Trump the Chump (Part 1)

So this just happened.

It’s a very short clip, but if you can’t or don’t care to watch it, he suggests that the 2nd Amendment is the way to stop Hillary Clinton from choosing Supreme Court judges.


Just one more log on the bonfire of similarity between Trump and his kindred spirits:


At what point does this become a totally unfair slur on Rob Ford?

Whatever happened to him, anyway?


Isn’t he dead? Should somebody start a topic about it?


You’re a little late.


Every time I see that, I shudder. It’s eerie, and not in an entertaining way.


Trump uses an Android when he tweets, his staff uses iPhones. All truth is revealed.


A thread! Start a thread!!!


For your daily Trump outrage (besides doubling down on the claim that Obama is literally the founder of ISIS), today the Donald suggested he’d hold trials of US citizens in Guantanamo.


As reported in Mother Jones, Jason Steed nicely sums up his PhD dissertation in tweets: Why Trump “just joking” about the 2nd Amendment fixing the ‘problem’ of Hillary Clinton picking Supreme Court Justices needs to be taken seriously.



Concatenated for sharing with others. Paragraphing added as seen appropriate. (Former copy editor here. I have my license to do this.)

I wrote my PhD dissertation on the social function of humor (in literature & film) and here’s the thing about “just joking.”

You’re never “just joking.” Nobody is ever “just joking.” Humor is a social act that performs a social function (always). To say humor is social act is to say it is always in social context; we don’t joke alone. Humor is a way we relate/interact with others. Which is to say, humor is a way we construct identity - who we are in relation to others. We use humor to form groups and to find our individual place in or out of those groups. In short, joking/humor is one tool by which we assimilate or alienate.

In other words, we use humor to bring people into - or keep them out of - our social groups. This is what humor does. What it’s for. Consequently, how we use humor is tied up with ethics - who do we embrace, who do we shun, and how/why?

And the assimilating/alienating function of humor works not only only people but also on ideas. This is important. This is why, e.g., racist “jokes” are bad. Not just because they serve to alienate certain people, but also because they serve to assimilate the idea of racism (the idea of alienating people based on their race). And so we come to Trump.

A racist joke sends a message to the in-group that racism is acceptable. (If you don’t find it acceptable, you’re in the out-group.) The racist joke teller might say “just joking” - but this is a defense to the out-group. He doesn’t have to say this to the in-group.

This is why we’re never “just joking.” To the in-group, no defense of the joke is needed; the idea conveyed is accepted/acceptable. So, when Trump jokes about assassination or armed revolt, he’s asking the in-group to assimilate/accept that idea. That’s what jokes do.

And when he says “just joking,” that’s a defense offered to the out-group who was never meant to assimilate the idea in the first place. Indeed, circling back to the start, the joke itself is a way to define in-group and out-group, through assimilation & alienation.

If you’re willing to accept “just joking” as defense, you’re willing to enter in-group where idea conveyed by the joke is acceptable. In other words, if “just joking” excuses racist jokes, then in-group has accepted idea of racism as part of being in-group. Same goes for “jokes” about armed revolt or assassinating Hillary Clinton. They cannot be accepted as “just joking.”

Now, a big caveat: humor (like all language) is complicated and always a matter of interpretation. For example, we might have racist humor that is, in fact, designed to alienate (rather than assimilate) the idea of racism. (Think satire or parody.) But I think it’s pretty clear Trump was not engaging in some complex satirical form of humor. He was “just joking.” In the worst sense.

Bottom line: don’t accept “just joking” as excuse for what Trump said today. The in-group for that joke should be tiny. Like his hands.

Jason P. Steed, appellate attorney and former English professor from Texas


I’m getting so tired of this, I almost feel like-


…note that this was done by a supporter, not a critic.


And it’s a pre-made flag available outside. One of many amongst a bulk-order.


And it’s monogrammed, of course, with the Vulgarian’s name. Didn’t notice that part before. Welp. There goes any defense against the GOP not being the White Nationalist party.


Just Joking Guy must be related to the Just Saying Guy and the I’m Not Racist, But… Guy.