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The condescension of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed

This would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful — and if it weren’t so dishonest and insulting to the intelligence of anyone who reads Donald Trump’s tweets.

Sarah Dolan Schneider, executive director of America Rising, a Republican super PAC that claims to exist “for the sole purpose of exposing the truth about Democrats through video tracking, research, and strategic communications” tweets out a video of businessman Tom Steyer saying, “Democrats are gonna destroy the economy in 15 minutes if they get in control.” 

That’s the whole clip that she tweeted, although you can see from the clip that Steyer is saying this from the stage of the recent CNN debate of Democratic presidential candidates, which might provide a clue that it’s taken out of context. Seriously, how dumb or willfully self-blinded does a person have to be to believe a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination would tell the nation that his own party, if it has the power to implement its policies, will destroy the U.S. economy. 

But the current incumbent president thinks Steyer sounds pretty smart, so he retweets the video. To make clear that he agrees with Steyer’s prediction, Trump comments with his own thumbs: “I agree with him on this, 100%. But why would anyone vote Democrat?”


Seems odd, doesn’t it, that Steyer would say such a thing, and do so during the last Democratic debate?

So FactCheck.org looked into it. Yes, it’s true, those words in that order came out of Steyer’s mouth, but here’s the full quote, in context: “Look, we know how Donald Trump is gonna run for president. He’s gonna run on the economy. He’s already told Americans, last month, in Florida: ‘You don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But you’re all gonna vote for me, because the Democrats are gonna destroy the economy in 15 minutes if they get in control…’

“So let’s be clear,” continued, “I started a business by myself in one room. I didn’t inherit a penny from my parents. I spent 30- years building that business into a multinational $30 billion international business. Then I walked away from it and took the giving pledge and started organizing coalitions of ordinary Americans to take on unchecked corporate power…

“Whoever is going to take on Mr. Trump is going to have to take him on on the economy. I have the experience and the expertise to show that he’s a fake and a fraud….

“Look, Mayor Pete has three years as an analyst for McKinsey. I have 30 years of international business experience. I can beat Trump on the economy. We’re going to have to take him on on the economy, and I look forward to taking him down on the debate stage.”

Steyer is one of the guys in the Democratic field with the most business experience. Naturally, he wants you to know that, and he wants you to know how he would deploy that experience in a race against Trump. 

So what is Donald Trump saying about his view of the intelligence of his followers that he promotes the idea that Steyer is predicting that the Democrats are going to destroy the economy — and that they’ll believe it?

Here’s a simple guide: If someone tries to sell you something with an argument that insults your intelligence, assume whatever product they’re selling is bad. 

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/20/2020 - 10:17 am.

    Takes us back to the previous post.
    Trump and his enablers preach to the choir — that minority of the voters who agree with them and if carefully selected can deliver the Electoral College.
    They have no illusions about gaining majority support — they don’t believe in it.
    They’re more like ‘one dollar, one vote’.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/20/2020 - 10:44 am.

    I’m going to offer a guess that we’re all going to read, see and hear a great many things from a fairly wide variety of people over the next 10 months or so that will insult our intelligence. Those running for political office (not all of them, but many of them) are especially notorious for this sort of thing.

  3. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/20/2020 - 10:53 am.

    The problem is that Trump’s supporters are as ignorant of facts, and as intellectually lazy, as Trump himself seems to be (in this, and other, instances).

    Do you think that people who don’t care about anything but how “cute” or “clever” Trump sounds to them, are going to do the reality check that Eric posits here? That they even watched the debate in question?

    They listen only to Trump. And swallow everything he says.

  4. Submitted by Dave Carlson on 01/20/2020 - 11:05 am.

    Not to get down in the gutter with President Trump, but what if the Democrats pulled out the video clip of Trump saying “I don’t like you…” from his speech. At least this would be a true statement and not really out of context!

  5. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 01/20/2020 - 11:14 am.

    Contrast that disingenuousness with the recent push to misquote and mischaracterize the statements of Bernie Sanders, not just by the right, but by reporters from CNN, Bloomberg, etc corporate media.

