The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

OPINION: Trump's tweets chain him down

<p>Graphic by Annie Scalet/The Collegian</p>

Graphic by Annie Scalet/The Collegian

In Twitter, Veritas: 

The social media super site has exploded the traditional American political structure. Twitter has infiltrated every corner of policy and lawmaking, and its power and importance continues to grow like a snowball tumbling down a mountain thanks to the man sitting in the Oval Office.

To the dismay and frustration of millions of Americans, President Donald Trump’s tweets are a constant source of news (and sometimes just pure entertainment). Nevertheless, Trump’s ramblings to legions of internet trolls offer the most unedited look into a president’s thought process the country has ever seen.

This has become his political downfall.

With Trump posting his thoughts publicly at all times of the day, the American public can see the motivations behind his actions. More importantly, it allows American judges to see the motivations behind Trump’s actions, and this will continue to drastically limit the Trump administration's power to effect the change that it promised.

Take Trump’s travel ban, for example.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order preventing travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. Since that day, the travel ban has been blocked or stayed by numerous federal judges, which prompted the White House to tweak the ban, which only incited another judge to quickly block it again.

The legal path of the ban is intricate, but one thing that is clear is that many judges have referenced Trump’s rhetoric and tweets as evidence that the ban is unfairly biased toward Muslim travelers.

So, how is Trump’s Twitter page revealing his bias in 140 characters?

Well, first off, he astoundingly still insists on calling it a “travel ban,” despite the best efforts of his legal team.

On June 5, Trump tweeted, “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”

In case you were confused, those lawyers he mentioned actually represent him, and have taken great pains to distance the executive order from the “travel ban” label to improve its chances in the courts.

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Despite this, Trump’s trigger-happy thumbs continue to tweet “travel ban” to the masses, killing its legal potential more and more.

Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond, spoke to The Hill in June about Trump's rhetoric.

“President Trump could be undercutting his case by admitting that the order is a travel ban, by saying the revised order waters down the first order and by accusing the courts of taking away people’s rights, whatever that means,” Tobias said. 

This was not an isolated incident. With nearly every tweet, Trump has taken aim at his own foot and pulled the trigger.

When he threatened to take away broadcasting licenses because of “all the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks,” he ensured that he would never be able to take away NBC’s licenses because of his bias.

When he attacked a lawmaker on Twitter, Trump alienated potential allies who could have helped push his agenda through Congress.

When he repeatedly tried to deflect Russian-collusion allegations made against him by tweeting about Clinton, he increasingly looked like someone with something to hide.

So, if Trump is tightening his own straight jacket with every 'covfefe' he types, then why are Democrats so mad about it?

A wounded Trump presidency, with his political agenda trapped in a legal and legislative chess game, is easily tamed, relatively speaking.

There are two alternatives to a wounded president Trump — a capable president Trump or a Mike Pence presidency — both of which are far more dangerous for Democrats than the current situation.

So, for now, Trump’s critics should rejoice nearly every time the man fires off a rant from his dump of a home, because it limits the damage he can do (but shh, don’t tell him). A wounded Trump has no power to push anything.

Well, except for the nuclear launch button of course.

Contact contributor Jake Wood at

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