Donald Trump’s Twitter madness is well known. Enough Americans didn’t care and voted for him. But the president-elect’s latest tweet storm is more troubling than usual. It’s disturbing that he would attack civil rights icon US Rep. John Lewis but it’s what that attack shows is even worse.
First, Lewis is wrong. Unless it’s proven than the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians or in some other cheated in the vote, he is the legitimate president-elect. He won the Electoral College vote which is how we currently elect our presidents (whether we should do it that way is another matter).
That said, Lewis is entitled to his free speech and that speech is more impactful given that it’s coming from someone with his life experience. A confidante of Martin Luther King, Jr. he was attacked by police at Selma and has lived a life of public service dedicated to civil rights.
Lewis is among those who will not attend the inaugural on Friday. (The Shad’s congresswoman, Katherine Clark, is also taking a stand and taking a pass.). Lewis is making an important statement by refusing to attend.
Let’s get to the real problem. Trump response to Lewis shows a truly frightening inability to take any criticism whatsoever. Twitter’s 140 characters per post being inadequate, Trump used two tweets to collectively wrote. “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to…… mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
Trump’s got problems. In confirmation hearings, his cabinet picks have shown a proclivity for distancing themselves from guy who nominated them. Trump claims he wants it that way but it’s doubtful he’s happy with his peeps saying, “um, no” when asked if they support various Trump policies.
His Russia problems seem to be mounting. Business Insider is reporting about a Russian dossier on Trump. Incoming National Security Advisor Mike Flynn reported talked extensively with the Russian embassy the day the Obama administration announced sanctions in response to Russian hacking. Trump says he might scrap the sanctions against Russia (and perhaps the One China policy as well).
Yet Trump chose to smack around John Lewis. With his historic inauguration at hand, his Russia problems, and the fact that he got nearly 3 million less votes than his opponent, Trump decides his time is best spent whacking Lewis. Trump is constitutionally incapable of taking criticism. This doesn’t bode well for the country.
What happens when Trump faces real criticism? What if Vladimir Putin decides to call Trump’s presidency illegitimate? What if NATO allies object to his policies? What if the American public continues to disapprove of Trump? What does he do when Elizabeth Warren—who is running for reelection—gets back to dissing him at every opportunity? Is he going to take to Twitter to respond?
God help us.