If, like me, you value your own peace of mind so little that you’ve signed up for instant mobile notifications every time Donald Trump tweets, you’ll know that the president’s latest pet project is picking a fight with Amazon and Washington Post boss Jeff Bezos. Because who cares about boring topics like affordable healthcare, economic equality or gun control, right?
In the past week, Trump has tweeted about Amazon on three separate occasions. First, he claimed that the US postal service has lost money by delivering Amazon’s packages:
While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that “the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,” and that...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2018
...does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a “lobbyist” and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. “increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.” This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2018
The next day, he suggested Amazon are forcing American shops to go out of business:
Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country...not a level playing field!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
Finally, on Tuesday, he fumed that American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to cover Amazon’s ‘costs’:
I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
Although this might seem like another fly-by-night rant by the president, the tweets have been very painful for the billionaire and his business empire. In total, the president’s “obsessive” attacks have reportedly cost Amazon more than $60 billion in stock value.
While it’s true that the US Postal Service delivers around 40% of Amazon’s packages, Michael Plunkett, former vice president at the Postal Service, told NPR that the Postal Service does not in fact lose money delivering Amazon’s or anyone else’s packages. Amazon’s packages are “very cost-efficient for the Postal Service to handle for the most part,” he said.
But, in this war between Trump and Bezos, someone has come up with the perfect way for the Amazon boss to silence the president once and for all.
What if Jeff Bezos bought Twitter with the change in his pocket and shut Trump's account?— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) April 3, 2018
Yes, that’s right, multi-billionaire Bezos should simply buy Twitter and shut Trump’s account.
The suggestion was made by Preet Bharara, a former US Attorney who was fired in 2017 by none other than Donald Trump. He said: “What if Jeff Bezos bought Twitter with the change in his pocket and shut Trump’s account?”
And you know what… this idea isn’t totally unrealistic. Bezos, who is worth around $114 billion, could easily pick up Twitter Inc, which is valued at around $16 billion. Clearly it’s outrageous that one man has been able to accumulate such a ridiculous amount of money but now he’s got, Bezos might as well put it to good use.
Can you imagine? The president suddenly silenced, with no direct way of addressing the public. It would be bliss wouldn’t it?
It’s also worth thinking about why Trump launched this attack on Amazon in the first place. Well, in 2013 Bezos bought The Washington Post newspaper for $250 million – the same Washington Post that published the infamous ‘Grab ‘em by the pussy’ tape and has been critical of Trump’s presidency.
It’s a real dark moment when Trump essentially attacking the media and using his political position to try to damage his opponents doesn’t really seem like a big deal. But that’s the point we’re at now.
Atlantic writer McKay Coppins has also suggested that Trump despises Bezos on a personal level. “Jeff Bezos is exactly the kind of figure that inflames Trump’s status anxiety—younger than him, much richer than him, and beloved in elite quarters in a way that Trump has always craved,” he said on Twitter.