Friday, June 02, 2023

Deciphering a cryptic (and very weird) tweet by a House Republican on Russia


Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La.

CNN —  

Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins had enough. It was time to fight back. So he took to Twitter on Sunday and dropped this truth bomb:

“You millennial leftists who never lived one day under nuclear threat can now reflect upon your woke sky. You made quite a non-binary fuss to save the world from intercontinental ballistic tweets.”

Boom. Roasted.

Except what, exactly, is Higgins talking about? He didn’t offer any further explanation – on Twitter or anywhere else. Heck, even the dictionary was confused.

“We’re not entirely sure what this tweet is supposed to mean, and we’re literally the dictionary,” tweeted

So, let’s break down the Higgins tweet – sentence by sentence.

Higgins is clearly mad at millennials – those who were born between 1981 and 1996 – for having “never lived one day under nuclear threat.” But that’s not technically accurate since the Cold War between Russia and the United States didn’t formally end until December 1989. So older millennials have lived under a nuclear threat from Russia. And the younger end of the generation has been impacted by efforts from North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

As for Higgins’ claim that millennials can now “reflect upon your woke sky,” well, that’s a tougher nut to crack. He seems to have wanted to get a shot in at so-called “woke culture,” but sort of ran out of ways to do it. So he used it as an adjective to enhance “sky,” which, from a purely technical point of view, makes no sense.

This second sentence makes the first one look positively simple and easy to understand.

Again, Higgins seems to want to fight the culture war by noting that these “millennial leftists” have made a “non-binary fuss” – a clear reference to gender politics. But for the life of me, I can’t seem to piece together how issues of gender either would or wouldn’t “save the world from intercontinental ballistic tweets.”

Is it some sort of reference to liberals being upset with Donald Trump’s tweet wars with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? Or a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability? I read the tweet no less than 30 times and I’ll be damned if I can figure out what this second sentence means.

What then is Higgins really up to here? If I had to guess, he wanted to rally the pro-Trump base of the Republican Party behind him amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So he smashed together a bunch of red-meat words with a few other nouns and verbs thrown in for good measure.

(I have asked Higgins’ office to explain what, exactly, he was going for in the tweet and will include their response here if they get back to me.)

The result, unfortunately for Higgins, is an utter word salad – and plenty of mockery. His tweet had almost 36,000 replies and just under 4,000 likes as of midday Monday which, as the kids say, is some kind of ratio.