It’s a subreddit full of Trump supporters, and they can’t get enough of their “God Emperor,” as they’ve taken to calling him. Threads on r/The_Donald are heavy with vernacular and slogans. The subreddit reads as a mix of crudely self-aware hyperbole and toxic propagandizing, and is always — by subreddit law, in fact — in praise of Donald Trump or degradation of his foes. That dogged loyalty is of course not exclusive to r/The_Donald; it’s symptomatic of any subreddit focused on a single politician. What is exclusive to r/The_Donald is its members’ willingness (or perhaps susceptibility) to buy into the lies and “alternative facts” propagated by Trump’s team so far. It’s a telling internet corner to examine since Trump’s inauguration.
One of the most upvoted threads this past week was titled, “Is it just me? Or is anyone else getting joy from reddit collectively losing their shit at our President’s success? In 5 days he’s undone 8 years of stupid.”
One user responded in the comments thread, “r/The_Donald has become Reddit for me.”
Another top threads celebrated data from Rasmussen Reports that claimed Trump’s approval ratings are at 59 percent. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight identified Rasmussen a while back as possibly biased and definitely unreliable, but that doesn’t matter to the subreddit.
Many on the subreddit have deemed reputable news outlets like CNN and NBC to be “fake news,” turning to other outlets that better align with their own beliefs for gauging public opinion. So it makes sense that they wouldn’t care about low approval ratings being reported by actually credible sources.
And r/The_Donald disciples don’t concern themselves with the likes of Nate Silver. He’s a great example of someone r/The_Donald would likely label a “cuck,” which the subreddit defines as “someone who sits idly or encourages policies which fuck their country, national identity, and cultural heritage.” The reliability of polls are of little consequence to r/The_Donald, and users can’t get enough of Trump’s soaring numbers. It’s not surprising, then, that the subreddit’s population has been openly hostile to anything contradicting what they believe is reality.
They’re no fans of celebrities, either. That might be because one of Hollywood’s biggest names, Meryl Streep, spoke out against Trump during an acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globes.
And, while the rest of the country has been piling it on Sean Spicer for his blatant lies about the size of the Trump inaugural crowd, r/The_Donald has rallied around him. For them, Spicer is a lone hero sticking his neck out to stick it to the mainstream media.
Trump has spent the last week fulfilling a number of campaign promises, like pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, building a wall on the Mexican border, and tightening immigration from “terror-prone” nations. The subreddit has eaten up every single one of them and then spit them in the faces of all those who said Trump would never actually follow through.
All told, r/The_Donald is a wild, chaotic place with the same amount of grace as a YouTube comments section. Reading through the comments, each one devoted to President Trump, is enough to make one wonder just how serious the whole thing really is. Taking the words and posts of its over 300,000 subscribers at face value, r/The_Donald finds pride in eschewing facts and virtue in abusing those who challenge their beliefs.
If their reaction to Trump’s first week is any indication, r/The_Donald’s members will be trotting out the “Best President in U.S. History” banners by February.