If this was the old west, and men used tweets instead of guns, Donald Trump would be known as the deadliest tweeter in the west because of his accuracy, fearlessness, and willingness to draw. Few are still standing after he unleashes his withering verbiage.Wyatt Earp would leave town and Matt Dillon would be riding with him. Trump would easily have more tweets carved into the butt of his phone than any other tweetfighter.
To be serious, Donald Trump tweets because he must. It is in his DNA. He can’t stand criticism or disagreement and vengeful tweets are the result. When he hears something negative said about him he sees but one avenue of response — attack! His tweets are never simple, polite and understanding responses. He always attacks whoever has criticized him and usually uses degrading, insulting language. That is a very dangerous practice in a world full of nuclear weapons and lunatic leaders. I will be very surprised if anyone ever succeeds in separating Trump from his phone for very long despite the fact that his tweets and lack of transparency during the transition are probably responsible for his loss of popularity. The White House may soon be known as The Bird House.
Donald Trump is the most unpopular new President in the history of political polling. More Americans disapprove of Trump’s transition than approve, a stark break from past presidents. 44 percent approve of the transition while 51 percent disapprove, Gallup found. By comparison, around the same time in Barack Obama’s 2009 transition, 83 percent of Americans approved of the effort while only 12 percent disapproved.
In 2001, George W. Bush — who, like Trump, lost the popular vote — enjoyed a 61 percent approval rating for his transition, while only 25 percent of Americans disapproved. Bill Clinton saw similar numbers in 1993, with 68 percent approval and 18 percent disapproval
Unless someone has the guts to wrestle that phone away from Donald Trump he is likely to embroil us in very dangerous situations. He has no clue as to what diplomacy means, he only knows how to attack. Some foreign leaders will not take kindly to that so I beg of him and his staff to stop the tweets. Take his phone away from him, it has already tarnished the dignity of the Presidency, we don’t need for a tweet to place us on the edge of disaster.
Let’s assume, though, that he keeps on tweeting. There’s another risk besides that of going to war. I would imagine the Trump team has already thought of this, even if their leader has not. The more he tweets the more he could see his support erode.
With his approval rating down around 40 percent, he is the most unpopular incoming President since polling began. Now you might ask, “So what? Who cares if his popularity goes down he’s been elected and he’s in office?” There’s a lot of truth to that statement, he has been elected and he does hold office, but a President cannot do much alone. He needs the support of the congress.
Members of the U.S. House are particularly sensitive to polling. They watch their districts very carefully. They have to because they are up for election every two years and that means they are always campaigning. If Paul Ryan and his house majority start to see an erosion of public support for Trump some members may sense that they are vulnerable and on some bills may vote with the Democrats. Right now the Republicans hold 241 house seats and the Democrats have 194. That’s a pretty big majority. All it would take, though, to change the balance of power is for 25 republicans to side with the democrats on some key pieces of legislation (that assumes the Democrats vote as a bloc).
We must remember that house members spend most of their time making sure they can get re-elected. When they sense the winds of change, party loyalty could take a back seat to survival as a house member.
The same dynamics do not apply to the Senate because they have six-year terms and Senators can count on voters having short memories. At the same time, though, the Republicans have a much slimmer majority in the upper chamber. There the GOP has 52 seats, the Democrats have 46 and there are two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. So the Republicans have a 4 vote edge. Three GOP Defections gives the edge to the Democrats.
Why is all of this important? Well, you can bet the Democrats are counting on Trump’s erratic behavior to continue. His most recent Tweet broadsides at Black Democratic Congressman John Lewis who is a civil rights icon all but ensures it will be a very long time before Trump gets even a smidgen of African American support. There are also enough Whites and Hispanics who find the shots fired at Lewis as un-Presidential and disrespectful to cause them to defect as well. This only adds to the further erosion of Trump’s popularity. Here we are at the very beginning of a Presidential term in office and Mr. Trump is on unsteady ground. He shouldn’t be. There’s no reason for it, he should be riding a wave of popularity, but that’s not happening. Not only did he lose the popular vote, he is losing support among groups who backed him for president. He always appears to be angry, infuriated and about ready to explode. The country needs a steady hand at the rudder and his behavior indicates anything but.
None of this bodes well for the incoming President and much of the displeasure, I’m thinking, is tied directly to his incessant tweets. Trump is so thin-skinned that any comment about him is met almost instantaneously with an attacking tweet or storm of tweets. That’s one big problem.
His second big problem is the mass media. His antagonistic and combative behavior with them is not wise. If he decides that the Press will no longer have a presence in the White House that will frost the cake. He will be attacked editorially by every medium in the world and not just once, the attack will be ongoing and endless. People may not like the media, but the founding fathers did because they saw the media as the element that illuminates and exposes what elected and non-elected officials are doing. When the media are no longer allowed to do their job, we may as well live in a dictatorship because everything will be done in secret.
None of what I’m telling you could happen has to happen. All that’s needed to prevent what I suggested is for Mr. Trump to have a change in attitude. He doesn’t have to change his position on issues, but his attitude is hurting him. I disagreed with Ronald Reagan on almost every issue, but I liked him. He had the right attitude. If Mr. Trump intends to shoot back at everyone who is critical of him, he won’t have time to comb his hair in the morning. He’ll spend all day in bed tweeting.
I would like very much for Mr. Trump to have the most successful presidency in the history of the nation, but it will never happen until he changes his attitude, develops a thicker skin, stops acting like a street corner brawler and begins to represent the highest office in the land with the kind of dignity it deserves. This may come as a surprise to him, but the Presidency is not really about him. It is about the future of the United States. The Presidency is bigger than any man or woman. Mr. Trump would do well to act accordingly and he might be surprised to see his poll numbers go up.
And — from where I sit, that’s the truth!