The President’s London Terror Tweets

I’ve GOT it! Make Trump move to the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center! Problem Solved!

Flat learning curve. That’s really the most alarming thing about President Trump’s tweet barrage over the weekend, as he responded stupidly, irresponsibly and offensively to the terror attack in London. It proved that he hasn’t learned a thing, despite repeated Twitter-assisted catastrophes that in the past have turned potential victories into embarrassments, mere mistakes into disasters, and whimsy into large clubs for his enemies to beat him bloody with. How could he not be wary when he considers a tweet? What happened to “Once burned, twice shy?” How about 6,348 times burned? How analytical do you have to be to think, after hitting yourself in the head squarely with a 2 X 4 and realizing that it is permanently dented (the head, not the board), “Wow! That hurt! I sure don’t want to do that again!”?

And yet here we are.

I can’t say I’m surprised, and that itself is depressing. But I’ve dealt with enough alcoholics in my life who I have asked, following particularly devastating relapses that placed everything they cared about (or should have cared about) in jeopardy, “Why would you do that, after all you have been through?”…and watched them shrug, shake their heads, and say, in various words, “I can’t explain it, and you’ll never understand.”

After the two attacks on Saturday, the President’s tweets weren’t all terrible. The second one read, “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!” Then, like a binge drinker out of rehab who takes a small sip of chablis at a reception, POTUS was on a Twitter bender—a Twender. He began exploiting the tragedy to lobby for his stalled travel ban. He blamed the attacks on political correctness. He mocked the Mayor of London. He somehow saw the episode as revealing the hypocrisy of gun control advocates. Metaphorically, the President of the United States was reeling and staggering all over the street, singing “Barnacle Bill,” stopping traffic and vomiting on pedestrians.

This, many have written, is unpresidential. Ya think? However, each President defines what “presidential” is, and if it works, it will be presidential from then on. The last President did many things that had not been presidential before—none this ugly and stupid, but still conduct that past White House dwellers would have regarded as irresponsible or beneath the office (and they would have been right.) Trump’s tweeting, however, is in a whole different category. It isn’t just unpresidential, it would be unethical conduct for a high school student.  If my son tweeted messages this stupid when he was a teenager, I would have taken his computer and phone away. I would consider taking his fingers away.

The fact that this problem persists so long after it first became obvious raises other troubling questions besides the fact that the President of the United States can’t stop himself from hurting himself politically and personally. It also indicates that, far from having appointed the “best people,” he is surrounded by weaklings, fools, yes-men, sycophants, amateurs and morons. There isn’t one person who should be able to stop this nonsense, there are 50, and every one of them is ethically obligated as an American  to try to do so until the problem is fixed.

Rex Tillerson should warn the President, in writing, that the next time he undermines the nation’s interests abroad with an impulsive tweet, he’s quitting, and telling CNN why he’s quitting. I don’t care how horrible Steve Bannon is, he has to recognize that Trump’s tweeting jeopardizes his goals, whatever they are. I know Reince Priebus is a standard-issue spineless hack, but if a top aide can’t protect a President from himself, what good is he? Ivanka should tell her father that the next time he does this, she is legally changing her last name to Streep. Republican leaders, meanwhile, should go to the White House as a group and deliver an ultimatum. In fact, they are ethically obligated to do this, and Mike Pence is obligate to look the President in the eye and say, “I’m with them.”

The news media, Democrats and “the resistance” are useless for this purpose, as they have made it clear than anything this President does will be condemned and ridiculed. The New York Times, after all, felt that a Twitter typo was worthy of front page coverage. They have all become the equivalent of a ridiculous hybrid of Chicken Little and the Boy that Cried Wolf—The Chicken Boy Who Cried That The Sky Was Raining Wolves.

Maybe the public can accomplish what the “best people” can’t. Flood the White House with letters that say, simply, “Stop tweeting.” Flood the mailboxes and e-mail accounts of every Republican and White House staffer with the same message. Millions and millions of appeals to sanity. It’s worth a try.

For this habit, mania, addiction, blind spot, whatever you call it, undermines the Presidency, Trump’s credibility, the world’s respect,  the U.S., and the policies Trump was elected to advance. This is obvious now, or should be, to everyone except, incredibly, him. One way or the other, this is one flat learning curve that must not stay flat.

 

31 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership, Professions, Social Media, Unethical Tweet, Workplace

31 responses to “The President’s London Terror Tweets

  1. valkygrrl

    He does have some twitter self control. Why, after the incident in Portland he took days to condemn the attack and offer sympathy for the victims. He was so self controlled, in fact, that he sent it from the @potus account instead of @therealdonaldtrump, not only that, he tracked down an iphone instead of using his usual android device.

    • dragin_dragon

      Wait! The US supports a Twitter account for the President? I would guess a FaceBook page as well? So now the US is TwitFace, just like everybody else?

      • valkygrrl

        I’m sure it was intended for silly ephemera like Happy #MothersDay, this nation supports your hard work. Or call your senators to confirm Jane Doe as our new ambassador to outer-whocaresistan.

        • dragin_dragon

          “new ambassador to outer-whocaresistan.”
          You have just joined Mrs. Q and Jack in making my day just a little brighter. Thanks!

      • Beckie Grove

        Yes, the POTUS has an official Twitter account as does the FLOTUS. I’m not sure about the VP but it seems if so Pence has the common sense to stay away from it. However, these Twitter accounts were around before Trump. Barrack and Michelle used them occasionally too. Trump seems to like to stick to his own instead of the POTUS one usually.

