend September 11th shouting out his haters because on some subconscious level, Trump realizes that his true identity is as a hater, an online troll, a racist white man who saw a beautiful, composed, elegant black man with an foreign-sounding name overcome incredible obstacles and attain ultimate power and decided to devote the rest of his life to destroying everything his predecessor created, verbally attacking him at every turn in an overwhelmingly one-sided war of words.
I would not be surprised if Trump genuinely thought that John McCain’s biggest, and only real distinction was being a Trump enemy.
Looking at the tweet anew this morning I realized it may have an even darker, even more repellent context/meaning than I previously imagined. At best, this is an astonishingly glib, tone-deaf and self-centered response to the anniversary of a tragedy. But when you remember that in the white-hot immediate aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, Donald Trump bragged that now that the towers were down a building he owned at 40 Wall Street was now the tallest building in downtown Manhattan, the tweet takes on a different connotation.
With that in mind, Trump’s tweet begins to make sense as an exceedingly bad-taste victory lap from a man who couldn’t keep from mentioning that now that all those people were dead and a rival building was reduced to flaming rubble the Donald had come out on top all over again and owned the biggest, most exciting, most luxurious, most non-destroyed-by-terrorists building in all of downtown Manhattan. In that context, the line about the “haters and losers” makes a lot more sense.
Now I am now saying that Trump is evil enough to subliminally brag about one of his buildings coming out on top in a 9/11 remembrance tweet, but would you really put that past him, given all that you know about Trump and his Donald Trump-centered worldview?
We used to be able to laugh at tweets like Trump’s bafflingly tone-deaf shout out to his haters. That was before he had access to our nuclear arsenal. Now we laugh to keep from crying and because seeing Trump as a cosmic sick joke from a deity with a very strange, very dark sense of humor is a way of keeping sane and not giving in to hopelessness in these dark days.
I make my living through crowd-funding, and happily accept pledges from people who self-identify as losers and haters so if you would be kind enough to consider pledging as little as a dollar over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace that’d be