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Aug. 19, 2017: Copy-Editing

This afternoon Donald Trump tweeted: "Our great country has been divided for decade,but it will come together again.Sometimes protest is needed in order to heel,and heel we will! [sic...]" Twenty-nine minutes later he replaced that tweet with the following: "Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!" Six minutes after that, that tweet was gone and in its place was the same thing, just with "heal" spelled correctly.

It's funny when Trump and his associates misspell words, especially in a case like this, because the word "heel" is funny. But, as Maya Binyam points out in this New Inquiry article from May, liberals and the liberal media—the group(s) that seem to derive both the biggest chuckles and the most audacious political conclusions from Trump's typos—get so caught up with these gaffs that they: 1) overlook the tweets' real danger, their content; and 2) enforce an establishment conception of political decorum, of what it means to be "presidential."

I agree with Binyam that the liberal outrage in these cases is over-blown and misguided; that the present guidelines for decorum are a tool for securing power, rooted in patriarchal nostalgia. Even if Trump's "modern-day presidential" approach isn't a positive development, ardently defending the boundaries of traditional power isn't either, especially with language and communication as malleable (and culturally contingent) as they are in the information age.

It's troubling, yes, the extent to which the tweets reveal disorganization and carelessness in Trump's office: surely an assistant could quickly spell-check a tweet? If they can't get that right, what about, you know, the other important stuff a president's office has to accomplish? Like I said, it's troubling—it would indeed be nice to have a president who communicated clearly and generally had his shit in order. Yet typos are just one way Trump expresses his disregard for the American people and the disorder permeating his entire administration; and whether or not the disorder might be a good thing, something that prevents them from getting things done, is legitimately up for debate.

When I started writing this, I sympathized a little more with the liberals I'm referring to, probably because of internalized educational elitism, white supremacism, and misogyny—but thinking about it more, and re-reading Binyam's article, this is where I'm at... Completely unrelated, I'm re-obsessed with Getting the Holy Ghost Across by Bill Nelson.

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