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The Best Reactions to Trump’s Threat of Nuclear War, Which Is a Headline I Hoped Never to Write

It’s felt surreal to be online in the last 48 hours, as Donald Trump’s saber-rattling braggadocio became uncomfortably real after he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” and oh God, we’re all going to die and it may not even be hyperbole anymore?

After Trump—speaking from his “working vacation” at his golf club in New Jersey—told a reporter that North Korea’s escalating belligerence just might cause him to rain down total destruction and ignite the end of days (take that, Robert Mueller!! No one can talk about Russia if no one is around to talk! Or if there is no Russia), Twitter went into a sort of meltdown. (I can’t believe just a few days ago I was suggesting that Trump’s extended vacation might be relaxing for us all. None of us will sleep again, ever.)

A good many of the Internet’s responses attempted to make light of the situation, but it’s kind of hard to laugh about the suddenly real possibility of a nuclear holocaust. A lot of humor fell sadly flat, like the settling radioactive dust of a mushroom cloud. Other Tweets laid the blame squarely where it was due—on our impetuous, ignorant, bombastic (sorry, too soon?) joke of a President.

It’s harder to laugh at Trump right now than it is about the suddenly real possibility of a nuclear holocaust because he’s the one who holds the ability to start it in his curiously undersized hands. He was probably going for that reaction, too—who’s laughing now, punks??? You laughin’ at me, the guy with the nuclear football?

Not even once! Imagine that!

True Conservative American patriots know the value of a radioactive wasteland.

You can? I don’t remember that time. That’s the before-time.

I’m already ignoring those people. What took you so long?

There’s a lot of Tweets about people indulging in this or that because hey, we might all soon be but shadows burned into a wall. I don’t understand why anyone would be trying to drink less coffee, though. Coffee is one of the few comforts we have. For now.


Ask a stupid question, The Guardian …


One of the more rage-inducing parts of all of this: the resurfacing of all the careless reporting and messaging about how Trump was a “Dove” to Hillary Clinton’s “Hawk”.


:face laughing with escalating hysteria until it breaks out into choking sobs emoji:


:face darkening with rage and curling up claws into furious attack formation emoji:


So I guess Kelly hasn’t succeeded in making Trump “pivot” to acting like a goddamned President? Or, IDK, maybe it’s not best to be surrounded at all hours by men whose entire lives have been steeped in war?


Honestly, I’m a little surprised it took this long.

Just wait, those news pieces are coming.


It’s unbelieveable how many basic diplomatic norms have been abandoned under Trump. Sorry, let me amend that. It’s believable and execrable.


Diplomacy 101: Don’t escalate when both sides are led by irrational, posturing, insecure men with no history of demonstrating any value for human life.

I can! After 2017 I believe that anything is possible.

These Tweets should be printed together in the book “The Trump Year: A History,” but hahaha what am I even talking about we won’t have the capacity to print books or study history in the post-apocalypse.


Aw yeah, a Time Enough At Last reference! Where my Twilight Zone nerds at? We can finally cosplay this one for reals!


Oh, okay, good. Good. Good?


This is the only real laugh I’ve had throughout this entire extremely trying Twitter time.


There’s an old Trump tweet for literally everything. Even nuclear war.

Yes, yes it is, Fred.

(image: Shutterstock, NBC, CBS)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.