Please, Somebody Take Away His Twitter Account

It has been approximately a month since Donald Trump won the presidential election. His transition so far has been characterized by the same recklessness, inexperience, and general chaos that defined his campaign. If Trump’s actions as president-elect indicate how he will behave as president, then the United States is in for a troubling four years.

Donald Trump’s unfortunate habit of inflammatory tweeting has not ceased (as many of those who defended him during the election claimed it would) now that he is the president-elect. On November 19, following an incident where the cast of “Hamilton” personally addressed audience member and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Trump angrily took to Twitter to deem the message a form of harassment, the actors “very rude,” and the play “overrated.”  One day later, in response to a sketch mocking him on Saturday Night Live, Trump tweeted that the show was “one-sided, totally biased” with “nothing funny at all.”  This sort of immature behavior is unbecoming enough of an average adult — let alone the next president of the United States. The presidency is a job that invites constant criticism, and as such, requires enormously thick skin. Clearly, Trump cannot handle even the mildest critique or mockery of himself, which is an incredibly worrying prospect. Will he take to Twitter to call foreign leaders “haters” and “losers” every time they slight one of his policy positions? Will he take to Twitter to impugn every sketch comedy show that pokes fun at him?  Such questions are terrifying to consider, yet seem realistic based on Trump’s past conduct.

Trump has not only used Twitter as a platform for sharing his childish outbursts, but also a vehicle for spreading outright lies and unconstitutional threats. In a November 28 rant about Jill Stein’s election recount effort, Trump claimed that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” This allegation, originating from a conservative website called TrueTheVote, is not substantiated by any evidence whatsoever.

The fact that the President-elect, a man with an audience of 17.1 million followers (not to mention the entire global community), is perpetuating baseless rumors about our democracy on Twitter is absolutely inexcusable. The next day, Trump tweeted that anyone who burns the American flag should face consequences of either a year in jail or a loss of citizenship — a statement that is egregiously and shockingly unconstitutional. The right to burn the American flag is protected under the free speech clause of the First Amendment, and to punish someone for doing so would be in direct violation of the Bill of Rights and precedent set by the Supreme Court.

However, the most troubling part of Trump’s transition so far is not his online behavior, but rather his cabinet appointments. His choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is Ben Carson, a surgeon who has never held political office and who, according to his spokesperson as of November 15, “doesn’t feel like his life and career have prepared him to run a federal agency.” His pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency is Eric Pruitt, a climate change denier and ally of the fossil fuel industry, and his selection for Secretary of Education is Betsy Devos, a known opponent of public education. Ironically for a candidate who ran on a platform of populism, Trump’s chief strategist, head of the Treasury Department, and head of the National Economic Council have all been affiliated with Goldman Sachs. Assuming the now Republican-controlled Senate approves all of his appointments, Trump’s administration will be staffed by incompetent, out-of-touch, destructive bureaucrats.

Additionally, Trump is awash in conflicts of interest. Being a global businessman, he has properties in countries ranging from Turkey to Panama and involvements with many foreign governments. Such conflicts of interests could be alleviated if Trump sold his business or entered it into a blind trust — however, he refuses to do either. This is unprecedented and unacceptably corrupt, and yet it will likely be the norm for the next four years.

Optimistically, Trump will rise above his past actions as the president — but realistically, he will not. He is, at his very core, an immature, corrupt, and incompetent child, and it would be naive to expect him to act otherwise. Undoubtedly, our nation is facing a tumultuous next four years.

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