On Thursday, in an encounter that I can only assume was filled with more rancor and tension than a Blac Chyna baby shower filled with all the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, Amber Rose, and no liquor, President Obama met with President-elect Donald Trump at the White House. It's an American tradition for the outgoing president and president-elect to meet to prepare for the transition of power. It's also to show a united front and promote a sense of national unity, even when the two are at different political ends of the spectrum.
However, the schism between Trump and Obama goes beyond the normal partisanship. This meeting is not like the one between Obama and George W. Bush eight years ago — and that is plainly apparent from the photos taken of Trump and Obama on Thursday. To paraphrase a colleague, in one of the photos, the president-elect looks like he's about to "blow." Meanwhile the president's eyes throw enough shade to cause a solar eclipse. A picture may say a thousand words, and looking through these, the ones that jump out include "screw you" and "don't touch me."
Of course, this photographic outcome isn't all that surprising consider Obama and Trump's history. Trump was one of the most prominent and persistent pushers of birtherism, stoking the false claim that Obama was not born in the United States and, thus, not allowed to be president. He also called Obama the "founder of ISIS" just in August. Meanwhile, as recently as earlier this week, Obama has called Trump "unfit" for the presidency.
Perhaps one small silver lining from this encounter, though, is observing the social media response to this ultimate exercise in restraint.
1. It's Not Your Fault, Kiddos
If we replace "divorce" with "potentially unprecedented national chapter of xenophobia, misogyny, and generally hateful rhetoric," then, yeah, it actually is our fault (or the Electoral College's fault).
2. Apparently, Everyone Is Picking Up On The "Broken Marriage" Theme
As far as familial tensions, though, as long as things don't get physical, it's eventually water under the bridge... right?
3. Who Doesn't Wish This Whole Election Had Been Photoshopped?
Just four years ago, Trump was still best known for being a reality TV star with a penchant for Twitter rants — oh, and for regularly espousing that maybe our president was not actually born in the United States, and thus actually prohibited from holding office. Such innocent, simpler times.
4. So I Guess This Is A Sign Of Progress?
From this perspective, Trump is progressing at a breakneck pace, folks!