BY STATE SENATOR JAMES SANDERS, JR.
Put your smartphone down and step away from the social media, Mr. Trump – that’s what we should all be saying to our president, a man who always seems to be insulting just about everyone including world leaders, while severing political relationships, throwing diplomacy out the window and inching closer to possibly starting a nuclear war with North Korea.
Every week Trump is stirring up trouble through his use of those 140 characters. And now Twitter is testing out ways to double the length of its tweets to 280 characters. I don’t even want to think about what Trump will do if he gets that holiday gift.
How did this all start? We know that Trump has no filter between what he thinks and what comes out of his mouth. Further, he seems to have a compulsion to broadcast his every thought immediately via Twitter, without consideration of the consequences. Trump has long had a war with the mainstream media, targeting many outlets for publishing what he calls “fake news.”
Social media gives Trump the ability to put forth his message straight from his lips to his supporters, people who seem to believe whatever he says, and have the ability to forgive whatever mistakes he makes, and under those conditions bypassing the necessity of the 4th estate altogether. However, the problem is that the message is going out to everyone, not just his base, and it is causing an endless amount of trouble.
This week was no exception as President Trump re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos by a right-wing group called Britain First, raising the ire of Ministers of Parliament, some of whom have called Trump “racist,” “fascist” and “evil.” One even suggested: “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if the Prime Minister could persuade the President of the United States to delete his Twitter account?”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said it was wrong for Trump to have made the tweets. Trump fired back in his typical uncouth fashion, tweeting at May – “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
Mr. Trump, you don’t speak for me.
May did add that the offensive tweets would not threaten the relationship between the US and Britain and she would be honoring an invitation for the Commander-in-Chief to visit the UK. However, American diplomats ended up squashing the trip less than 48 hours after the twitter whirlwind.
Some like Labour Member of Parliament, Chris Bryant, support the decision for Trump to stay away. Bryant said, “The Prime Minister should make it absolutely clear that if Donald Trump comes to this country, he’ll be arrested for inciting religious hatred and therefore he’d be better off not coming at all.”
Never in the history of our great country has a president caused such embarrassment for the American people.
At a time when our children are beginning to use social media at a younger and younger age and we must deal with issues such as cyber bullying, something that the First Lady said she would like to stamp out, by the way, we have a president who is setting a very poor example. He is condoning temper tantrums and name calling as problem solving solutions.
As a former member of a Community Education Council, here in Queens, and as a father, I would not condone it if a school student called his or her teacher “short and fat” for giving a difficult homework assignment, similar to the way Trump tweeted those words about North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. It is a sad state of affairs indeed, when our country’s youth cannot even look to our president as role model.