Rick Wilson, a prominent Republican strategist committed to the “Never Trump” movement, showed last week what it looks like to be totally consumed with bitterness and hatred. This could be brushed aside as one person’s foolishness, but it is part of a much bigger problem. When people act this way, how can we survive as a country? How do we have any hope of being unified or even living as neighbors?
Here’s what happened. Way back in 2012, a 24 year old woman named Kayleigh McEnany posted a compliment on Twitter directed at Domino’s Pizza. In what is a boringly normal response to customer praise on social media, Domino’s responded:
Replying to @kayleighmcenany
@kayleighmcenany That’s one heck of a compliment! Thanks for the love! #WEAPPRECIATEIT!
9:48 PM · Nov 8, 2012·Astute Social
It is common for a company to respond to customer praise. I have had companies respond to me when I have said I like their products. It is part of customer engagement and social media marketing, and no one really questions it. But in this case, that 24 year old woman became the White House press secretary under President Donald Trump eight years later. Therefore, since the Orange Man is very Bad, Domino’s must be “called out” for an eight year old social media post.
You just killed your brand. #ETTD
9:34 PM · Jun 15, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
This is not only deranged, it is wholly immoral and perverse. Wilson is poisoning the culture and his own soul with this all-consuming hatred. To try to “cancel” Domino’s over an eight year old tweet where they thanked a customer for kind words is fully deranged. I did not think “cancel culture” could get any more petty and absurd, but I was wrong. It can always get worse. (Domino’s response was very good, though.)
Look, I understand why people do not like Donald Trump. I intend on voting for Trump in the general election, but I voted against Trump in both the primary and general election in 2016. I did not vote for Trump in the 2020 primary. But to hold a company liable in 2020 because they said a kind word to a customer who went on to work for Trump eight years later takes Trump Derangement Syndrome to a whole new level. Now we have people swearing they will never buy from Domino’s again because they were nice to a customer who went on to work for the Bad Orange Man eight years later.
This nonsense has to stop. The idea that someone being nice to someone you hate is grounds for attacking them is utterly absurd. It forces us into warring tribes, where the partisanship is so vicious that even being kind would result in your economic and professional destruction. If our country is going to survive, we cannot embrace this kind of bitterness and hatred. We must be able to live and work and shop next to people even when we strongly disagree with them.
If there is one positive thing to take away from this foolishness, it is that it is on Twitter, which is an open sewer of hatred and tribalism. Even on Twitter, Wilson and his cult were mercilessly mocked and ridiculed for taking offense to an eight year old act of customer relations. But it should worry us that there are so many people who are so consumed with hate that even the most tiny and insignificant act of “heresy” brings permanent enmity. There is no grace, no tolerance and no forgiveness – only vengeance.