The fact that President Trump is a volatile guy willing to burn bridges to even his own detriment has been publicly known since his ownership of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. So it seems appropriate that Trump’s biggest gaffe so far in his administration is not his war of words with North Korea’s “government”, but rather his sparring with the Golden State Warriors and the anthem protesters in the NFL–on Twitter, no less, and not via a press conference or carefully worded statement.
Twitter seems to be tailor made for Trump, who’s notoriously short attention span seems to barely extend to the writing of executive orders and certainly not in crafting winnable pieces of legislation for the legislative branch that his party actually already controls (in theory, at least). Twitter’s 140 character limit is a perfect outlet for Trump’s outbursts, full of intended and unintended innuendo and not a little inarticulateness.
So it came to pass that after the Oakland, CA NBA franchise known as the Warriors won the championship, several of its players made it known they had little interest in being invited to the White House. The invitation has become a tradition among the U.S. champions of some pro and college leagues, so it was initially surprising that the players would grandstand rather than make an appearance that further glorified the Warrior’s accomplishments. But then Trump decided that risking offense of his white alt-right political base by condemning neo-nazis at the Charlottesville, VA protests, or worse, being told what to do by the politically correct, was less desirable than making a statement against hate speech and hate organizations. Thus, the dissenting Warriors that initially appeared to be petulant whiny partisans were elevated to noble protesters against unhinged bullying.
Similarly, Trump could not resist condemning the NFL anthem protesters, suggesting that the league fire the transgressors for the temerity of giving action to their views. Thus the dissenting, unpatriotic, and offensive NFL players that initially appeared to be petulant whiny partisans were elevated to noble protesters against unhinged bullying. And sure enough the following day a dozen whiny, unpatriotic, and offensive players kneeled during the anthem at the NFL game in London (of all places). That they have the right to protest in any fashion that they see fit was not really the point, nor was it a “courageous” gesture in the rationale of race politics. The point was to give Trump the virtual middle finger. And to be frank, Trump had it coming.
Trump, it seems, has to learn that being president is not like running the television show “The Apprentice”. While it is at times amusing to see wannabe actors and has been celebrities be cut down a notch in a silly reality TV skit, with Trump giving the solemn (and not a little ridiculous) pronouncement of “you’re fired”, it isn’t so funny to watch it coming from the White House. After all, the job of the U.S. president is supposed to be serious, isn’t it? Millions, if not billions, of lives and livelihoods are at stake. It is more than a little disquieting. So if Trump can’t learn how serious his job is, perhaps one term in office might be more than enough.