Jon Favreau (Pod Saves America) was on Dax Shepard’s podcast this week, and Shepard said something that kind of struck a chord: What’s the point in recounting and grousing about every stupid, dangerous, awful, terrible, terrifying, idiotic thing that Trump does? I mean: It’s not like most people haven’t made their minds up about Trump, already. Does anyone still need convincing that he’s a bad dude? It’s not like we’re all waiting for that one thing that flips the switch for Trump supporters who are on the fence.
It’s a fair point, and there are definitely weeks here where I’m just like, “Why?” This was one of those weeks where I mostly decided against breathlessly recounting his every horror. At some point, maybe, it becomes self-defeating. People tune it out. I tune it out. It’s certainly important to know what’s going on in the world, and the political junkies among us are going to want to keep abreast of the daily developments, but who the f*ck cares about every inane Tweet that Trump delivers?
But then, every once in a while, he tweets something that is so confounding, so bizarre, so needlessly cruel and completely pointless, and so obviously racist that I’m baffled enough to take to my computer on a Saturday morning and write about it.
Last night, around 11:30 p.m., Trump delivered just such a tweet:
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Here’s the interview to which he referred:
From free uniforms and transportation to college tuition guaranteed for all graduates. LeBron James takes CNN's Don Lemon on an exclusive tour of his new 'I Promise' school https://t.co/roRxI7qlZl pic.twitter.com/IDS5WZXdgn— CNN (@CNN) August 4, 2018
There’s a lot going on in that tweet, not least of which is how it reinforces (for the umpteenth time) just how truly racist the President is. But why would he attack LeBron James? LeBron was on to discuss the school he is building, and if you guys don’t know about this school already, it’s essentially one of the most thoughtful, generous, incredible acts of charity ever performed by a celebrity. LeBron has built a school for at-risk kids, a school with a food pantry, where all the kids get free bikes, where kids not only get free tuition to the school, but free tuition to college, and the parents get free job training. It’s an incredible school, and it’s going to change a lot of lives for the better.
And Trump just shat on LeBron James, who is basically the most popular guy in Ohio, a decisive swing state, where I imagine even some Trump supporters still love LeBron James. And Trump is going to a rally in Ohio tonight. Ahead of that, why would he turn on a very popular, enormously generous sports figure?
Of all the problems in the world, Trump used his presidential authority to call LeBron James stupid last night. LeBron just opened a school for at-risk kids, providing them free tuition, bicycles, food, counseling & guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron if they graduate.— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 4, 2018
This is apparently what the President of the United States feels the need to share with the world at what should be long past his bedtime? It's a disgrace. It's racist. And it's the product of petty but dangerous hatreds. I repeat this is the PRESIDENT??!? https://t.co/MA8nZUxFc7— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 4, 2018
Donald Trump insults LeBron James, Ohio’s favorite son, hours before he campaigns in the state for a crucial special election three days away and Trump thinks LeBron is the dumb one?!— Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 4, 2018
There’s a lot of insults the president could have hurled at LeBron and Don Lemon, but it says something that the president openly questioned their intelligence. Gee, wonder why.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 4, 2018
And yes, I know. We shouldn’t be surprised. But I’m with this guy: Sometimes, Trump can tweet something so low, and so nasty that it still manages to elicit a gnawing sickness in the pits of our stomachs.
I know I’m late to this but I honestly can’t understand how you can look at either Lebron James or Don Lemon and see a dumb man.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) August 4, 2018
I know we should be used to this by now but I’m still saddened, angered to see such raw, ugly racism coming from the President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/YhlLXaREIZ
Is LeBron really a guy he wants to pick a fight with. Is this the culture war he wants? Is he determined now to alienate NBA fans, too?