As he is professionally known for being a mild-mannered, Hot Pocket–loving, Catholic father of five who doesn’t even use profanity in his act, fans and detractors alike were agog when comedian Jim Gaffigan went off on a profanity-laced Twitter rant inspired by Donald Trump’s RNC speech last week. In the days since, Gaffigan says in a new Facebook statement posted Sunday, he has gotten a lot of negative feedback, all of which seems to have made him even more glad to have voiced his frustration so publicly.
“It’s like after Thanksgiving 2016 we all decided to let the crazy relative decide the discourse and context of every argument,” the comedian writes. “It was refreshing to let four years of frustration boil over and offer some straight talk on what Trump has done to our country or our democracy.” So what, exactly, did Jim Gaffigan learn from losing his mind, so to speak? In a nutshell:
It’s emotionally “liberating” to say what you actually think: “Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but I know many of us are tired of censoring everything we say so we don’t offend our politically correct friends but this also applies to our passionate Trump friends, relatives and peers,” writes Gaffigan.
“Bots,” or fake automatic accounts, are a real part of of social media: “I proceeded to tweet a bunch of things to her hopefully trying to be funny and persuasive,” Gaffigan says, about engaging with an account who told him ‘you just lost a lot of fans.’ “Eventually another person on twitter saw my series of tweets to her and informed me that the woman I was tweeting at was in fact a bot. While equally hilarious and frightening, this was revealing to me.”
Conspiracy theories abound, including Hollywood’s role as a giant child-trafficking ring: “Through numerous messages I learned that while Trump wished Epstien’s partner/groomer ‘Well,’ the Democrats are the ones who are supposedly pro-pedophile,” he says. “I know that sounds absurd, but I received dozens of messages from people convinced this was true. That isn’t as much of a fringe belief as you might think. Pizzagate wasn’t a one off. It was the tip of the iceberg.”
Trump really has people thinking Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are “a Trojan horse for America being turned into a Socialist state”: Writes Gaffigan, “As ridiculous a Biden/Harris ticket being super left may sound to my Progressive friends the feedback I received on all social media platforms would indicate that the Trump messaging is working great.”
While some thought his rant was a stunt to gain fans, attention and/or clout, others predicted it would cause the demise of his career: “As with many of the messages I received, the accusations were often contradictory,” writes Gaffigan. “Many people announced that my career was over while some thought my tweets were a career stunt to bolster my career. If it were a stunt, I would have done it years ago.”
The threats he received confirmed to him how dangerous Trump is: “We all know Trump is not a unifier but remember he and his cronies stoke hatred and violence,” Gaffigan says, attaching a photo of a threat warning he’ll be “looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life” due to his tweets. “He may say he is the Law and Order candidate, but he wants chaos so can pretend to provide security.”
Sadly, it does all come down to Trump: “It doesn’t matter that Trump and his folks are breaking laws, trying to kill Obamacare, pre-existing conditions or that his handling of the pandemic was disastrous, to Trump voters he is THEIR guy,” the comedian says. “More importantly he’s ‘THEIR president’ and disagreeing with them is a personal insult. For many Trump voters this isn’t about any other issue except Trump himself. To me that is not only weird but kind of scary.”
The (profanity-laced) moral of the whole ordeal: Concludes Jim Gaffigan, “If you are still on the fence, I encourage you to vote not for who I want you to vote for, but for who your grandchildren would be proud you fucking voted for. (Sorry, Jeannie.)” You can read his full statement on Facebook here.