    The ends apparently justify the means, and both “sides” are doing it. I’m not particularly interested in the kind of moral grandstanding that will only point to one of those sides.

  6. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/20/2020 - 01:03 pm.

    Alternative Facts…

    Trump’s obliteration of the concept of truth is the most significant negative outcome of his time in office.

    If I have my facts and my truth and you have your facts and your truth and they in no way resemble one another: that used to be a problem, no more with the concept of alternative facts.

    No need to try and define real truth: it’s such a messy process and forces compromise with folks I really don’t like.

    How does it get better? Accountability would seem to be the key. If you spout lying nonsense you can’t just be allowed to pass on to the next opportunity for lying nonsense with no accountability for last lying nonsense.

    In Britain, the Prime Minister’s question hour get’s a little at the problem: a structured, weekly opportunity for the truth to be examined.

    The exaggerated egos of our politicians are so fragile that anything that makes them look flat out foolish is to be avoided at all costs. Forcing them on a weekly basis to stand behind their blather may lead to a reduction in it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister%27s_Questions

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/20/2020 - 08:29 pm.

      And along the lines of truth and accountability, Biden could do himself a great service by simply throwing down the gauntlet to Trump:

      I’ll testify if you do. And we all know you won’t because you are a liar and a coward: Prove me wrong. I don’t think you have the smarts, tenacity or guts to do it Mr. Extremely Stable Genius.

      And I’ll even go one higher: I’ve asked Hunter to testify too. We have nothing to hide, let’s see Bolton, Pompeo, Giuliani and Mulvaney show as much courage. The truth is out there and it is easy to get to.

      It’s no different than Trump and Obama’s birth certificate: a total red herring that deserved to be ignored, but the relentless Trump harping led Obama put it up to shut him up.

      If Biden were to do this before Iowa, the contest is over.

      And if he were to do this, it would throw McConnell into a total tizzy: The last thing he wants is anything that adds truth and length to the Senate trial.

      Of course Joe and Hunter may not be squeaky clean; but, if so, much better to get out now rather than later. And, not to forget, this is a limited time offer: once the trial is over the opportunity is gone.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/21/2020 - 07:38 am.

        Interesting idea, but I fear Biden doesn’t have the brains to carry it off, either. He seems to get pretty immediately defensive and angry when his past actions are challenged or questioned.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/21/2020 - 10:59 am.

          All the more reason to get it out sooner rather than later. Biden suffers from 40+ years of having to take positions one way or the other. He needs to move on from trying to defend something he said when Mayor Pete was 3 years old. He should simply say:

          “I asked my staff to put together a quick estimate on how many votes I have cast in my political career. It is over 15,000. Now, in hind sight, if I was right 99% of the time I would still be called on the carpet for those other 150 votes I missed on. I’ve done my best, I have a record, I stand on it….”

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 01/21/2020 - 12:47 pm.

          That’s what most disappoints me about him – his defensiveness. I thought he was pretty easy-going and that it would play well – if Trump attacked him, he’d just laugh it off as the nothing-burger that an insult from IMPOTUS truly is.

          However, now that I’ve seen how defensive he gets on the debate stage, I’ve realized that his easy-going demeanor was something that was no problem to maintain when things were going his way – when he was VP to a popular President and the world was his oyster.

          But remove him from that cocoon, and I’m feeling much less impressed with how he handles face-to-face pressure and confrontations. Which is going to be a real problem if he ends up being the nominee has to go up against the Insulter-in-Chief.

          It’s disappointing, I really thought I was going to like him as a candidate a lot more than I do.

  7. Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/21/2020 - 02:45 am.

    Issues of the day include health care, the economy, education, foreign affairs and climate change, but the list is incomplete without Truthiness and Sustaining Democracy.

  8. Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/21/2020 - 09:24 am.

    I am not sure that the average Trump supporter knows that their intelligence can be insulted.

    And in any event they surely agree that the ends justify the means…

  9. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/21/2020 - 02:15 pm.

    The problem is not that 40% of the electorate will vote for Trump regards of what he says.
    The problem is that those 40% can reelect him.

  10. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/21/2020 - 05:47 pm.

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    “The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

    H.L.Mencken, circa 1920.

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