Michael Bloomberg, Donald Trump, And the Art of Being A Troll
The presidential Twitter feed is place where its user illustrates both his best and worst political instincts. He is able to use it in a way that gets his critics would up over things of little to no consequence and as a result is able to portray his opponents as deranged nut cases. On the other hand, the tweeter-in-chief uses the platform to launch into various diatribes that have consequences that spill over into the real world. The current controversy of Trump, Bill Barr, and Roger Stone’s sentence probably does not happen without Trump’s tweeting.
Supporters love Trump’s Twitter rants because it shows “he fights” the media, Democrats, and Never Trump. Naturally, these groups do not like being on the receiving end of a presidential rant. To them, Trump is not a fighter of swamp creatures, but a bully. Enter Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s entire pitch is that he is the best candidate to take down Donald Trump. One way he has attempted to take Trump down is in Trump’s own backyard: the world of trolling.
The logic behind trolling Trump is that Trump is a bully and the way you fight bullies is by fighting back. Also, because Trump is thin-skinned, trolling him will cause him to lash out, which hopefully illustrates to the voters Trump’s deficiencies, as if voters are not already aware of Trump’s behavioral traits.
To this end the Bloomberg campaign has conducted a billboard campaign. Bloomberg wants people to know that “Donald Trump cheats at golf,” that “Donald Trump’s wall fell over,” and that “Donald Trump eats burnt steak.”
It may now be easier to see why Bloomberg got kicked all over the debate stage on Wednesday.
The reason why Trump’s antics work is because they are real. It is easy to imagine Trump being the kind of guy who after going home after work, jumps on Twitter to rage tweet about his job and other people. He’s also the kind of guy who post memes and GIFs about Democrats and the media even if he weren’t president. He’s the type who would retweet fart videos because he finds it funny. In other words, he is the guy behind the account.
The reason why other politicians fail, is because they do not seem real. Bloomberg comes across as the grumpy old boomer and is best known for wanting to ban large sodas. It is very hard to believe that he is a secret meme lord or high quality troll with that kind of sense of humor. It looks like it’s just some twenty-something staffer trying to make the boss look cool, because that’s probably what it is. His entire online persona is phoney.
This is why you can not beat Trump at his own game. Previous politicians have tried. Remember when Marco Rubio thought it would be a good idea to imply Trump has a small penis? How’d that work out? Not great, because Rubio was trying to be somebody he wasn’t and it was obvious. By the time it was one-on-one with Ted Cruz, it was too late.
Bloomberg is not a fighter, or at least not in the Trump mold. Most of his time in the spotlight has been of him retreating or offering weak defenses on why he won’t release women from NDAs, a position he’s already retreated from. Trump, for better or worse, does not apologize.
If Bloomberg and other Democrats think internet trolling is going to be the thing that takes down Trump, they better be prepared for four more years.