It was a quiet Sunday night and I was deep in a magazine article when my wife looked up from her iPad to say, “Something’s going on with your e-mail.” Just then, the phone rang and it was our daughter, Miranda.
“Dad,” she said, “Trump tweeted about your column, but he included your e-mail instead of the column link.”
Oy. Quiet time was over.
E-mails were arriving in by bunches of five or six at a time, so fast that the screen on my phone looked to be in constant motion as the new arrivals stacked on top of those that came a second earlier.
More than a thousand would land in the first hour alone. My e-mail address has been in The Post for more than eight years, but the volume was in a league of its own.
I found the president’s tweet, and my daughter was right about the issue. Trump said nice things about my column in that day’s Post, in which I contended that, despite his missteps, America was better off with him in the White House than Hillary Clinton.
But instead of linking to the column, Trump mistakenly included my e-mail address.
That meant his 46 million Twitter followers knew how to reach me, and many decided to do just that. To try to stop the flood, we rapidly came up with a plan to respond to Trump’s tweet by thanking him and including the correct link to the column, hoping it would be broadly shared.
Either he or someone on his staff also realized the mistake and deleted his original tweet and substituted a passage from my column and this time included the correct link.
That would finally work, but not before my in-box got slammed with more than 2,000 e-mails.
A few thoughts on the experience.
First, without an exact count of each, I would partition the senders into three main groups. Many were eager to see what the president liked, and assumed that if they e-mailed me, I would respond with a copy of my column.
As Kelly Smith wrote, “Sounds great! Pls send me the entire column! Thank you!”
I would be delighted to do that, if I had nothing else to do. But because I ever read all e-mails, I was going to be busy.
Loads of anti-Trumpers were also looking for the column.
“Please forward the full article that the dumbest president in the whole history of dumb states of America was alluding to in his recent tweet about himself,” wrote Richard Ireland.
“With apologies in advance for being the gazillionth person to ask.”
His apology set him apart from the likes of Carl Acquavivq, who wrote:
“The buffoon actually posted your email address on his Twitter. I hope you get 3 million hate e-mails.” He followed that by writing, in bold caps, “F–K YOU!” — 75 times.
Another group consisted of those who found the column on their own, and either loved it or hated it. That’s standard fare, although the anti-Trumpers in this case were more great, which tells me many of his Twitter followers are looking for him to say something so they can get outraged or mock him.
For example, the president’s initial tweet, where he quoted me as writing that his was a “consensual” presidency when I actually wrote “consequential,” was ammunition for many critics.
“You support an idiot who does not know the difference between meaningful and consensual. You need to get out more,” wrote Donna Foth.
Dennis Heimforth chimed in: “I’m sure his misquoted ‘consensual presidency’ from your article will make you infinitely more proud of his mental prowess.”
Such barbed sentiments are also standard fare these days. And there was even some impish humor among some critics, who utilized my e-mail to sign me up for liberal organizations that they apparently think, will enlighten me.
Since then, I’ve spent considerable time trying to unsubscribe from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, different New York Times newsletters, the Communist Party, the Satanic Temple, MoveOn.org, Emily’s List, The Clinton Foundation and a petition to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, to name a few.
Other anti-Trumpers thought I needed something else, so I was signed up for Russian brides, Russian Cupid, Ashley Madison, an Alzheimer’s group and numerous others I’m still trying to block.
Finally, maybe the biggest group of e-mails came from people who are sick with hatred.
Indeed, they were so nasty, and there were so many of them, that reading them amounted to full immersion in the sewer that passes for the most active Trump resisters.
He’s Hitler, he’s demented, he’s evil, and he is destroying the world— and so am I for supporting him.
“Saw the pres wanted us all to email you to say you’re doing a really terrif job up there in new yark,” wrote James Dion. “Hope they give you a big ass raise for making america grate again and again and again. Good job, Goodwin. (if you’re not a jew)”
Walter Maas was one of a handful who urged me to commit suicide, writing, “You are a bigger RETARD than Trump. Kill yourself.”
I was warned that both history and pitchforks would be out for me, was wished a slow death and that I should outlive my children. My late mother was also insulted.
I was blamed of being bribed by Trump, of being insane, called immoral, a bigot and a misogynist. “Must be nice to be a white man,” wrote Erica Sonn, as if that explains everything to her.
And then there were the sexual insults, with scores utilizing the most graphic terms to accuse me of having a physical relationship with Trump.
I was subscribed to gay Web sites, and penis images were attached to a number of e-mails sent my way.
All of which struck me as potent strange. Here are these so-called liberals who still think the greatest insult is to call someone gay. Their homophobia is out of the closet.
Then again, I guess it’s not that surprising. Trump Derangement Syndrome is proving that lots of supposedly sophisticated people are actually mindless idiots filled with hatred.
Thanks to Trump, we now know who they are. Count that as more proofs his is an extreamly consequential presidency.