Tweeting Bigly

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

– Abraham Lincoln

In this day and age of social media, everyone comments on the latest thing that they’ve done – even the smallest things. Used to be, they’d ring up a friend to tell. Now people post it on Facebook and enjoy their friend’s – and friends of friends, or anyone, depending on their privacy setting – “likes” and comments.

But Tweeters are a different kind – generally they post to share what is on their mind at the moment instead of happenings, and often without apparent forethought prior to hitting the send button as to its truthfulness or possible impact.

Our president is an example. He’s referred to by many as the Tweeter-in-Chief, a play on his title, Commander-in-Chief. He has an apparent penchant for tweeting just about every random thought that comes into his head. And, in combining both “in-chief” titles, his latest tweet that transgenders will no longer be allowed to serve in our armed forces has everyone but himself scratching their collective heads, wondering where that came from. 

I’m not going to go into the merits or demerits of whether or not transgenders should or should not be allowed to serve. That’s not my intent here. What I want to illustrate is that the president, were his tweets a gun, one would think he’d have learned by now to keep it holstered and not repeatedly shoot himself in the foot.

In that tweet, he said he reached his decision after consulting with his generals. Yet, when the brass at the Pentagon were asked for a comment, their only response was shrugged shoulders and the answer to reporters that they should ask the White House. Apparently, they are in the dark as much as anyone about it.

In that tweet, he justified things by saying transgenders negatively impact troop readiness and effectiveness. Well, a study concluded by the Pentagon a year or so ago came to the opposite conclusion, based in part on those 12 other nations who’ve allowed transgenders in their armed forces for years and some for decades.

Apprently, the brass don’t have a problem with transgenders the way he does.

He also justified it by saying how excessive medical costs are, involving transgenders. Well, the Pentagon has said such costs only amount to about 1/2 of 1% their total budget. Hardly excessive. In fact, the Pentagon spends 10 times as much, annually, on Viagra. 

Now there’s something to tweet about!

I’m sure somebody out there has counted how many other tweets he’s made in his life, probably hundreds since entering office. But I’m curious how many were not snarky, thoughtlessly picking and poking, reflexively responding without constraint or forethought, or reacting to something just to show how witty he thinks he is, as his many tweets demonstrate.

It appears that our president seems to enjoy hearing himself talk (as it were), which leads me to the understanding of a narcissist: “A cross section of the narcissist’s ego will reveal high levels of self-esteem, grandiosity, self-focus, and self-importance. … Narcissists’ language and demeanor is often geared toward one objective: to maintain…power…” That comes from the magazine, Psychology Today.

Considering the fact that he’s not been able to get any substantial things done after 6 months in office, I suppose he has nothing left except to try to appear powerful in his demeanor. And his recent public statements that he is the greatest president since Lincoln, and jokingly (?) said his face should be added to Mt. Rushmore National Monument, along with those other greats, Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and his favorite, Lincoln, reflect his self-esteem and grandisoity. 

(If you read my post yesterday about the administration’s study to decide if some dozens of national monuments should lose federal protection, I guess Mt. Rushmore won’t be on that list. And on that subject, another post of mine from 3 July 2016, “The Selling of America”. And if you don’t know what bigly means, read my post of 5 September 2016, “Trump Memed Bigly”.)

I’m no doctor, but one only has to see, observe, read and listen to the president to realize that definition fits him exactly. Maybe he’s not, maybe he’s only being foolish.

Mr. President, listen to your aides and associates wise counsel to stop tweeting. Save us your tantrums and your tirades. 

It would be better if you listen to your Lincoln’s advice: Remain silent and not remove all doubt about how foolish you are acting.

– Bill

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