Tag Archives: social media

You never can take it ‘all back’

Social media have their good points . . . I suppose.

However, I consider it to be a mostly negative influence on our national mood, not to mention the quality of our political discourse.

Whatever the medium — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google . . .  whatever — social media has become the wave of the present, never mind the future.

I want to look briefly at Twitter.

Entertainment and sports celebrities, and politicians fire these messages out via Twitter. Occasionally they regret them immediately. Given the nature of Twitter, though, an “immediate” retraction isn’t quick enough. Whatever it is these folks say via Twitter goes out in a serious nano-second jiffy. Boom! Gone! Just like that!

I laugh out loud when I read how those celebrities and pols take down their comments immediately. I want to yell:

Too late, sucker! It’s out there! You lose!

Do you remember when Donald Trump fired off that tweet that concluded with that non-word, “covfefe”? The White House took it back, except that it’s still the subject of comedians’ punchlines.

The late Claude Duncan was a dear friend and colleague, as well as a brilliant writer and thinker. He once told me that you “cannot unhonk the horn.” He didn’t envision social media when he offered me that bit of wisdom.

However, that statement never has been truer than it has become since the arrival of social media.

Perhaps that explains why the president of the United States — the unofficial Twitter Maven in Chief — never takes anything back. The most outrageous statements that flew into cyberspace from his Twitter account remain out there. They are uncorrected. He doesn’t pull ’em back. He says these things and, well . . . that’s it! Take it or leave it!

That doesn’t excuse the president’s bizarre use of that social medium to get his message out there. However, I suppose his reluctance to take anything back is a harsh realization that what flies out there is, um, out there for keeps.

What’s with this Sen. Klobuchar ‘toughness’?

What the hell is going on here? Media reporting keeps harping about how “tough” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a declared Democratic Party candidate for president, is on her staff.

Now there’s this bit: She supposedly berated a staff member for failing to bring eating utensils; thus, Klobuchar was “forced” to eat a salad with — get this! — a comb.

A comb? What?

This social media gossip is getting weirder by the day.

I shudder to think what we’re going to hear about all the candidates once this 2020 campaign gets really heated up.

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna get bumpy. Real bumpy!

Is Joe Biden really, truly ready for this?

The chatter is beginning to get louder.

It involves former Vice President Joe Biden and whether he intends to run for president of the United States in 2020. Media are reporting the ex-VP is a couple of weeks away from making that decision. The chatter includes a lot of speculation that he’s inclined to run — but that “family matters” might hold him back.

I would vote for the former vice president in an instant were he to win the Democratic nomination and run against Donald Trump in 2020. However, I don’t want him to seek the nomination. I want a younger, fresher candidate to face the president . . . presuming, of course, that he runs for re-election!

I want to broach this Biden “family matter” situation directly and speculate on what Biden might face in this social media age from the Twitter bully who masquerades as president of the United States.

Donald Trump is a vicious social media bully. He knows no bounds. He attacks anyone with impunity and is unafraid to attack anyone’s family. Vice President Biden’s family well might present Trump with a target that is too inviting to ignore.

Biden’s elder son, Beau, died in 2015 of brain cancer. After Beau Biden’s tragic death, Joe Biden’s younger son, Hunter, divorced his wife . . . and reportedly had been dating his brother’s widow.

This is precisely the kind of family drama that might lure the president into a hideous Twitter barrage. Thus, it becomes incumbent on the former VP to ponder whether he wants to expose his family to the torrent of viciousness that Trump is capable of unleashing.

When you take on Donald Trump, you must be willing to steel yourself against the ferocious nature of the president’s makeup. Donald Trump is capable — and, oh, so willing — to say anything about anyone who opposes him.

This is the kind of fight Joe Biden can expect to face if he decides to take this final plunge into the political free-for-all required of anyone who wants to become president of the United States.

‘No president has worked harder’

This isn’t a huge leap, so I feel comfortable in presuming that Donald Trump is angry over the revelations about all that “executive time” he takes in the White House.

That has to explain the Twitter messages he fired off declaring how “no president has worked harder than me” at making America great again and all the myriad tasks associated with being president of the United States.

He bellowed something about the “mess” he inherited in January 2017. How he has restored the military, repaired the Veterans Administration, dealt with “endless wars,” stopped the North Korean nuclear threat . . . and on and on.

No president has worked harder than this guy?

Hmm. Let’s see about that.

I wonder if his work ethic exceeds that of, say, Abraham Lincoln, who served while the country was killing itself during the Civil War; or when Franklin Roosevelt was trying to win World War II after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; or when John F. Kennedy had to face down the Soviet Union’s missile threat in Cuba; or when George W. Bush had to respond to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Donald Trump would have us believe he has worked “harder” than those previous presidents? And what about the results of all those issues Trump has tackled? North Korea is still developing nukes; we’re still at war in Afghanistan and Iraq; the VA work remains undone; the military was just as strong when Trump took office as it is now.

It is typical Trumpian hyperbole, exaggeration and — dare I say it — outright lying.

