On Saturday, President Donald Trump called Mayor Pete Buttigieg – a Democrat who is running for the Democratic nomination in 2020 – “Alfred E. Neuman.” The Democratic candidate’s response was that he had to search Google to understand the reference.
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) May 11, 2019
That set off what had to be the dumbest outrage I have ever seen on social media since… I dunno, something last week? Anyway, you had a bunch of people who decided to take the opportunity to bash Trump for making an “out of date” reference. Apparently, pop culture references have an expiration date, which is unfortunate because I have a whole set list of 80s love ballad jokes for a rainy day.
These trash takes on Trump being out of touch were not just found on the progressive left, but also among those who consider themselves of the right.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) May 11, 2019
Alfred E Neuman first appeared in Mad Magazine in 1954. When Pete was negative 28 years old. https://t.co/CWMgfybTCh
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) May 11, 2019
A news flash for Tim Miller and the others who believe this: Alfred E. Neuman still appears in MAD Magazine, which you can still subscribe to in 2019. When Pete is positive 37 years old.
Look, I get it. Y’all don’t like Trump. I don’t much care for the guy either, but there are two issues with this particular outrage. The first issue is that it’s a stupid outrage. You don’t look good by being pissed about a harmless reference like MAD Magazine. What on earth kind of political victory do you think you’re getting if you are trying to dunk on someone making this reference?
Trump made a joke. It’s not a bad joke, either. It’s not offensive, and it’s certainly not going to move the needle one way or another in the polling. You know what might, though? Losing your mind over this reference. Making this some sort of controversy. At a time when everything is supposed to outrage us, crap like this will make sure nothing outrages us. It’s the dumbest version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in existence.
The other issue I have with this outrage is that Trump wasn’t wrong. Hell, even MAD Magazine acknowledged that Trump was right. Look at their new Twitter bio.
It’s funny and it’s true. Look at the image at the top of the page and tell me you don’t see the resemblance.
I don’t understand how we got to the point where we have to parse every single word out of a politician’s mouth for a political point to make on it. There isn’t anything to dunk on here.
This is why the phrase “Trump Derangement Syndrome” exists, folks. Trump calls Buttigieg “Alfred E. Neuman,” and instead of moving on, the political world stopped for much longer than it actually needed to and had a discussion on it. And the people who don’t like Trump and always look for a reason to point out when he’s wrong jumped at the chance to make a point here, in a statement where there is no point to be made.
I’ve criticized the President frequently (and a large portion of the active comments section here, if you ask them, will both verify that and immediately question why the hell I’m still even here), but even I stop when I see this particular outrage and wonder why we’re having this discussion. But, that’s what Trump Derangement is. It is a compulsion to find something about Trump to complain about. There is no valid policy to debate here, and there’s certainly nothing offensive about the comment. The mere fact that he said anything at all, however, is enough to make these kinds of people lose their minds.
If you honestly think you’re helping your cause out, I’d suggest logging off for a few days and try yoga or something. It’s way healthier than obsessing over this type of thing.