It has been a little over eighteen months since Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, and in that time, we’ve gotten used to several aspects of his presidency.
We’re well aware that he is politically inexperienced and unconventional. Many view these as positives. We’ve also noticed an incredible (almost constant) proclivity toward the immature and irresponsible. These traits were more than evident out on the campaign trail.
Of the tools at his disposal, President Trump seems to prefer Twitter most of all. It’s a quick way to leave a mark and “own the Libs.” It ignites his base. It’s a comfortable pulpit for a man who thrives on the sarcastic and shocking. From there, the president can sound off about the “fake news” media, the ongoing National Anthem controversy, the impressive accomplishments of tubby North Korean dictators, and all the ways his administration is supposedly making America great again.
Almost every day, there’s at least one new, eye-roll-inducing tweet that emanates from the @realdonaldtrump account. His supporters lap it up. His detractors recoil in disgust. Rinse, repeat. This melodrama has become standard.
So, should we care about President Trump’s tweets? Should we take them seriously? The answer is a resounding yes.
However, a recurring debate centers around whether we should take the president’s tweets literally. Often, his uncritical supporters will chide those of us who dare question their leader and say, “Don’t look at the words, look at the actions!” Rhetoric is not behavior, they say. Tweets are not policy, they say. Move away from the harmless rants and look at what he does, they say. Right?
The problem isn’t whether Trump’s words on a social media platform become real life. We know by now not to assume either way. The problem is that his behavior is a reflection of who he is as a man. They speak to the core of his person. And that is truly concerning.
Despite what President Trump says, the media is not the enemy of the American people. Yes, there is bias (at Fox News, too!), but we have real enemies, especially murderous thugs like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, who deserve the moniker. Also, despite what President Trump says, just because NFL players refuse to stand for the National Anthem does not mean they should maybe leave the country. We should not applaud when he insults others, such as NBA star LeBron James’ intelligence or Mika Brzezinski’s appearance.
This constant stream of juvenile behavior is not fitting for the office he holds and his station as the ultimate representative of our nation. Period.
Unfortunately, some former primary opponents, who have already caved to a man who insulted their spouse, see it in quite a different way.
US Sen @tedcruz says some Republicans are “clowning themselves” in their overreacting to Trump tweets or comment of the day. Says he refuses to let media drag him into those discussions. #ResurgentGathering
— Jeremy Wallace (@JeremySWallace) August 4, 2018
Now, imagine the tables were turned. It’s not if, it’s when the GOP will be the minority party in D.C. At that time, the Right will again apply the standards they had for previous, Left-leaning presidents. Conveniently, though, the same benchmarks that Republicans so desperately cling to have magically seemed to disappear during this Trump Era.
While I don’t think we should make Donald Trump’s tweets the top priority of everyday discussion, we should make note of them. We should absolutely condemn them as needed. He should not get a pass just because of the (R) next to his name, but I know that’s asking a lot of a Republican electorate filled with many foolish people who voted him in just because he’s entertaining.
I doubt that in the remainder of his time at the White House that Donald Trump will change the way in which he communicates online. After all, it helped to get him this far. No matter what he says (or does), he’s adored by millions.
If you’re one of the many who congratulates him on every tweet no matter how much it further degrades the office or reveals the rotten character of the man himself, then you’re part of the problem.
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