Trump the Troller

No one who is sane can figure out the current political landscape. No one can understand why the president is so divisive in his tweets, calling the press the “enemy of the people,” and tweeting out criticisms of everyone he doesn’t agree with. It all goes back, I think, to May 17, 2017, when he made the famous “despite the negative press covfefe” tweet, which began a firestorm of commentary.

Here’s what the New York Times said about this crazy tweet in the article titled, “What’s a ‘Covfefe’? Trump Tweet Unites a Bewildered Nation”:

And on the 132nd day, just after midnight, President Trump had at last delivered the nation to something approaching unity — in bewilderment, if nothing else. The state of our union was … covfefe. The trouble began, as it so often does, on Twitter, in the early minutes of Wednesday morning. Mr. Trump had something to say. Kind of.

“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” the Twitter post began, at 12:06 a.m., from @realDonaldTrump, the irrepressible internal monologue of his presidency.

And that was that. A minute passed. Then another. Then five. Surely he would delete the message. Ten. Twenty. It was nearly 12:30 a.m. Forty minutes. An hour. The questions mounted.

Had the president’s lawyers, so eager to curb his stream-of-consciousness missives, tackled the commander in chief under the cover of night? Perhaps, some worried aloud, Mr. Trump had experienced a medical episode a quarter of the way through his 140 characters.

But by 1 a.m., the debate had effectively consumed Twitter — or at least a certain segment of insomniac Beltway types, often journalists and political operatives — ascending the list of trending topics. “Of course #covfefe is real word,” wrote @Diane_7A, recalling an invented tragedy once invoked by the Trump White House. “It was coined during the Bowling Green Massacre.”

“What if this is it,” asked Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker television critic, after just five minutes. “That is his final tweet & the rest of history stops.”

...“Covfefe,” said Tasneem Raja, a journalist, perhaps chafing at the growing communal giddiness. “There, I participated.”

Eventually, the jokes lurched into delirium. Twitter users held forth on the former F.B.I. director James Covfefe. They pledged to order a grande covfefe during their next Starbucks runs. They announced they had at last discovered what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson at the end of “Lost in Translation.”

Just after 6 a.m., the president resurfaced, finally deleting the Twitter post and tapping out another.

“Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ???” he wrote. “Enjoy!”

Consensus proved elusive — to say nothing of pronunciation guidelines — and the White House appeared disinclined to help. “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Sean Spicer, the press secretary, said flatly. He did not elaborate.

But someone else had a theory — the American perhaps most attuned to the power of the president’s Twittering hand. “I thought it was a hidden message,” Hillary Clinton told a crowd in California, “to the Russians.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/us/politics/covfefe-trump-twitter.html

And there you have it. That tweet was the first that got people thinking, “this president might be mentally unbalanced.” After that, this narrative was taken up by the press. Acting AG Rod Rosenstein joked a year later that the president might be crazy enough to invoke the 25th amendment and that he could be removed from power. Nancy Pelosi seriously considered it as an item in a potential impeachment investigation of Trump.

What is the real meaning of covfefe? Well, I’m going to offer my own explanation.

We all know that Donald Trump is a big WWE wrestling fan. So big that the WWE website has devoted a bio page to Trump:

https://www.wwe.com/superstars/donald-trump

In WWE wrestling, there is a term called “kayfabe.”

Here’s what Wikipedia says about the word kayfabe:

In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ (also called work or worked) is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. The term kayfabe has evolved to also become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.

Kayfabe is often seen as the suspension of disbelief that is used to create the non-wrestling aspects of promotions, such as feuds, angles, and gimmicks in a manner similar to other forms of fictional entertainment. In relative terms, a wrestler breaking kayfabe during a show would be likened to an actor breaking character on-camera. Also, since wrestling is performed in front of a live audience, whose interaction with the show is crucial to its success, kayfabe can be compared to the fourth wall in acting, since hardly any conventional fourth wall exists to begin with. In general, everything in a professional wrestling show is to some extent scripted, or "kayfabe", even though at times it is portrayed as real-life.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayfabe

For example, kayfabe has also been practiced in Hollywood and in entertainment. The famous (fake) feud between Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel is now a running joke. The feuds between comedians Jack Benny and Fred Allen, and comedian/actor Bob Hope and singer/actor Bing Crosby, were totally fake. Benny and Allen were best friends in real life, while Hope and Crosby were also close friends.

So OK, what does WWE have to do with covfefe and Trump? Later on in this article, it says,

It has long been claimed that kayfabe has been used in American politics, especially in election campaigns, Congress, and the White House, but no evidence of actual usage of kayfabe in Washington has ever been uncovered. In interviews as Governor of Minnesota, former wrestler Jesse Ventura often likened Washington to wrestling when he said that politicians "pretend to hate each other in public, then go out to dinner together."

Ibid.

It’s a stretch, but linking covfefe with kayfabe isn’t too ridiculous. No more ridiculous than the other explanations for covfefe.

In this interpretation, Trump’s “covfefe” tweet was the ultimate troll. It was a message, for those who could understand, that what was about to happen in the next 3 years of his presidency was, basically, going to be staged. Kayfabe baby! As the Wikipedia definition says, “Kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true".”

This only makes sense if what we’re seeing is really staged or scripted. Some claim that the president is working with the military, and military intelligence, on a multi-decade plan that began after JFK was assassinated. This plan is about what Trump called “draining the swamp” (getting rid of the criminal elements in Washington DC).  

Crazy? Yup. But no crazier than the events we read about every day in the news. Seriously, folks, you couldn’t make this shit up. I check the news every day, and I do sometimes feel that I’m watching a movie. It’s unreal.

Hey, the tweet might simply have been referring to a cup of coffee, as in, “despite the negative press I’m going to sit back and drink a cup of coffee.” But the Times piece (and others), and the heated reaction to it, tells me that tweet was way more important. It tells me that certain folks in the media had a good idea what it was really about.

We probably won’t know the truth until November of 2020. By then, hopefully, we’ll have more clarity in this crazy movie we are living in. Or is it a Matrix?

The old order is crumbling. We are seeing very strange things, murderers shooting up people in public, the president trolling the media (and anyone who he doesn’t like), and a political frenzy being generated among the population.

Is there a method to Trump’s madness?

He thinks so. We’ll just have to wait and see whether he is really crazy, or whether he’s a “stable genius.” It’s all about the 2020 election.

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