Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump the tweet monster

With Bernie Sanders suddenly being treated like a font of wisdom by the media, warning that Donald Trump’s “deal” with Carrier will lead to similar blackmail by other American companies, Hillary Clinton complaining of “fake news” when “fake” is her middle name, electors claiming they will not vote for a man who acts “unpresidential” and more like a “king,” Trump filling his cabinet posts with billionaires and far-right ideologues who clearly only seek to advance their  own “special” interests rather than the public’s,  House Speaker Paul Ryan allegedly having to “school” Trump on something called the U.S. Constitution, and the world according to Trump filled with paranoia, fallacy, fantasy and misinformation, we certainly seem headed to an adventure of truly unknown character. 

As if all of this isn’t enough, the world of social media has allowed someone as narcissistic as Trump to be as irresponsible as his heart desires. There have been numerous examples of “celebrities” and athletes being foolish and “exposing” themselves to ridicule and titillating the public’s less mature senses. But Trump’s irresponsible use of social media—particularly via his twitter account—has the potential of being far more “dangerous.” Do we want a leader who continuously exposes the “intricacies” of his thought processes on a minute-by-minute basis? One who telegraphs policy ideas and decisions without prior thought or discussion? Do we want world leaders and playmakers constantly “updated” on Trump’s unpredictable, even unstable, state of mind and take advantage of that? Do we want a “leader” who is incapable of engaging in sensitive negotiations with other countries on issues of vital national interest because he can’t keep his stupid mouth—and fingers—shut? 

No, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from being “busy” exposing what a tool he is for foreign leaders like Vladimir Putin, by telegraphing his lack of insight into the subtleties of international relations, and for investors like the Japanese company Softbank, which some analysts warn whose promise to invest $50 billion in the U.S. may actually lead to net job losses rather than the 50,0000 “new” jobs that Trump claims will result. No, he is too busy complaining about “If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to 'tweet.' Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!” 

The reality, of course, is that Trump has trouble with throwing stones; he has little credibility as far as either “accuracy” or “honor” is concerned. As a “celebrity,” he was just your common, every day fodder for TMZ; as president, his asinine behavior and commentary will be fodder for every comic in the country (save maybe Dennis Miller): “Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad.” Trump is going have many “sad” days if he can’t handle the blowback from what he is dishing out. Which, of course, means it might help if he just shuts up.

Another recent tweet: “My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragic storms and tornadoes in the Southeastern United States. Stay safe!” Horse pucky. This guy is too much the narcissist to care about the problems of other people if it doesn’t fit into some personal agenda. Save jobs and hate on Mexicans at the same time! Build people affected by the storms new homes with—wait, just a nice tweet will do. 

“ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.” The former is obviously opportunistic bluster by a group on retreat everywhere, and the latter statement is something no one could know, because it was an act of social isolation, not a planned act of terrorism. He doesn’t know the difference?
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” I guess Ryan’s “discussion” with him concerning the Constitution didn’t get through to him. Even the late Justice Scalia voted in favor of the constitutional “right” to burn the flag.

Trump doesn’t believe that “voter fraud” helped him win the election, but... “PROOF do u have DonaldTrump did not suffer from millions of FRAUD votes? Journalist? Do your job!” What was that? “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!” Uh, proof? “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” The former, not really, and the latter, show us the “proof.”  

And of course there continues to be the Mexican hate, which as has been discussed is more a function of Trump’s thirst for revenge for a few business deals gone sour that mainly were of his own doing. “Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!” Trump goes on with this lengthy diatribe:

“The U.S. is going to substantialy (sic) reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country…fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S…without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies... wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border. This tax will make leaving financially difficult, but... these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged. Please be forewarned prior to making a very... expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” 

Some have pointed out that Trump is merely opening the door for businesses to engage in financial and tax blackmail with the mere threat of moving jobs, and to practice the anti-labor “Southern” business model—low wages, low benefits, low rights in exchange for the euphemistic “right to work.” Back to the “good old days” of the master-slave relationship. 

This sounds all very well to Trump and his racist supporters—and I do mean racist because this can only explain the total ignorance of the beneficial effects of NAFTA has had for the U.S., such as the $235 billion in US products imported to Mexico in 2015, more than what China, Japan and Germany (countries that the U.S. has higher trade deficits with) combined imports from the U.S.. Mexican farmers have themselves already been hurt by a special tariff imposed on Mexican produce so as not to “harm” American farmers. Will Mexico seek its own “retribution” by imposing a 35 percent tariff on U.S. goods? 

Trump tweets in the first, second and maybe even third person: “Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead." We have given him both since he made his “humble” acceptance speech following his election. Since then he has been anything but, making foolish and malformed statements left and right. Thanks to his inability to keep his mouth shut and take advice quietly from people who have a firmer grip on reality than he does, he is looking more foolish by the day. How can we keep an “open mind” when we see his own mind so well?

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