President Trump, if you are reading this in between chugging your beloved Diet Cokes or hitting a seven iron at your private country club, please ignore those voices that tell you to rein in your tweets.
Instead, please keep giving us 16 tweets on an amazing range of topics like you did Tuesday — from bragging that your “nuclear button” is bigger than North Korean leader’s Kim Jong Un’s to announcing an awards show for the best of “fake news.” (Here’s hoping I win at least one award!)
As the saying goes, “Dance with the one what brung ya” and that “one” was Twitter.
There was a time that I was part of the nearly 60% of Americans who hoped that Donald Trump would stop tweeting everything that popped into his head and act “presidential.” And I had pleaded with members of the media to stop covering every single Trump tweet like it was “The Gettysburg Address.” But those days are gone.
Now I want Trump to keep tweeting. OK, to be honest, my rationale for that is not to help the President. Trump’s nonstop and erratic tweeting is hurting Trump politically and offers Democrats a huge opportunity in the midterm elections.
How? First, Trump’s tweets often start a conversation in the media on an issue that doesn’t help him. One of the most glaring examples was in November when we were learning about allegations against then-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, that he had forcibly kissed a woman and posed in a photo of her when she was sleeping that showed him seeming to touch her breasts.
Trump, being Trump, couldn’t sit this one out, so he tweeted, “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? ….” What happened next? Well in the midst of the #MeToo revolution, Trump revived a conversation about his own history of alleged sexual misconduct. This also caused a rehashing of Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape where he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals without their consent.
Another example was when Trump tweeted his support for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie by invoking the Confederate statues: “Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!” The reaction? Trump’s praising of Confederate statues caused the media to again remind us of one of Trump’s most vile moments as President, when he said those marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the side of white supremacists included “very fine people.”
If that weren’t bad enough, Trump’s tweeting addiction has caused fact-checking of each tweet. And fact-checking and Trump are not a good combination — at least if you care about the truth. The result is that Trump’s tweets gives us a frequent reminder of his penchant for lying.
The nonpartisan site Politifact.com has documented Trump’s “pants on fire” and false tweets spanning a range of topics, from Trump falsely claiming Amazon doesn’t pay taxes to his dishonest allegation that Republican Sen. Bob Corker — with whom Trump has publicly clashed — “gave us the Iran deal.”
And the Washington Post fact-checks Trump’s tweets daily, calling out his false statements as it did with several of Trump’s comments from Tuesday’s tweet storm. All this furthers the view held by over 60% of Americans that Trump is not honest and trustworthy.
Finally, Trump’s tweets distract from his own message. This week Trump should have used Twitter to get the media to focus on the passing of his tax cuts and the bonuses certain companies have offered employees in response — as well as his legislative agenda for 2018, including his long-awaited plan for strengthening America’s infrastructure. Instead, we are having discussions about the size of Trump’s “button” and whether Trump is mentally fit to be President.
On some level, it seems that Trump is trying to tweet us into submission. But that’s not working, as I’ve heard firsthand from those who oppose Trump and call my SiriusXM radio show. It’s just making them more worked up to vote in this November’s midterm elections against Republicans to send a message to Trump they don’t like what they’ve been seeing.
So, Trump, tweet away! You are doing more to help make the Democratic Party great again than it could have ever hoped to do for itself.