Donald Trump loves Twitter. Anyone following his account knows this. It's one of his primary platforms from which to call people stupid names, which is one of the presumptive Republican nominee's primary activities. He's the king Twitter troll.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently tried to troll the troll back. Trump tweeted in response to President Barack Obama's endorsement of Clinton, saying that Obama wants four more years of his policies but nobody else does. Clinton replied to Trump's tweet: "Delete your account," which is the cool way to be condescending on the internet. Though many responded positively, comedian John Oliver didn't like Clinton's tweet.
Oliver explained his disappointment on Sunday's Last Week Tonight:
You just moved this fight onto his turf, which is a huge mistake. Hillary was dominating news coverage this week ... talking about substantive issues, like women's history and gender equality. And because Trump is an ego goblin who feasts on verbal filth, that national conversation, much like a department store sold out of gloves in boy sizes, was of no use to him.
Oliver made the point that Clinton simply can't beat Trump on Twitter. Indeed, his response delivered quite the burn, and she kinda set herself up for it:
But Oliver's main criticism with Clinton's move was not that she just can't win on Twitter; it's that she stooped to Trump's level. She encouraged the national conversation to shift from those substantive issues that came to the fore in the wake of her nomination to an exchange of insults on Twitter, something that we all probably would like to think we are above, and especially that our prospective leaders are.
After comparing Trump's tweets to Tom Cruise — "short and unhinged, but you kind of can't look away" — and pointing out Clinton's history of failed attempts to appeal to young people on Twitter, Oliver drives home his disappointment with the current state of political discourse:
The rest of the campaign is going be depressing if the two people running for president, a task requiring a grasp of nuance and complexity, repeatedly stoop to pandering and flame-throwing online. And it seems that we are going to need a shorthand way to express our disappointment and disgust.
And Oliver gave us just that:
If only Vomiting Abe Lincoln had been around to convey our sentiments throughout the primaries. But he's here now, and he'll have plenty of opportunity to come in handy as many of us grapple with the likely inanity of a general election amid the Twitter age.