When I was in college the phrase “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” was considered witty badinage. Maybe it was for twenty-somethings who had very little life experience and had to say something that sounded cool. However, nowadays, in the era of the Cult of Trump, it is literally true. The Cult cannot take a joke.

Jon Schwarz, who is a journalist for The Intercept, started up a Twitter thread wherein he claimed to have personally destroyed Trump ballots. Of course he was castigated for that, including by Michael Flynn’s brother Joseph (not the one that’s a big Army general, this is another one) and so he raised he ante. Schwarz claimed that James Madison had written in the Federalist Papers long ago that it was the will of the founding fathers to destroy Trump ballots. Even that raised no eyebrows. Moral of the story? However stupid you think these people are, they are far worse than you can imagine. The Intercept:

Only around tweet No. 50 did I comprehend how mentally oppressive I’ve come to find it to live in a country in which about a quarter of the other people are, for all intents and purposes, members of a cult.

What made the whole thing especially rewarding was using their own modus operandi against them. As a journalist, I’m constantly anxious about making sure every sentence, every word, is accurate. Now I was acting as Trump and his minions do — free to say anything, no matter how asinine or ridiculous, with no basis in observable fact and with no sense of responsibility toward others. The only thing that mattered was my own needs from second to second, and it felt fantastic.

But I simultaneously began to experience a growing sense of psychological gloom. Partly it was the sorrow and loneliness emanating from the Trumpist tweets. The throughline through all of them was a sincere fury from people about their lives, directed at imaginary causes. Clearly most of them had no one trustworthy with whom they could talk through their problems and possible solutions. Instead, they only had the inhuman online community of their fellow rage-heads.

What was worse, though, was the overwhelming sense that this was just a more intense version of the human condition — that our brains simply aren’t designed to comprehend the world around us. Instead, their main priority is keeping us part of the tribe. Absolutely anything can be ignored if awareness of it might exile us from our little group, and all actions up to and including violence are justified to prevent us from becoming aware of facts that contradict our belief system.

That’s why I’ve decided to delete all of these tweets in the next few days. I’m not worried about the threats toward me. But as with other old Twitter jokes that I deleted when David Duke and his fan club became aware of them, I’m concerned that there’s a small but real chance some of these tweets will someday show up in a mass shooter’s manifesto. It’s true that they’ve now escaped the lab, and I can’t recall them all, but at least removing the original source may reduce their spread.

So if you’d like to learn about how James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that “The True citizen must deftroy all Trump ballots” (No. 52) or the retired anesthesiologist who held the lives of thousands of patients in his hands over decades and now is enraged that the Justice Department hasn’t thrown me in jail (No. 63), the clock is ticking. Start here and read down, and down, and down.

Just another entry in the You Can’t Make This Shit Up file with a nod to the Only Seeing Is Believing drawer.

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  1. What could this guy be thinking? Even if it is a joke, it’s a bad one and it can, and likely will, backfire badly . All I hope is that when one of the f*cking loony-tunes MAGAts becomes unhinged and starts shooting, it’s only at this damned fool. That’s probably too much to hope for though.

  2. The Republican Party is gutless in the face of Trump. So they are trying to dance along the edge of a razor blade while contorting themselves to dodge raindrops.

    In other words they are trying very, very hard to screw themselves!

    Here’s hoping they succeed.

    If they do and we increase our majorities in Congress and set things up for a blowout win in 2024, if they really do screw themselves by continuing to try to appease Trump and his “base”, the the old joke you referenced will merit the related version that went with them. Since the jokes about how they fucked THEMSELVES will flow fast and furious then “Joke em if they can’t take a fuck” will be a more than appropriate sentiment to go along with rubbing conservative’s noses in the deep pile of shit they chose to wallow around in!

  3. The “Federalist papers say destroy Tr*mp ballots* should have tipped them off. FFS, those were written in the 1780s, before the Constitution was signed and ratified – they were part of the arguments over what should go into it.


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