I honestly do not wake up each morning looking for reasons to defend President Trump’s Twitter behavior. I already wrote a piece a few months back where I explained why I believe his tweets were about more than just being crass or silly or unpresidential. By now, I had hoped his tweet-storms would have been relegated to the back pages of the local fish wrapper. However, we now have to deal with at least the next 24-48 hours of analysis over the latest couple of tweets calling out the hosts of MSNBC’s “The Morning Joe.”
It then occurred to me: The media has been struggling for well over 7 months to find something (anything) to link the president, his campaign and/or his staff with Russian officials, hoping to finally prove collusion in stealing the election from the would-be queen herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton. They are beside themselves, filled with irritation, frustration and raw anger. They cannot find the smoking gun, so they put out one un-vetted story after another that gets walked-back, clarified or retracted within hours of its publication. The stories are false, but they don’t care. The headlines will be shared on social media while the retractions rarely get a mention. They know how to take someone down. They’ve been doing it for a long time, now. Usually, their tactics work with remarkable reliability.
But this time, it’s not working.
The tables have turned and now that they are on the receiving end of some of the medicine they like to dish out, they are crying like stuck pigs. They are lamenting to one another on the radio and cable talk shows about being bullied by the president. They are clamoring about the dangers of losing their first amendment protections (a laughable idea given the conversations on college campuses to limit free speech; let alone the Left’s consistent assault on the 2nd amendment). They are acting like petulant children on a near daily basis in White House press briefings. In all honesty, their whining and mewling is an embarrassment.
So let’s put mean old Donald Trump’s, mean old tweets into perspective. First, I agree they are not presidential. They come across as juvenile, petty and sometimes mean. In other words, he is acting like any number of the thousands of other trolls lurking in the swamps of social media, preying on their opposition from the safety of their phones and keyboards. I think the president needs to focus on governing and not engaging in every single battle with media personalities.
With that said, let’s look at this from a logical and reasonable perspective. Let’s address the idea that his retorts, barbs and exchanges are an affront to the freedoms of the press guaranteed in the first amendment to the Constitution, which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I keep looking it over and I cannot find anywhere within the amendment, the right to not be called names or ridiculed. After adding up the sum total of all of Donald J. Trump’s tweets against the media, how many have led to reporters being arrested and charged by the government for their publications or broadcasts? How many have had the IRS used as a weapon against them? How many journalists have been forced to have their writings go through a federal bureau of censorship and approval? What freedoms of the press have been abridged? Did Donald Trump provide them with a list of topics, words or subjects that have been banned by the government?
It is clear there have been no freedoms restricted whatsoever. The free exchange of words and ideas, no matter how much they may sting, cannot be considered an attack on the freedom of the press. So, Jim Acosta (CNN) wherever you are, grow up and join the world of adults. Maybe try to channeling the whole “stick and stones” mantra we were all taught as kids and this time, listen to the words. All of them. Oh, and maybe try reporting the truth instead of finding anonymous sources with made up hearsay you find palatable to your personal beliefs about the president.
Some media personalities are saying these mean tweets might lead to violence. Seriously? Can we look back over the last 7 months and see just who has been charged with violent attacks? Liberals on college campuses; Leftists who melted at the election result and tore down blocks of their hometowns, looting and throwing trashcans through store fronts; a professor arrested for hiding a padlock and chain inside a sock and nearly killing a pro-Trump rally member; a Bernie supporter who went on a knife-wielding killing rampage in Portland; a crazed Bernie supporter and purveyor of Leftists news and talking-points who tried to mass-murder a group of Republican congressman who were practicing for a charity baseball game. Do I need to go on citing examples? What do all of these have in common?
If the media is truly worried “mean” tweets might put their lives at risk, what does it say about them putting out false, maligned and misleading news stories meant to hurt and destroy the president of the united states and those around him, all while painting his supporters with the same brush of scorn and disdain?
Delving a little further down this rabbit-hole, what could the president be doing that might be worse than tweeting mean comments about mainstream media figures who have been lambasting him and his administration since before the election? Could he have an attorney general mired in a gun-running operation that leads to the deaths of two border guards? Could he have his IRS leaders knowingly target opposition leaders and impede political groups from receiving their non-profit statuses? Could he go on television and tell Americans, “When the other party brings a knife, we need to bring a gun?” Maybe he could go after law enforcement officers and call their profession into question? Perhaps, instead of tweeting, President Trump could send stacks of non-serialized, $100 bills in the amount of $400 million dollars as a ransom payoff to the leading state sponsor of terror in the world? What if he then sat down at the negotiating table with that same state sponsor of terror and allowed them to keep enriching and storing their uranium stores while lying to the American people about the terms of the deal? Maybe he and his Secretary of State could look the American people in the eye and lie about a video being the cause of a radical Islamic attack on our embassy in Libya, leaving four Americans, including our ambassador, dead? Perhaps he should allow his Secretary of State to negotiate pay-for-play deals with foreign governments and businesses, one of which allows 20% of our nation’s uranium to fall under Russian control?
I’m sure I could go on, but I hope the point has been made.
Yes, President Trump should act a little more presidential and not get pulled into every online, virtual brawl on social media. However, if I had to pick the vice for a president to have, maybe being a little nasty on Twitter is an acceptable compromise to all of the corruption and chicanery that took place over the last 8 years of the previous administration.
Seems, in context, like that’s a deal worth making.