A Muslim Reports: Moustafa Bayoumi on the Presidential Debates
We ran into Moustafa Bayoumi recently at Randa Jarrar’s book launch party for Him, Me, Muhammid Ali at the Asian American Writers Workshop. Bayoumi, a recent Twitter phenomenon after the second Presidential debate, read a series of his tweets that sounded like a new form of surreal nonfiction poetry. This is what he read.
For more about Moustafa Bayoumi, read his PEN Ten interview.
1. “Please, please let Trump win!”—ISIS “Please, please, please, let Trump lose!”—the country of Canada (#buildawall, eh?)
2. Trump is now asking his staff why Long Island isn’t called Yuge Island. #debatenight
3. Clinton: “We need to have racial harmony between blacks, whites, and that orange color Donald Trump is.”
4. Trump: Crime, it’s hoooorible!!!! It RUINS property value!
5. Still don’t know why Trump says “African” *pause* “American.”(Same with LGBTQ) As if he’s never said those words in that order before!
6. Putin is home, watching, shirtless, and laughing hysterically now. #debatenight
7. If you “squeeze” ISIS, what do you get? Icing? #debatenight
9. Sympathies for Ivanka.
10. And which candy maker will next be forced to disassociate from Trump tonight? #Debates2016
11. Classic novels, 2016 election edition: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that this election should just end.” Austen #election2016
12. Kurtz cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: ‘The horror! The horror! Donald Trump could be president!’ #HeartofDarkness2016
13. “I am a sick man…I am a spiteful man. I am an unpleasant man. My name is Donald Trump & I approve this message.” Dostoyevsky #election2016
14. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And then there are the Trumps.” Tolstoy #election2016 edition
15. I’m already disappointed in President Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy.
16. No handshake. Trump fondles chair. #debate
17. I’m ISIS sorry ISIS but not ISIS really ISIS sorry. #debate
18. Trump: I will destroy ISIS’s locker rooms! #debate
19. Bipartisan medical experts have just determined that Trump’s sniffles are because Trump feels sorry for himself
20. Trump mistakes geese for people when he says Canadians are flocking to USA. #debate
21. What makes the vetting EXTREME? Performed on ziplines? Sponsorship by Gatorade? #debate
22. Trump: If you, Hillary, had been an effective senator, you would have stopped the assassination of Julius Caesar, but he’s dead! #debate
23. Word on the street is that one of the chairs at tonight’s #Debate is now getting an STD test.
24. Had a good run with a tweet last night. Most retweeted of the debate! No response yet from @realDonaldTrump but I can wait for 3:20 am.
25. Concerned Trump may mistake him for a woman, Paul Ryan decides to spend time in gym instead of on Trump’s campaign trail.
26. Sources say the Republican leadership is hurriedly buying Donald Trump a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, before it’s too late.
27. #Trump can’t decide if he’s running against Hillary Clinton or the Republican Party.
28. I’m a Muslim, and I would like to report a crazy man threatening a woman on a stage in Missouri. #debate
Moustafa Bayoumi is a professor of English at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His writings have appeared in publications including The Nation and The London Review of Books. He is the co-editor of the Edward Said Journal. His latest book is This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror.