If someone less focused than Donald Trump were president of the United States right now, I’d be worried. My concern would be based on my imagining our nation’s enemies chuckling about the cluelessness of our people, who compared to most of the rest of the world have no actual problems – at least not enough to keep them from obsessing over the slightest thing anyone in the public eye does. In this case, the obsession is about President Trump’s late night tweet: “covfefe.”
In the wee hours of the night as the date changed from May 30 to 31, the president – famously known to be a virtually sleepless night owl – dispatched yet another after-hours tweet: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” For one thing, “covfefe” is obviously not a word. For another, even if it were a typo for the word “coverage,” that is stillan incomplete thought (“Despite the constant negative press coverage…”)
As the Twitter subculture breathlessly waited for a follow-up, none came.
Then, the jokes started pouring in. The problem is that a late night tweet from Trump that contains the non-word “covfefe” is like a lob pass in basketball: anything less than catching it and slam dunking the ball in spectacular fashion is anticlimactic.
Case in point: one of the memes I saw was Trump dressed as the late pop icon Prince, with “Little Red Covfefe” written across the bottom – a play on words in reference to Prince’s hit song “Little Red Corvette.” Now that’s clever. In stark contrast, Hillary Clinton – who still won’t go away – said: “I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.” Yeah, not that funny. It’s like catching the lob and gently laying it in off the backboard. And Senator Al Franken remarked: “A covfefe is a Yiddish term for ‘I got to go to bed now,'” Even less funny. In Hillary’s defense, no one ever paid her to be tell jokes. Yeesh, Senator Al, at least progressives like Bill Maher are funny.
To modify Mark Twain’s famous quote, the reports of a president’s word affecting world events in an instant are greatly exaggerated. Sorry, drama queens, but not everything a president says will cause world markets to rattle. Not unless the words are to Congress, issuing a formal declaration of war.
Those who spend their time trying to psychoanalyze why Trump tweets, what his tweets mean, and how his tweets will affect world events have far too much time on their hands. Far too many armchair psychiatrists think they have the president figured out. “He just wants attention,” they surmise. “He is a narcissist who cannot stand to be out of the limelight, even in the middle of the night.”
Or maybe the covfefe explanation boils down to one word: gadgetry. I am rather capable navigating most modern technological devices, and yet I make mistakes on a fairly regular basis. Like talking to someone and inadvertently sending my gibberish as a voice-recognized text to an unintended recipient, calling someone I hadn’t talked to in a couple of years in the middle of the night by accident, and quite recently, accidentally friending on Facebook someone I don’t even know (a friend of a friend) because I pushed the wrong button on my phone app. (And, by the way, I won’t unfriend him, because I think “unfriending” is the single rudest societal behavior of the 21st century thus far. But, I digress…) So, covfefe might just be an e-mistake.
Another explanation might be that Trump tweeted covfefe on purpose, just to cause the social media frenzy in the middle of the night and to keep the discussion going in the ensuing days. If that were the case, I would think: “I knew he was good, but wow – he’s really good!”
Or maybe he sleeptweets. Okay, not particularly funny. But no less unremarkably funny than Hillary’s quip, or that of professional comedian Al Franken.
Americans need to stop treating celebrities as deities – ones they worship, fear, or loathe – even if the celebrities in question are presidents. But, because that will not happen anytime soon – it is too much to expect Americans to grow up – I say, keep the covfefe tweets coming, Mr. President.
Most people, whether Trump supporters or detractors, tell me they wish he’d stop tweeting. His own wife, Melania, perfectly encapsulated in two words what most ailed her husband’s rocky (though ultimately successful) presidential campaign: “no retweet.” While I understand their point, I say the tweets don’t matter a whole lot.
Consider that our last two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, were consummate gentlemen. Straightlaced family men with a strong moral code, mostly polite and even deferential to the media, and rarely antagonistic in their words. And what did that get them? Tremendous hate by varying groups of millions of Americans, almost complete lack of support by the opposition party in Congress, and far less respect on the world stage – despite false narratives to the contrary – than one would expect regarding an American president.
“But his words embolden the terrorists,” the detractors will reply. Really? Were they any less emboldened during the eight years of President Nice Guy?
Since “haters gonna hate” anyway, at least Trump actually gives them something to hate.
Though this closing paragraph contains a topic suitable for expansion into an entire piece, it is worth mentioning in the context of covfefe. Think of the typical Trump supporter as a rebellious teenager angry at his/her parents, who are the establishment. At times, they may cut off their nose to spite their face; do something that hurts them, just for the satisfaction of knowing it upsets their parents as well.
That’s why Trumpies say: “oh, so you have a problem with covfefe? Then covfefe it shall be! In fact, we say: Trump/Covfefe 2020!”