The Village Voice does not recommend that you try to get inside the mind of Donald Trump. It’s far too risky a proposition. We’re pretty sure that there be dragons.
But for a peek — just the scantest glimpse — of what might be rattling around in the skull of the developer/TV star/presidential candidate/general douchebag, you might try looking at his Twitter account.
Trump has done better on social media than most politicians. Since success on Twitter derives mostly from ad hominem attacks and buck-naked self-promotion, Trump is a natural fit; his online persona is prolific and blunt and also crazy, just like IRL. As a result, he’s amassed 3.29 million followers, most of them, we can only pray, of the ironic variety.
But Trump follows only 45 accounts. Forty-five against several million. Who could they be? Who has earned the respect of Donald Trump to the extent that he would deign to click that “follow” button? Who could be that tremendous and classy?
Well, no one will be surprised to learn that nearly 50 percent of the accounts Trump follows have the word “Trump” in their names. Most of those are businesses he owns, or has at least plastered his surname all over, like the Trump Hotel Toronto, Trump Waikiki, and Trump Panama. In Panama City. The one that’s not in Florida. (We had no idea either.)
But other people Trump has seen fit to follow back are far, far more baffling:
To the far right, Piers Morgan might as well be Josef Mengele but with a different accent. By consistently advocating for less patently insane gun laws in this country, Morgan has earned the eternal scorn of Tea Party types, and a bunch of Revolutionary War jokes. Trump’s unique blend of condescension and nonsense — a/k/a condenonsension — would suggest that Morgan and he might be at odds. But then nothing else about him makes much sense either.
Yep, that Steven Tyler.
Fox and Friends
This is more like it. The “Newspeople” are all here: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade. Sentient bag of meat Eric Bolling makes the cut, as do Geraldo Rivera, Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, and Bret fucking Baier. Token Fox News “liberal” Mika Brzezinski also makes Trump’s list, which is very grown-up of him.
Trump also apparently likes the provocative journalism of the Naples Herald, which is undoubtedly a very good paper. For news about Naples, Florida.
Founder of the Tea Party Patriots. No surprise there.
This is the dude who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, the awful, worse-than-useless manual for getting rich — which may or may not involve being a scumbag and engaging in insider trading. He filed for backruptcy a few years back. Which Trump has done four times. OK, so this one actually makes perfect sense.
Now we’re back to straight-up confusing. McMahon runs World Wrestling Entertainment, which one could say is even with the Miss Universe pageant on the awfulness scale, making it understandable that the two might share a mutual respect. But what could be the connection between The Donald and Roma Downey from TV’s Touched by an Angel? Or Magic Johnson? Or Gary Player — you know, the 79-year-old professional golfer from South Africa?
Various Other Trump Things
Trump Hotels, Trump Hotel Chicago, and Trump National D.C. all make appearances on Trump’s “follows” list. There’s a smattering of human Trumps as well. Along with his wife Melania, he follows his children, Eric Trump, Donald J. Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump (who, with 1.6 million followers, is no slouch herself at the Twitter game). Also, Eric Trump looks like this:
And, of course, Joe Roediger, general manager of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. But everybody follows him.
There you have it, Trump’s Twitter followers, analyzed. Learn anything?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2015