Memo to POTUS: Stop Swapping Stupid with Jackasses
Trump's endless cycle of inane insults is a significant obstacle to his agenda — he can be his own worst enemy.
“Ignorance will be the dupe of cunning; and passion the slave of sophistry and declamation.” —James Madison (1788)
In an off-the-record remark to his adoring Leftmedia propagandists in 2015, Barack Hussein Obama summarized his foreign policy guidelines: “Don’t do stupid s—t.” Of course, that is all Obama did for eight years — leaving a record of colossal domestic and foreign policy failures.
On that note, I am offering, free of charge, this public relations advice for President Donald Trump: Don’t post stupid s—t.
Seriously. Please. Stop.
In his 1980 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan did what he would often do in the years that followed: He talked over the mainstream media cameras and spoke directly to the American people. On this particular occasion, he asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” They were not, of course, and they thus entrusted Reagan with two presidential terms to right our nation’s course, which he did.
Donald Trump has also found a way to talk over the heads of the Demo/MSM propaganda machine — his social media platform. But he has an unfortunate propensity for undermining his own achievements with petty social media disputes. In the same day he (and those vetting his posts) might issue a major foreign policy challenge to China’s nuclear puppet, North Korea and Kim Jong-un, in the next instance he will engage in some adolescent dispute with somebody who has insulted his ego.
Using his social media platform to broadcast critical domestic and foreign policies, and then using the same medium for petty personal disputes, diminishes the former. Additionally, only a select few can stand behind a podium with a White House or presidential seal, but anyone can shout whatever they want on social media…also diminishing this medium’s effectiveness for serious policy positions. Granted, many of the social media comments he and his media team post are calculated to rally his base, but the petulant personal posts…the sooner Trump’s advisors curb this unfortunate mixing of messages, the better for the administration’s excellent objectives, and our nation.
Since Mr. Trump announced his presidential candidacy, no week has passed when he has not said or posted something thoughtless, sophomoric, if not “yugely” absurd. His endless loop of unforced gaffes send all of his handlers and backers into damage control mode and many of his supporters and endorsers into various states of buyer’s remorse.
I understand that some of the president’s posts play well with his growing base, but some are just over the top and don’t serve any commendable purpose.
As I wrote shortly after Trump took office in 2017: “The day he arrived in DC, he dropped a bomb on the status quo in Congress and its special interests. He dropped a bomb on the regulatory behemoths and their bureaucratic bottlenecks. He dropped a bomb on the trade and national security institutions and alliances that failed miserably over the previous eight years. And he dropped a bomb on all the pundits and mainstream media outlets.”
The brashness and braun that have made President Trump an effective bomb dropper, also drive his social media posts. But with a modicum of self restraint he could gain much more ground with a broader constituency while still keeping his base fired up. The president risks undermining his objectives by issuing petulant social media posts, especially when he insulting Patriots like Secretary of Defense James Mattis and notable Republicans. In regard to the latter, a broader application of Ronald Reagan’s wise counsel – his “Eleventh Commandment” against fratricidal attacks – would serve Trump well.
Given that Trump has [antagonized all those entrenched powerful elites and their the legions of leftist deep-state operatives still imbedded in key government agencies, he should choose his words with more care.
At The Patriot Post, we have a long-standing rule when responding to idiots and agitators: “Don’t swap stupid with a jackass.” Donald Trump should adopt that policy.
Last summer, Mr. Trump’s family and senior advisers conducted an intervention of sorts, endeavoring to convince him to stay on message — focus on Hillary Clinton’s unmitigated corruption and her long record of domestic and foreign policy malfeasance.
Could he do it? Of course not.
Every time Mr. Trump has taken a step forward, he inevitably, like clockwork, posts something mindless on social media and takes a half-step backwards.
We hoped he and his handlers who vet these posts (yes, most of them are vetted) would cease and desist after the primary, and then after the convention, and then after the election, and then after his inauguration — but the stupidity hasn’t stopped.
Within 48 hours after his primary victory last May, he had derailed the momentum with stupid social media posts.
Just 48 hours after his GOP convention remarks, he derailed the momentum with stupid social media posts.
Within 48 hours after his amazing upset over Hillary Clinton, he had derailed the momentum with stupid social media posts.
Just 48 hours after his presidential inauguration, he derailed the momentum with stupid social media posts.
Within 48 hours after his exceptional first address to Congress, he had derailed the momentum with stupid social media posts.
Ad infinitum… Ad nauseam…
Yes, Mr. Trump arrived at the White House without an ounce of political polish — which can be one of his more appealing populist attributes. And yes, his administration pedigrees rival the conservative credentials of those nominated by Ronald Reagan. But Trump is most assuredly not the “great communicator” President Reagan was, nor does he possess Reagan’s presidential character. Quite the contrary, and the continuing stream of mind-numbing social media posts is inexcusable.
Trump, arguably, has some pathological propensity for being his own worst enemy. His now infamously absurd and boorish social media posts betray everyone who endeavors to support him and the important agenda he, ostensibly, wants to advance.
When he follows social media posts on a serious issues like conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and with China and North Korea, or natural disasters and terrorist attacks, etc., with impulsive petulant posts, the latter demean and devalue the former. Worse, the spiteful and personal attack posts tend to elevate and give legs to some issue that should otherwise wither and die.
Likewise, his nescient social media posts tend to derail by distraction, any political momentum or traction he has on serious agenda issues like replacing ObamaCare, or dealing with the fake news Trump-Putin collusion claims, or responding to the growing threat of Leftist domestic terrorism.
Can Trump stop the endless loop of dullard remarks and social media posts before he alienates moderates and independents and loses the House or Senate majorities in the 2018 midterm elections?
He seems to believes he has as much control over the “Make America Great Again” script as he did managing the final cuts of his successful reality-TV scripts. For 10 years prior to his candidacy announcement, Trump hosted a very successful reality show, “The Apprentice.” For all those years, he controlled the script — what did and did not make it to air.
Apparently, Trump and his handlers are only gradually figuring out that the only control they have over how his words are going to be trumpeted by the the Leftmedia, is limited to controlling what Trump actually says or writes. His unfiltered off-script ramblings are often tactless when not outright asinine. Whether on stump speeches or when he takes Leftmedia bait, there is virtually no filter between Trump’s stream of consciousness and any live microphone (or social media feed) in his proximity.
Regarding Trump’s off-the-wall messaging, as political observer Salena Zito advised last year, America should “take him seriously, but not literally.” But some of his remarks are so literally absurd that it is too much to ask that even his most ardent supporters take such assertions seriously.
And I should add here, that’s because words DO matter, as we asserted regarding the attempted mass murder of Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia. Donald Trump does Republicans no favors with social media posts, which fuel the Demo/MSM fires, and by extension, that of their leftist cadres.
President Trump’s domestic and foreign policy initiatives are far more substantive than Barack Obama’s feckless charades, but only if he can implement his agenda. The Demo/MSM propaganda machine will remain a formidable obstacle to his agenda, and if he is too overcome that obstacle, he must find the discipline to stay on message.
To the extent he can do that moving forward, the Trump administration will succeed.
As for mixing that message with petty personality disputes… Seriously. Please. Stop.