If there’s one thing we can say about Donald Trump, it’s that he doesn’t seem to be phased by the mockery constantly hurled in his direction. Either that, or he has an incredible team that keeps him blissfully ignorant of how he’s perceived by nearly the entire world. But apparently the regular, unending stream of punchlines wasn’t enough, and Trump has invited more ridicule onto himself by way of a Twitter Q&A session. He visited the site’s headquarters this morning, inviting people to #AskTrump whatever they wanted. Now, some people did actually tweet serious questions, to which Trump responded in aggressively monotone videos full of robot gesticulations.
And a lot of Twitterers used this as a way to vent their legitimate hatred of Trump, free of sarcasm or irony.
But for the most part, it was a snarky free for all of ridicule.
#AskTrump if you dig under your hair, down thru the scalp, underneath the skull, is there just a bunch of orange chicken from Panda Express— Jim Gabriel (@flipyourface) September 21, 2015
Is it true that if you say Donald Trump 3 times in the bathroom mirror, the hair in the drain will rise up to shout racial slurs? #AskTrump— P a t r i c k (@ruinedbyreality) September 21, 2015
Naturally, headlines started popping up pretty much immediately, almost all declaring that the Q&A had “backfired.” But did it? I’m not even sure what something “backfiring” on Trump would look like. It’s not like anyone is outing him as being widely hated, or even regarded as a walking joke. Everyone already knows that. Trump has staked his claim in this election as being the guy who says such inflammatory things, there’s nothing to criticize or call out that he’s not already doing himself. And given Trump’s constant criticism from all sides, could he possibly have been so lacking in self-awareness as to think this Q&A could have gone any differently? Was the whole point just to keep his name in people’s minds, no matter what they’re saying? That method seems to have been working pretty well for him so far.
Of COURSE the #AskTrump hashtag backfired. It was supposed to. Jesus Christ on a publicity stunt, guys.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 21, 2015
Whether it was an honest attempt at a discussion, with everything but the most laughably genuine questions filtered out by Trump’s team, or a publicity stunt meant to be a shitshow from the very start, it doesn’t seem to have mattered to Trump.