Trump Goes on Reddit and Makes a Complete Fool of Himself
Republican nominee Donald Trump participated in a very Trump-like “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit on Wednesday evening, though in true Trump fashion, it turns out he didn’t really mean “anything.”
For those uninitiated, Reddit “Ask Me Anythings”—also referred to as AMAs—provide a forum for Reddit users to have their questions answered by experts, celebrities and even presidential candidates. The featured guest creates a Reddit post, verifies their identity through a picture, and lets the Reddit community inundate them with questions ranging from the intellectual to the mundane.
Trump’s AMA was brief and uninformed—which is to be expected from the Republican candidate whose platform is basically (and I’m paraphrasing here) “let's use the pull-out method on the entire world and hope it doesn’t get screwed.” But even after boasting on various social media accounts that the event was going to be “SO HUGE,” Trump proceeded to have the shortest, most ridiculous AMA in recent history. Let’s review some of the HUGE elements that made it the most Trump-like Ask Me Anything imaginable.
1. The Forum
Most AMAs occur on the subreddit r/AMA, which values accountability so much that it bans down-votes to stop people from spamming and censoring unpopular opinions, questions or ideas. In contrast, Trump hosted his AMA on r/The_Donald, a pro-Trump subreddit that prides itself on being not “politically correct.”
For some background on r/The_Donald, look no further than the forum’s rules, which proudly bans “Dissenters or SJWs” (meaning social justice warriors—a derogatory name for people who promote progressive ideology).
Another rule the subreddit implements? Bernie Sanders supporters who wish to join the subreddit “must assimilate.” The guide for how former Sanders supporters should assimilate, which is boldly featured under the “rules” section on the very forum that Trump’s campaign chose to do an AMA on, literally says:
“Bernie is not and will never be our martyr. You must disavow. Some of us fucking hate his stances. Others think he's a sweet old man, probably a fine grandfather, but just too much of a pussy to be president. That group tends to blame his safe rhetoric (ie: only attacking republicans) and refusal to use ammo that's handed to him on a silver platter ('nobody cares about your damn emails!'). You may be silent, but we're not gonna put up with 'He's a such a great man, too bad he failed!' He's not our martyr. He's a cuck.”
That’s right, folks. Trump eschewed the tradition of holding AMAs on a trusted subreddit designed to ensure everyone has a voice in favor of a pro-Trump forum that espouses hateful and disparaging rhetoric about progressives and their leaders. You can’t get more Trump than that.
2. The Censorship
Except you can! Reddit often prides itself on being an open forum for the free exchange of ideas. But the benefit of hosting a Trump AMA on a forum designed to silence and intimidate dissenters is that the moderators also get to remove unwanted posts. Per the subreddit’s infopage: “Yes, the AMA will have tons of removed comments. That's sort of a mark of pride for us.”
Olivia Nuzzi, a writer for the Daily Beast, asked Trump why he won’t release his tax returns, “if he’s rich and doesn’t have ties to the Russians.” The subreddit “deleted it within 15 minutes,” Nuzzi wrote on Twitter. Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor for the conservative news website Breitbart, also had a question about net neutrality deleted. Scores of other users’ questions were also removed.
3. The (Very Few, Unsubstantial) Answers
The numerous questions that were removed by the subreddit’s moderators didn’t really impact Trump, who cherry-picked a handful of softball questions out of the several hundred posed by users. But even those proved too much for Trump; out of a list of five questions voted on by The_Donald community, Trump only answered two.
Still, when Trump did answer, he went deep. In his responses, he made several groundbreaking statements, including “NASA is wonderful,” “there have been many amazing Presidents in American history,” and “I am never tired of winning.”
The subreddit was basically a forum for Trump to stroke his own ego and reiterate his insane talking points about “Crooked Hillary” and how great he is at winning.
I stand corrected: you can’t get more Trump than that.
4. The Return of Pond Scum Martin Shkreli
AMAs can sometimes go off the rails. Just ask Martin Shkreli, the Turing Pharmaceutical CEO who raised the price of a life-saving anti-protozoa drug by 5,000 percent then hosted an AMA that was righteously hijacked by an expert in the industry who lambasted the “most hated man in the world” on a very public forum.
And considering the vitriol inherent in Trump’s campaign, his AMA wouldn’t be a Trump AMA without the return of the worst person to ever get indicted by the FBI on securities fraud. Referencing reports that Trump once said Shkreli “looks like a spoiled brat,” everyone’s least favorite narcissist posted this question on Trump’s AMA:
“Do you really hate me (Martin Shkreli) and have you seriously studied my issue or was your reaction just a quick take? I'm a big fan either way. GO TRUMP.”
There you have it, folks. For what would a Trump AMA be without name-calling, censorship, self-congratulating, and Martin Shkreli?
You know, besides one that actually provides substantive answers to the problems facing this nation.