Donald Trump does himself no favors when he sends out tweets like the one he did this morning. When he does so, it distracts from his message, and invites his attackers to continue piling on him. True the people that support him will keep doing so as long as he continues to move his agenda forward, and as long as he does not engage in behavior that is so egregious, they will have no choice but to abandon ship. The stuff like the tweet of him “body slamming” CNN however, makes it difficult to defend him. Many can argue that he is advocating violence against the network, and a case could be made for that argument. The point here is not say that it does advocate violence, but to stress that in today’s hyper sensitive political environment, it can easily be construed that way. Even among those who know and understand the context of the image in the tweet, some of them would seek to advance the easy and lazy narrative that Trump is threatening CNN with violence.
If you are vaguely familiar with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) organization, you know that Trump made an appearance on the program some years ago, and had a faux battle with one of the protagonists in the saga. In it he tackled one of the bad guys, and beat him in an ambush, he then proceeded to shave the guy bald while the villain pleaded for mercy. Even though there is context in this situation, tweeting this kind of stuff is unwise, and in an environment that has often been charged with violence, it is easy to see how someone could use this to say that the President is inciting violence. The President should not be engaging in this type of behavior.
We have seen how the media has attempted to use the old political practice of using the imagery of placing cross hairs on a district, to say that it is inciting violence. Everyone knows that that practice was started by Bob Beckel who was the campaign manager for Jimmy Carter, and has been used by politicians of all stripes since then as symbolism for politically targeting a district. The media and those on the left have never the less tried to blame the practice on conservatives to say that they are inciting violence. Understanding all of this, it is difficult to figure out why the President would think that this is appropriate. It is not!
It must be difficult being one of the President’s surrogates having to defend this type of behavior, particularly because it is so unnecessary. It is easy to point out that when the immaculate first black president of the United States who was oh so smooth and possessed a velvet tongue, admonished his followers to “punish their enemies,” or prior to that when he told them that “if they bring a knife, you bring a gun,” during his campaigns no one (except on right wing media) condemned it, but that is not the point, though it does matter. Although it is a valid point, supporters of President Trump should not always automatically use the “they did it too” defense. In light of the Katy Griffin stunt a few weeks ago, using a prop of the President’s bloody head in her hand for an Isis like image, in the light of Stephen Colbert placing the prop of President Trump’s spokesman Stephen Miller’s head on a spike, and all of the calls to violence that have been a part of leftist strategy over the last few months, President Trump should not engage in this type of shenanigan. Yes the media is filled with phonies, yes hypocrisy is their chief attribute, and dis-ingenuousness is their principal virtue, but in the current climate Trump should be smarter than this. It is understood that he likes to tweak the media, that he enjoys being a troll, and getting them to react like the sky is falling, but this seems like unnecessarily giving them ammunition to use against himself.
Apart from the fact that President Trump’s critics have an argument in using his latest tweet to say that the President is advocating violence, even though there might be a real context to it to the tweet, in addition; he is giving the violent left a reason to act up even more. We have seen that the left is unafraid to use violence in pursuit of their cause. We have the examples of the University of Berkley California riots, the brutal beating of Trump voters, attacks on Trump supporters all over the country, and the attack and shooting of Republican congressmen recently to show that the left will unhesitatingly resort to violence. This tweet gives them more “reason” to do so. Trump’s supporters have no problem with him going after the traditional media because they have proven themselves to be dishonest, vindictive, scheming, conniving, agenda driven, and totally unworthy of the public’s trust. Trump’s supporters enjoy seeing the President confront the press on their dishonesty, and openly challenging them, and he should continue doing that, but tweets like the one that he sent out this morning of him “giving CNN a beat down” is not a good idea. Too much energy, time and negative attention (not that the media will not find another reason to go ballistic) will go into the coverage of this, and it ends up proving to be a major distraction.