How do you solve a problem like Trump’s tweets? Mallick

What is to be done with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s tweets?

There they sit like unexploded bombs, or rabbit pellets, cat hairballs, a dropped pill found on the bathroom floor. Is it carfentanil or baby Aspirin? Must it be picked up with tongs and bagged? Perhaps it should simply be swallowed, and one’s fate placidly awaited.

Shall we call the police?

There are no police for this situation in which we find ourselves. American forces work for him. Interpol isn’t interested.

If Twitter is the chicken, Trump is the giblets. Jack Dorsey of Twitter is betting his business on a madman’s mutterings, Beijing and Berlin stir restlessly as they read brief invented accusations, a sharp wind blows across the Russian steppes on desolate late afternoons as the sun fades. Putin twitches as he peers at his iPhone.

At one point, I blocked Trump. It had come to this: I was blocking the thought stream of the next president of the United States because I don’t like proximity to disordered minds.

Then I’d read the responses of intelligent people to Trump tweets — they offered hard facts, comedy, astonishment, disgust — and I muted Trump so that I would only have to read his tweets when posted by Paul Krugman et al. with their comments. I needed the company of clever people. If you want to call that a bubble, go right ahead.

Eventually I began writing like Trump, lavishly using exclamation marks, which are the tongue piercings of prose: functionless and rarely attractive. Sad!

His tweets are usually written in three little bundles of words, often to demean people, especially women. When he’s angry, he uses partial sentences that he cannot contain, and they dribble into the next tweet. He is often angry.

Every Trump tweet is unhinged in its own way but occasionally the door slams the reader in the face.

On Friday, Trump flamed the new host of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice, the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got swamped (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT.”

He was talking about 2008 ratings for a crass reality show that he still produces. That was nine years ago. In 14 days, he will run a country, and this is what is on his mind. He referred to himself in the third person, always a bad sign, and called himself a “ratings machine,” just as he has boasted about his “very high IQ, one of the highest” for which there is no evidence.

Schwarzenegger responded with statesmanlike dignity.

The best course for a politician is never to take things personally. Trump’s skin is fish-scale thin. He has never had to mute himself to get things done with others, even rivals, because he has never worked on a common cause.

Take this tweet yesterday: “Anna Wintour came to my office at Trump Tower to ask me to meet with the editors of Conde Nast & Steven Newhouse, a friend. Will go this AM.”

Trump cannot spell a.m. or presumably p.m. He is dropping names. But he is degrading the people whose names he drops. Wintour has come to him, not he to Wintour. She has asked, he has given consent.

And he cannot spell. The Angry Pajamas of the comment section famously cannot spell either. It isn’t because English is their new language; it’s because they haven’t mastered the one they were born into. How does that happen?

Here’s Trump trying to spell correctly. “Leightweight chocker” “Great honer!” “Barrack Obama” “dummer people” “Big shoker” “Bought and payed for” “Phoneix” “will loose big” “unpresidented” “beate” “rediculous” “lose cannon” “insticts.”

And the truth is not in him. He treats poll numbers, even open polls, as actual election results. He himself makes the same mistake angry Americans made by electing him for how he made them feel: he values emotion over thought, feelings over facts. Everything is black or white. People are winners or losers. That’s all his tweets and brain have room for.

And that’s a problem endemic to Twitter and its 140 characters. Who knew that stupid, violent tweeters would make the world worse if they wrote less rather than more? It’s depravity writ small, but there’s so much of it.

Trump is far, far outside the civilized norm, even the Twitter norm which is not civilized but fast, skanky and superficial. Tweeps never click on the links, are always outraged and forever cruel. It is Trump encapsulated. Twitter is his mise-en-scène.

So. Fractured thoughts, vulgar insults, patent insecurity, misspellings, humiliations, simple-minded analysis, references to himself in the third person.

I feel like a doctor reading a patient’s notes. I would say the patient is ill or at least impossible. I would admit him to a quiet hospital with sweeps of green lawn, give him sedating rather than activating drugs and advise talk therapy though not in groups.

Don’t marry him, I would advise. Don’t elect him, that would go without saying. But Americans did elect him.

I can only say this: don’t read Trump tweets in bed in the morning. Get up, drink your coffee and then let Trump shoot you with his pellet gun. After four years, we’ll make clanking noises when we walk, so riddled with lead will we be.