Trump. He is a president that loves tweeting so much that perhaps in the distant future, assuming we have a future, I imagine that history books will refer to him as “Trump the Tweeter”. President Trump has already gifted the world with a series of Tweets. Ranging from the inflammatory, the terrifying and just downright confusing. Last nights Tweet fell into the latter category. At the dead of midnight the President tweeted to his 30 million followers the cryptic phrase: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”
Twitter and the media went into overdrive. #Covfefe quickly began trending and the Meme Factory went into overdrive, producing hundreds of, admittedly pretty funny, takes on Trumps Tweet. Lengthy arguments about the correct pronunciation ensued, even the Miriam Webster dictionary got in on the fun.
📈 Lookups fo…
Regrets checking Twitter.
Goes back to bed.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 31, 2017
Here’s the thing though. While Covfefe does play into the narrative of Trump’s propensity for stupid tweets it is almost certainly nothing more than a typo. We can joke about hidden meanings as much as we like but it’s clear that Trump was about to claim that his foreign tour has been a great success, despite negative press coverage.
What “Negative Press Covfefe” was Trump referring to?
There’s a lot of it. Lets begin with the big one. Trump refused to confirm America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Treaty. Given Trump’s views that climate change is a fabrication this is a strong indication he was going to pull America out of the Paris Climate Treaty. A treaty that is broadly considered as our last hail Mary shot at actually preventing the worst effects of climate change.
On top of numerous faux pas, the president refused to commit to continue to protect America’s NATO allies in Europe. The President has achieved something that Russia has failed to accomplish for more than six decades. He may finally have ended the alliance between America and Europe.
The President also made the biggest arms deal in American History with Saudi Arabia, a nation that he himself once accused of being involved in the 9/11 plots. Trump is selling arms to a regime that has among the worst human rights records in the world. A regime that has regularly been accused of supporting an extremist vision of Whabbism. President Trump, a President who campaigned on keeping America safe, has sold weapons to a nation that he himself has denounced as enemies of America. It all sounds bad enough and we haven’t even got into the hidden costs involved in the controversial deal. In particular continued American support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
By the most generous definition I can think of, Trumps first foreign tour has been mixed at best. Personally I would be inclined to describe it as an unmitigated disaster. In his first tour President Trump has managed to: alienate America’s European allies, abandon any pretext that America will work with the rest of the World on climate change and cosy up to a regime with one of the world’s worst Human rights records.
Yet all we talk about is Covfefe
In short, Trump’s first world tour was a disaster but what’s trending on Twitter? Not #SaudiArmsDeal Not #DefendNATO not #ParisTreaty. The trending topic is #Covfefe.
The trending topic is a word that is clearly little more than the typo of a man desperately stabbing his fingers against his smartphone screen to defend himself in the face of massive criticism.
I understand that it is easier to make fun of the man, hell, I’d even agree that it helps to De-legitimize him but here’s the thing, we cannot equate Mockery with fighting back. You absolutely should talk about Covfefe, talk about how Trump looks like a cut rate super villain in that picture with the orb and obviously we need talk about how tiny his hands are.
Just remember that you also need to talk about the important things. You need to talk about how Trump’s actions are undermining our collective security. You need to talk about how his views on climate change could lead to an end to international efforts to combat it. You need to talk about how Trump is continuing the mistakes of previous administrations by getting into bed with Saudi Arabia.
Trump is going to say and do stupid and funny things every single day. We need to learn how to filter out the noise and focus on the important stuff.