Whether or not it’s real, a video of a man trying to steal an electrified Trump sign has a lot of people angry — mostly because of who shared it on social media.
It began when Trump social media director Dan Scavino shared a video loop of a man apparently trying to steal the electrified sign and getting a shock.
It then got shared by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — the father of former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders — and things went apace from there.
First, the tweet from Scavino, which began with an electric bolt emoji.
“When this guy with Trump Derangement Syndrome went to steal a #TrumpPence campaign sign there was one problem, it was electrified….” he tweeted on Thursday morning.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) January 2, 2020
Huckabee retweeted it with the suggestion that the man could be an early contender for the 2020 Darwin Awards.
Our 1st likely Darwin Award nominee for 2020 is this doofus. If you look closely, it appears he wet his pants. https://t.co/f81rLWsdP0
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) January 2, 2020
For the uninitiated, the Darwin Awards is an ironic online “honor” given to “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it in a spectacular manner,” according to the awards’ website.
It’s not clear that this happened in 2020; indeed, there were more than a few people online who noted that this looked suspiciously close to a video that circulated in 2016. (I certainly remember seeing this one before.) It also seems unusual that if the sign wasn’t taken, the homeowner would have trawled through hours of video footage simply to find this clip.
I don’t want to cast aspersions on whoever originally uploaded the clip, but when it comes to judging whether it’s real, just keep those things in mind.
It’s also worth noting there were plenty of people who stole Trump signs during the 2016 election cycle and beyond, so it’s not as if this is entirely outside the realm of reality.
This all said, there were plenty of people with blue checkmarks who did take this seriously — and to say the clip was polarizing could be the understatement of the (admittedly very young) year.
Here was liberal pundit Dean Obeidallah saying that this was nothing short of “calling for violence against those who oppose Trump”:
Lets be clear- This Trump official is calling for violence against those who oppose Trump. Period. These are the stakes for 2020. I can assure you that before this campaign is over Team Trump will be going far beyond “suggesting” violence to keep Trump in power.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 2, 2020
From the right, Brad Polumbo of the Washington Examiner was slightly more restrained:
sorry but *electrifying* your campaign sign is psycho https://t.co/bktFbG7dz2
— Brad Polum-gay-class-traitor-bo (@brad_polumbo) January 2, 2020
Jeryl Bier, formerly of The Weekly Standard, had similar thoughts:
What kind of psycho electrifies a campaign sign? https://t.co/3WEFt3Q2b3
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) January 2, 2020
Caleb Howe of Mediaite had a different take:
Going into a stranger’s yard and stealing their sign is psycho.
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) January 2, 2020
Get Off My Lawn is a lifestyle. And I’m a member of it. https://t.co/84DG2S6z8U
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) January 2, 2020
There were plenty of non-blue-checkmarkers opining on it, although sometimes their hot takes make you understand why there are social media gatekeepers, sadly:
First this looks staged. 2nd it’s literally illegal to have an electrified a sign. So if it’s not staged, the person who owns property can literally be in legal trouble. U just proved are literally dumb as rocks which I why Trump said he loves the poorly educated bc they’re dumb.
— LawGirl2019 (@LawGirl2019) January 2, 2020
Ah, unintentional humor.
Several things here.
First, all apologies to Huckabee, but I think his jeans are just dark.
Second, if the video is real, I think we all know what happens when you play stupid games — you win stupid prizes.
There was plenty of sign-stealing during the 2016 election, almost all of the high-profile incidents involving Trump signs. Electrification was one of the methods used by Trump sign owners, as shown during this 2016 report from CNN:
That’s likely to repeat itself during the 2020 campaign, which promises to be even nastier than Trump’s first rodeo.
This isn’t going to be the last time we have a debate over Donald Trump’s campaign signs and the methods people use to protect them. The same thing is probably true for the signs representing whoever the Democrat nominee is.
If only there were a way to avoid getting shamed for sign-stealing. Well, I certainly can’t think of any.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.