In Philadelphia 241 years ago, a group of revolutionaries was debating the precise wording of the colonies’ Declaration of Independence from England. There were divisions, but the Founders united around the concept of certain self-evident truths including equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The history of the planet changed on that new idea, an idea that would never be practiced perfectly, but it would set a true course that would always serve as a guide for the people and their leaders.
Fast forward to yesterday morning when the President of the United States used Twitter to go after two of his critics—MSNBC morning show co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
Brzezinski quickly responded with a photograph of the text on a Cheerios cereal box that read, “Made for Little Hands,” a reference to a frequent insult of Trump that he has unusually small hands.
The insults triggered a social media storm and debate on cable television, the latest in the ongoing, tit-for-tat sniping between the President and the press.
Trump defenders are energized by his counterpunches, believing that it is about time a Republican stood up to what they perceive as a liberal, hostile press. They believe, as the President said in a February Tweet, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people.”
The media have pushed back, often with an indignant tone and coverage that borders on obsession with highlighting their own issues with the Trump administration. Does America really care that much about White House media briefings?
Okay, so many in the media have it out for Trump, but the President is, well, the President and boorish behavior is beneath the dignity of the office. Additionally, as Fox News Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt points out, Trump’s Twitter sideshow undermines his agenda.
“Nearly 68 percent of West Virginians who voted in 2016 cast their ballots for Trump. We cannot know all of their motivations but we can, at least, assume that energy policy, environmental regulations, health insurance, foreign policy and taxes figured into the nearly 490,000 votes in the Mountain State for Trump,” Stirewalt wrote.
“None, we can optimistically say as a political note of Appalachian origin, were cast in anticipation of insulting women’s looks,” he said.
There’s too much news today about the news, and the President’s churlish Tweets fuel the trench warfare of words. It is clogging up the portals from which Americans are supposed to find out what’s happening in their world so they can form opinions and make rational decisions.
Instead, the news consuming public is caught in a constant crossfire of invectives leaving them wounded and bewildered. This sorry predicament serves as a depressing backdrop as we prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence, which was forged during a finer hour.