This week, President Trump has used Twitter to put Iran "on notice," tease Arnold Schwarzenegger about The Apprentice, call anti-Trump protesters "thugs," and randomly spout his campaign slogan. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, there may exist a 45th president who responds to events in the measured, calm tones of a seasoned politician. The @MatureTrumpTwts account, a.k.a. Presidential Trump, gives us a peek into what that might look like.
The account takes each of the real Trump's tweets and translates them into this other voice of reason.
"I ask for patience as we sort out legality on this issue. Please don't fear-monger- act civilly & respect whatever the eventual outcome is," this alternate Trump wrote after a federal judge blocked his executive order banning the entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries. What the real president said: "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"
New York magazine's Select All blog interviewed the account's author, a man in his 50s from the Midwest who goes by Barry as a nod to rumors he was Barack Obama. He's a professional speaker who works on “issues around the need for kindness, living a full life, etc.," he told Select All. Trump's response to the cast of Hamilton criticizing him onstage in front of Mike Pence last year inspired him to start the handle.
"I felt I needed to do something cathartic that gave me some control," he said. "My sister-in-law and first follower said she thought this would resonate with a lot of people. Turns out she was right!"
While many on social media and beyond have taken to parodying Trump's bombastic style, Barry thinks his approach appeals to both Democrats and Republicans. "Anger is hard to sustain, and humor can be shrugged off as just that," he told the blog. "So what was once a selfish therapeutic activity became an antidote for a lot of people."
Not that Barry's apolitical in his mature tweets. "At my next press conference, I'll address bills regarding restrictions of guns to severely mentally ill & coal mining/stream protection rule," the Presidential Trump said, which was not quite a translation of the president's bashing of the New York Times. Barry's president has also expressed sympathy for the victims of the attack on a mosque in Quebec City last week, which Trump has not publicly mentioned at all.
There are times when the alternate-universe Trump reaches across the aisle with a conciliatory tone that seems like a foreign tongue these days. Read this, and you may feel your blood pressure go down.