Whether you love or hate Donald Trump, it’s hard to disagree that his tweet game has led to more headaches than anything else. Even if the mainstream media is indeed focusing on “nothingburgers,” Trump is doing his hardest to keep the grill hot. His latest tweets about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, hosted by son Donald Jr., and the Russia probe, led by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, have only increased public skepticism of his innocence. Like moths to a flame, the media will pick apart Trump’s combative and imprecise language.
As Trump supporters will immediately declare, there is no evidence that the President has done anything illegal. No existing evidence says that the Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals was illegal, and no existing evidence says that Donald Trump or his campaign had any collusion with Russian trolls who were monkeying around with the 2016 election. But for a man who has no evidence against him, Trump cannot stop encouraging more investigation. Like the child who provokes schoolyard bullies by squealing and whining, Trump entices the mainstream media into poking him incessantly.
Even if the media wanted to focus on some positive accomplishments that have occurred during Trump’s tenure, there’s not enough time between his outrageous tweets. Why put in the comparatively hard work of crafting a well-written and well-researched story on economic growth, EU trade deals, or diplomacy with North Korea when you can get more clicks and views by posting quick-and-easy stories about the President’s latest incendiary tweet?
As Trump should well understand, the media is comprised of profit-seeking firms. They need lots of viewers to sell ad space, and those viewers would rather focus on Trump’s tweets than on real news.
Regardless of political leanings, most consumers will spend time reading Trump-isms. They are quick, tasty, and interesting – rarely before did Americans get to see the inner workings of our Presidents on such a regular basis! A lengthy article on GDP growth or tariffs or communications with Pyongyang is like kale and quinoa – healthy, unappealing to all, but the most disciplined. We want cookies instead, and Trump’s tweets are those guilty pleasures to both liberals and conservatives alike.
Donald Trump wants the respect afforded to previous U.S. Presidents, but he won’t get it as long as he keeps [digitally] parading around like the reality-TV star he once was.
If you want to be treated like a President, you have to act like a President.
If you’re not guilty, stop taunting those who would investigate you. If you want the media to focus on your accomplishments, stop slamming out juvenile tweets that can earn them more viewers than any expose on your political wins.
While the President might balk at having to censor himself, and fret that it will erode the ardor of his base, cooling his Twitter-mania would also deflate liberal hostility. Without daily tweets to inflame Democrats’ passions against him, Trump might actually pick up some moderate and independent voters who are on the proverbial fence. After all, it’s not like Trump’s base will defect to ultra-liberal firebrands like Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren in 2020 if Trump cools it with the tweets.
Mr. President, take a page from fellow Republican leader Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
Calvin Wolf is a Lead Contributor to theDailyLead.