    • Isaac

      He shouldn’t have responded to the Portland incident at all. In any way.

  2. Comparing Trumps actions on Twitter to that of an addict is a very reasonable comparison!

    We do not want the President of the United States to hit rock bottom, we want him to succeed. That “we” is of course excluding all those that are actively part of the anti-Trump resistance, they are intentionally trying to driving Trump to “drink”.

    Until President Trump fully comprehends the fact that the use of his Twitter account is pouring kerosene on the flames of the “resistance” which is in-turn could very well be fanning the flames of a direct insurrection nothing will change. Someone in the White House needs to effectively deal with this.

    • agreed, Z. This is ignorance gone to seed. I do not tweet, but if I did… no, I just would not.

      Trump needs to take President Lincoln’s advice about letters: write it out, step away for at least hours, then decide if it still makes sense.

  3. dragin_dragon

    “The Chicken Boy Who Cried That The Sky Was Raining Wolves”? Jack, between you and Mrs.Q, you’re making this sunny day a little brighter. I still think we’re doomed, though.

  4. Glenn Logan

    Absolutely right. I have nothing to offer except my endorsement, and I’m sure he’s tweeted “Barnacle Bill” sometime.

    • Who’s that knocking at my door
      Who’s that knocking at my door
      Who’s that knocking at my door
      Cried the fair young maiden

      It’s only me from over the sea
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I’m all lit up like a Christmas tree
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I’ll sail the sea until I croak
      I fight and swear and drink and smoke
      But I can’t swim a bloody stroke
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor

      Are you young and handsome, sir
      Are you young and handsome, sir
      Are you young and handsome, sir
      Cried the fair young maiden

      I’m old and rough and dirty and tough
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I drink my gin, I dip my snuff
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I drink my whiskey when I can
      Whiskey from an old tin can
      For whiskey is the life of man
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor

      I’ll come down and let you in
      I’ll come down and let you in
      I’ll come down and let you in
      Cried the fair young maiden

      Well, hurry before I bust in the door
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I’ll cuss and fuss and rant and roar
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      I’ll spin you yarns and tell you lies
      I’ll drink your wine and eat your pies
      I’ll kiss your cheek and black your eyes
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor

      Sing me a love song low and sweet
      Sing me a love song low and sweet
      Sing me a love song low and sweet
      Cried the fair young maiden

      Sixteen men on a dead man’s chest
      Sang Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      Yo heave ho and a bottle of rum
      Sang Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      Oh, hi-rig-a-jig and a jaunting car (sic)
      A-hi-a-ho what are you most done (sic)
      Hooray my boys for the ????? run (sic)
      Sang Barnacle Bill the Sailor

      Tell me that we soon shall wed
      Tell me that we soon shall wed
      Tell me that we soon shall wed
      Cried the fair young maiden

      I’ve got me a wife in every port
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      The handsome gals is what I court
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      With my false heart and flatterin’ tongue
      I courts ’em all both old and young
      I courts ’em all, but marries none
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor

      When shall I see you again
      When shall I see you again
      When shall I see you again
      Cried the fair young maiden

      Never again, I’ll come no more
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      Tonight I’m sailin’ from the shore
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
      If you wait for me to come
      Settin’ and waitin’ and suckin’ your thumb
      You’ll wait until the day of your doom
      Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor

  5. philk57

    “Steve Pence is obligate to look the President in the eye and say, “I’m with them.” Yes indeed, Steve Pence, evil twin of our Vice President Mike Pence. 🙂

    • Only his good friends call him “Steve.” It comes from an old college gag, where Pence’s obsession with the 6 Million Dollar Man and the young Pence’s continued track exploits despite having a steel rod in his leg—Pence would do a great imitation of that special noise that always played when Steve Austin shifted into bionic mode—caused him to be called “Steve” in jest.

      My slip…

  6. “Republican leaders, meanwhile, should go to the White House as a group and deliver an ultimatum.”

    Stop tweeting or else…what exactly? What can they do to motivate him without undermining themselves politically as well?

  7. There’s a story I read in which a father was given to fits of madness, and when his children wanted to do something he did not approve of, they would bait him until it triggered an episode. They would then do whatever they wanted while he frothed at the mouth and gnawed at the carpet.

    I keep hoping that this methodology is why Trump tweets the way he does. Surely he’s doing something in the shadows while all his adversaries are busy tearing themselves to pieces over his latest tweet. Surely…

  8. Chris

    There were many lines in this post that made me laugh out loud, but “twender” is the best. It also took me a moment to realize the pictured tweet is fake, as I didn’t know what “Mount Weather” was.

  9. How long, Jack, before you give up on Trump? (Brace yourself. This week looks to be a toughie.)

  10. Chrissy-Boy

    Preach! I agree with almost every word of this and commend you for this thoughtful, cogent, measured post, which echoes my concern: where are the people, staff, family, whomever, who can intervene and pull that phone away from him, and what else is only within his impusle? 20 years in a library, I know that the GPO publishes Presiendtial Papers. Do they include this shit, I wonder?

  11. Carcarwhite

    Stands and applauds enthusiastically!!!

    I will write tomorrow.

    #stoptweetingmrpresident

  12. Rick M.

    I would have been supportive of Griffin if she held up his bloody fingers instead of his bloody head.

  13. Dwayne N. Zechman

    No, I’m pretty sure in this case that it’s the 2 x 4 that gets dented. Sad!

    –Dwayne

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