A friend of mine asked this question on social media recently: “Did the tweets really bother you that much?” (This, of course, refers to Donald Trump’s posts on Twitter.) I have seen a lot of conservatives bringing this up, and six months after Trump was banned from Twitter, his posts are still a topic of discussion in the political arena. Conservatives either dismiss them as irrelevant or defend them.
But yes, the tweets really did bother me that much. And I have a single name as to why: Laurie Klausutis. She was a 29 year old Congressional staffer when she tragically died from a medical condition in 2001. Nearly two decades after her death, in the middle of a raging global pandemic that should have kept the President of these United States too busy to troll on social media, Trump smeared her name and tormented her widow. This was not because he has any beef with Klausutis, but because her name and her husband’s pain were collateral damage in a stupid flame war with TV host Joe Scarborough.
This is and always was the problem with Trump: Despite solid conservative policy (which are pretty standard Republican positions) Trump simply could not keep his mouth shut and get out of his own way. He could not resist poking his political opponents and driving them into a rage. Far too often, he was more interested in feces-posting than doing his job. Beyond the utterly depraved cruelty, Trump’s obsessive need to be the main news story of the day was unprofessional and demeaned the office of the President.
Trolling and venting on social media never provided any political benefit to Trump. The people who “love” his Tweets would have belly crawled over broken glass and rusty nails soaked in lemon juice to vote for him anyway. But his lack of discipline and basic professionalism motivated Democrats and turned off moderates and even some Republicans. Trump’s time in the White House will be viewed by history as a moment that tainted the culture and coarsened the political discourse.
Trumpist Republicans to this day claim they “liked” the Tweets. Well, they must also like Joe Biden as President, because Trump basically Tweeted himself out of job. Had Trump disciplined his mouth and touted the policy agenda that made Republicans loyal to him, he would likely have been re-elected. Instead, he stirred up tens of millions of people to turn out and vote against him because of his toxic personality.