Happy New Year to all you Filipinos in the immediate crosshairs of North Korea.
Take the attack drills seriously. The tweet rattling is getting crazy.
Just a few days into 2018 and we already know that among Donald Trump’s resolutions was nothing about an end to his potentially dangerous habit of tweeting.
Trump’s latest tweets continue to alarm anyone who feels the president of the United States should be without question the most trusted man in the world.
Instead, we begin the new year with more of what we hoped would end when Trump got a much needed, last minute legislative victory on taxes at the end of 2017.
But why should we have expected a new sense of grace and dignity from the lowballing Trump administration?
Trump’s the indiscriminate and loutish president who feels he’s above it all. Unfortunately, this is all we can ever expect.
In the first business day of the year, Trump recklessly made statements on his official Twitter account that call in to question his leadership, public trust in American institutions, and even trust in the very democracy which he is supposedly honor bound to defend and uphold.
To anyone who thought all Trump needed was time to get his presidential sea legs in a trial first year, well, the full year is just about up and Trump still thinks he’s auditioning for a prime time slot on Fox News.
But the latest tweet about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un shows Trump style is not ready for the world stage.
It was irresponsible and potentially dangerous.
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
4:49 PM - 2 Jan 2018
Comparing size of buttons?
It’s childish, school yard bully rhetoric unbecoming of a United States president.
But it’s also disrespectful in a racist way. Trump is bigger and better? Because he’s whiter and American? His “button” works?
It’s a shameful, macho and belligerent tone that mirrors Trump’s Access Hollywood pussy grabbing language that Trump dismissed as “locker room talk.”
It surely isn’t presidential talk.
Trump fans might say he’s just “keeping it real.”
Sure, if Trump thinks he’s a right-wing talk show host, that’s fine. Or a right wing columnist.
But he’s more than that. He’s not the commentator. He’s the prime subject. He’s in the most powerful position in the world. He’s supposed to be the moral and political leader of everything.
Instead, he’s none of that. He’s our selfish divider-in-chief denigrating the office of the presidency and the image of the U.S.
In the Philippines, where North Korea is no joke, Trump’s loose lips must be unnerving.
The RP has Duterte so maybe Trump’s bombasts seem like nothing.
But how can you read Trump’s anti-diplomatic tweets and not think we are closer to some kind of altercation with every utterance?
Surely, it helps to justify Duterte cozying up to China. The U.S. under Trump hardly seems reliable. Can you blame Duterte for being so pro-China? In a selfish Trump world, it’s the only thing to do.
Indeed, there’s much in the first day tweets to indicate that we are in a new realm in world democracy when the very model for the Philippines and the world starts sounding as if it feels dictatorship may not be so bad.
In the other alarming tweet of the day, Trump called into question Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, with a loose and slanderous allegation, and then suggested be put in jail.
That’s exactly what dictators do to political opponents.
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others
4:48 AM - 2 Jan 2018
So if you were going to give Trump a clean slate for the new year, too bad. Trump seems intent on mucking things up on his own almost immediately.
Of course, Trump has established a pattern.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column put Trump’s misleading statements or lies at 1,950 for his first 347 days. Granted, politicians are allowed a certain leeway for statements that aren’t exactly on the nose. That’s diplomacy and politics. But Trump takes his rhetoric to a new low. He’s not even subtle. It’s getting to the point where nothing he says can be trusted. In doing so, Trump is using up all the stored credibility and good will of his office.
The button may be bigger and it may work. But do we trust his finger?
If you had hope for 2018 being different, Trump’s tweets clearly suggests 2017 was no anomaly. Expect more of the same.
This is not a good thing for our country, no matter what your political leanings.
EMIL GUILLERMO is an award-winning journalist and commentator who writes from Northern California. He recently won the 2015 Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association California.