Note: This is from Spring 2019. Remember? There was no COVID. Trump hadn’t even been impeached yet. Feels forever ago.

Trump 2020 Hires a Twitter Tutor

Say what you will about the Democratic field – such as, for instance, that there seems to be an inverse relationship between the number of candidates and the amount of worthwhile news about said candidates – but don’t overlook that fact that President Trump has never really stopped running for re-election. Never stopped tilling the soil. Guided by this philosophy of doubling down on what works, one of the Trump Campaign’s top priorities is Twitter.

Trump 2020 has hired a renowned language arts tutor in order to “maximize the appeal” of presidential tweets, according to the press release, which also notes that student and teacher have already started working together. A trusted source who wished to remain anonymous described their working dynamic as “absurdism minus the -ism.”

The logic behind the hire may be questionable, but the tutor’s task is not: Assign “homework,” wait for it to be tweeted, and grade it. Newly obtained from our source, a copy of a recent assignment appears here.

ASSIGNMENT: “Make every line count”

“At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another Bad Trump story!”

– @realDonaldTrump – 10:12 AM – 11 Mar 2019

GRADE: F or B

COMMENTS:

1. “At a recent round table meeting of”

What fresh tweet is this? Without even a “People are saying” or “I shouldn’t say this” to warm up the crowd, you sidle into establishing time and place before establishing subject? You never wait on subject—establishing and promptly insulting the subject is your whole thing. Just be real with me. Did you make someone else do your homework? Biff?

2. “business executives, & long after”

We need to talk about ampersands. How they’re never to be used following a comma; how they’re never to be used ever period unless you’re opening a craft cocktail bar in the meat-packing district eight years ago. Get Any & All ampersands out of here Hard & Fast.

3. “formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I”

Don’t go getting started with adverbs. Why limp along with a full bag of modifiers at your age? Don’t risk it.

4. “quickly referred to Tim + Apple as”

I tried to warn you.

5. “Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time &”

Removing the functionally interchangeable “+” and “/” from the prior yields:

“I quickly referred to Tim Apple as Tim Apple.”

See what you did there? “I said something fucking obvious” is a straightforward admission; “I quickly said something fucking obvious” means you thought fast and came up with jack.

6. “words. The Fake News was”

At last, the familiar False Caps! A little late in the day, but even still. I wonder if you’ve ever noticed that proper-nouning a term is a Form of Respect. Wait. No I don’t.

7. “disparagingly all over this, & it became”

A five-syllable adverb? This would seem to be definitive evidence of a ghost-tweeter. But then, it’s used wrong. Hm.

8. “yet another Bad Trump story!”

In a span of five words, you convey that the manifold Bad Trump stories are somehow evidence of Good Trump. It may be a huckster’s tonal trick, but you’ve said it so much; a lot of people have internalized its drumbeat. Scrutiny implies sabotage.