Arts & Entertainment

Somerville Author Chronicles Trump, His Tweets and Path to the White House in “Trumped! How Tweets, Trolls and Memes Won the Presidency for Donald Trump”

"Trumped! How Tweets, Trolls and Memes Won the Presidency for Donald Trump" is available online at Amazon.com for $34.99 (color) or black-and-white, $15.99. Credits: Courtesy John F. Hughes
Author John F. Hughes, a resident of Somerville and graduate of Hillsborough High School, has written a book on President Donald Trump's campaign strategy using "Tweets" to communicate online. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Like millions of Americans, John F. Hughes was caught up in the drama, the history of the moment, the intrigue and suspense as Election night stretched into the early morning hours until it became increasingly clear that Donald Trump just might have pulled off one of the biggest upset victories in American politics.

It was then that Hughes, a Somerville resident, realized he had to write a book about Trump’s improbable journey and how he was able to vanquish 16 GOP Primary opponents and the presumed front runner, Democrat Hillary Clinton by dominating the online discussions with his Twitter account.

“I started following him closely after he won the Republican primaries because of my own personal perspective,” Hughes explained, “ and it soon dawned on me ‘I think he’s going to win.’  It was a hard argument to make then but sure enough, he won.”

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An unabashed Trump supporter and self-described “news junkie,”, Hughes had meticulously catalogued Trump’s online strategy, and the vigorous war of words online – each attack condensed into 140 characters, the maximum number permitted by Twitter – giving rise to such divisive characterizations as “Crooked Hillary,” “Fake News,” “Lying Ted Cruz” and “Little Marco Rubio.”

Radio helped FDR get elected, television helped JFK get elected, and Trump’s infamous Twitter account and his grassroots Internet supporters made the difference in the 2016 election, according to Hughes, who graduated from Hillsborough High School in 2005.

“The way he used Twitter to achieve his ends is absolutely brilliant,” Hughes said.

The 30-year-old researcher, analyst and essayist set to work on his book immediately, even though he admits he tried to talk himself out of the project.

“So, it’s election night, I’m sitting there, it’s 2 or 3 a.m., waiting for the results and I started thinking in my head ‘I have to write about this,’ but I immediately tried to talk myself l out of it, there’s  probably going to be a million other books like this,” Hughes said.

“I  went on Amazon and searched for Trump books and found 28,000 titles; maybe 10,000 were related to playing cards another couple thousand were about his previous ventures, “Celebrity Apprentice,”  real estate, then there were a couple about the campaign, but they were published before the election.

“They had negative views of him and there were a couple of compilations thrown together that were subpar efforts, but I couldn’t find anything like I wanted to put together,” Hughes continued. “That encouraged me, that nobody had written this, the idea that I had, to cover the election via tweets in chronological order."

But, Hughes continued to have his doubts.

“I still tried to discourage myself. It would take a lot of effort and who knows, who would buy it, how would I publish it, I was looking for ways not to invest the effort,” he explained. “I  bounced the idea off few people I respect, a couple of them thought it was an interesting premise. I wrote two or three chapters, showed it to them and they said, ‘yeah this is great, keep going, keep writing.’

"I really didn’t start writing until after Thanksgiving. I was motivated by the pressure, knowing that if someone else were to write the same thing, beating me to it, I’d be kicking myself for the rest of my life,” Hughes said.

He finished the final chapter at 11 p.m. Inauguration Night, while the newly-elected president danced the night away with First Lady Melania Trump at the Inaugural Balls, along with members of his family.

“Trumped! How Tweets, Trolls and Memes Won the Presidency for Donald Trump,” is a definitive chronology of the 2016 battle for the White House, in a narrative voice.

Self-published, the large format paperback books contains 262 pages and over 1,300 illustrations.

The book offers a sociological, historical and humorous perspective on the Trump campaign and the candidate’s use of the Internet as a means to circumvent the media.

“The way he used Twitter to achieve his ends is absolutely brilliant,” Hughes said.

It is a compilation of all that Americans either admire or loath about the president and his fixation with the Twitter universe.

“Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has done more for the First Amendment than anyone in recent memory,” Hughes said. “The man did not mince words, did not apologize for expressing himself, and refused to bow down when various media personalities tried to shame him into submitting to ‘political correctness.’ ”   

“This past election was unique for many reasons, and I did my best to catalog the most pivotal, memorable and funniest moments of the campaign,” Hughes added. “The book sheds light on many of the reasons Trump won the election despite nearly unanimous predictions of failure in the press.  With 1300 images, the book is a virtual encyclopedia of memes and tweets and is good for many laughs.”

The back cover of the book offers some insight as to what is inside:

“Donald Trump will never be President of the United States.”  That sentence was repeated by celebrities, pundits and politicians so often throughout 2015 and 2016 that most of America seemed to believe it.

“Then came Nov. 8th, 2016. How did so many people get it wrong? What were they missing? What did Trump and his supporters know that others didn’t?

“The answer can be stated in under 140 characters: tweets, trolls and memes won the presidency for Donald Trump. In this chronology, you will find:

How Twitter enabled Trump and citizen journalists to overcome the media;

How Trump succeeded in dominating the online discussion;

How memes became more effective than political advertisements;

How Trump became the world’s greatest political troll;

How grassroots Trump supporters won the online ‘meme-war.”

The book is available online at Amazon.com. The color version is $34.99; Black-and-white is $15.99 and the Kindle version is $8.99

Hughes can be reached online via his website, TrumpedTweets.com

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