What’s your point, man?
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
Reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision last week to revoke federal protections for reproductive rights access have ranged from rage and horror to bumbling ineptitude to gleeful celebration at the abolishment of bodily autonomy by six unelected hard-right jurists.
And then there’s Donald Trump Jr., the largest adult-est son of former President Donald Trump, who spent the past week suggesting that efforts to vaccinate the public during a global pandemic are part of the same nefarious enterprise run by Democrats who “kill babies on demand.” Now, it should be noted that Trump Jr. is not an expert in public policy, legal theory, or medical treatment of any sort. What he is is a chittering rich kid who loves killing things with guns. All sorts of guns. So many guns.
Indeed, Donj put his firearm expertise to good (???) use this week, while trying to clown on acclaimed actress and activist Jane Fonda — someone who has actually and famously used her position of power and prestige to try to make the world a better place.
First, here’s Fonda:
Now, admittedly, it’s not a great tweet. More of a cringey — if well intentioned — attempt to make the (cliché, but still accurate) observation that this country sure seems to care more about letting folks shoot one another dead in the streets than it does allowing pregnant people to make their own decisions about their own bodies.
But uh-oh, here comes Trump Jr., charging hard down center court in an attempt to dunk right in Fonda’s face — and I say “attempt” intentionally, because, well:
Now, there’s a lot to unpack here, so bear with me. First off, “Hanoi” Jane has written extensively about her regrets in having been used for North Vietnamese propaganda as part of her anti-Vietnam War activism. And while the nickname has haunted her for nearly half a century, it’s pretty clear that in the grand scheme of history, being against the Vietnam War was, and remains to be, the unambiguously morally superior position. So, okay, a lousy nickname, but hardly the diss Trump Jr. thinks it is.
But more to the issue at hand here: What exactly is Donj’s point? Like, on a purely rhetorical level, what specifically is he trying to say here? That Fonda chose the iconic Soviet-era rifle over the U.S. military’s standard M-16 firearm because she’s ... what? Unpatriotically opposed to American guns? No shit, genius, she’s literally saying exactly that in her initial tweet! Would Donj have lapped up Fonda’s abortion rights sentiment if only she’d chosen to compare reproductive health organs with an American product? Is Donj even aware of what he’s typing these days, or does he just reflexively lurch toward the keyboard to sputter out whatever he thinks in a given moment?
Look, I understand that I’m probably never going to get concrete answers to any of those questions. I’ve accepted it. But in the meantime, is it so much to ask for Donj to do us all a favor and try just a little harder when he’s attempting to score glib culture war points on a beloved senior citizen? Or, barring that, couldn’t he simply do the right thing and log off forever? I’ll be waiting.