Trump shows smallness with Christmas greeting

Presidents of the United States routinely offer Christmas or other holiday greetings with an ample measure of good cheer and happiness. They wish us well, perhaps inject a little faith into their greetings. We feel good hearing from our head of state.

What did Donald J. Trump do today? He fired off a Twitter message that talks of the “disgrace” that infects our political world . . . but then offered a Merry Christmas greeting. It looked for all the world like a throwaway line.

He said: “It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in this country. But other than that I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.” Warm and fuzzy, yes?

I want to suggest that the tone and tenor of the president’s message today reflected a smallness, a bitterness and a pettiness in the man who holds the nation’s highest office, who commands the world’s greatest military and who (supposedly) represents the world’s most indispensable nation.

I wish he could have just — for once! — followed the norm set by all his predecessors. He could have simply offered his fellow Americans a heartfelt holiday wish and saved the political malarkey for another day; I’d even settle for him returning to the fight the day after Christmas.

He didn’t do that. He invoked the fight that has shut down part of the federal government. He suggested the “disgrace” is augmented by his fight with members of Congress over construction of The Wall he wants to erect along our southern border.

Oh, and then he tweeted this message on Christmas Eve: I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!

The more he claims to be a big man, the more he sounds like a small man. The larger the boast, the smaller he becomes.

Donald Trump is one strange dude.

Trump’s hysteria continues to mount

My astonishment at the presidential hysteria mounting over the Russia probe and related matters is continuing to build.

It presents itself in stark contrast to the stone-cold silence coming from the office of the special counsel that Donald Trump is attacking multiple times daily.

Robert Mueller continues to insist on a veil of silence. He has instructed his team to keep its collective trap shut. No leaks are coming from the special counsel who is examining that “Russia thing” that prompted Trump to fire FBI director James Comey in May 2017.

Yet the president continues his frontal assault on Mueller’s reputation, on the reputation of his former friend Michael Cohen, on Comey, on the Department of Justice, on the FBI. His assault is inflicting some collateral damage, too, such as on the rule of law and on the notion that the U.S. Constitution stands as a bulwark against any abuses of power that might arise from any of the three branches of government.

It is my fervent hope that Mueller concludes his investigation sooner rather than later. I am growing weary of the Twitter tirades coming from the White House. I am tiring of the insistence from the president that Mueller has “no evidence of collusion”; in fact, we don’t know what Mueller has or doesn’t have, which is why I want the probe to reach its finish line.

As for the president, every time he yaps about “no collusion” or “no laws being broken,” he sounds all the more to me as if he’s trying to hide something from public purview. I refer to those tax returns that he has refused to release; or the mountain of documented evidence that Mueller has compiled that is bound to answer a lot of questions.

Donald Trump’s hysteria plays well with the base that is hanging with him to the end. Fine. It isn’t playing well with the rest of the country, the 60-some percent of us who disapprove of the manner that Trump seeks to lead the country.

Please, Mr. Special Counsel, wrap this thing up as soon as possible to spare us the frothing madness that pours out of the White House.

Oh, wait! It just occurs to me that the end of the Russia probe — no matter how it concludes — is going to produce another endless barrage from the president of the United States.

Dang it, man! We can’t win!

Can all these observers be so totally wrong?

Social media are exploding at this moment. They are swarming with comments, predictions, speculation, conjecture and assorted opinions that seem to run along the same line.

Donald John Trump is in seriously deep doo-doo. Three of his former close aides and friends — Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort — are convicted felons. Cohen today received a three-year prison sentence. The president’s former “fixer” and friend is now getting ready to wear a prison jump suit.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Flynn, the former Army general and national security adviser and Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.

The social media chatter, though, is alive and abuzz with belief that Donald Trump might be among the next tall tree to fall.

Can they all be wrong? Can they all be mistaken?

The odds are against that notion. It looks to me as though the odds are lengthening about whether Donald Trump is going to finish his term as president of the United States.

This drama needs to play itself out.

Trump to be most insufferable ex-POTUS in history?

I have sworn off making political predictions — for the most part.

This one, though, I think will hold up. I believe that when Donald J. Trump becomes a former president of the United States that he will become the most insufferable ex-president in U.S. history.

Whether it’s on Jan. 20 2021, or Jan. 20, 2025 or — one can hope — sooner than the former date, Trump will not go out gracefully, quietly, serenely into the night. He won’t retire at Bedminster, or Mar-a-Lago and settle down to do whatever it is former presidents usually do. He won’t build houses for poor folks; he won’t likely raise money for disaster victims; he likely won’t spend a lot of time planning his presidential library (the very thought of which makes me chuckle).

I am trying to imagine a world infused with constant Twitter messages. And by “constant” I mean, well, constant. It’ll be 24/7. We’ll be inundated, buried, overwhelmed by tweets from the former president. He’ll be in the news every hour . . . daily.

Isn’t that something to which we can all look forward? Aren’t you excited? I didn’t think so. I know I’m not.

It’s a bit of a conundrum for Trump critics, such as yours truly. I don’t want him in office, but neither do I welcome the notion of being bombarded by an incessant, relentless, thoughtless barrage of idiocy from a former president’s Twitter account.

Ain’t it a bitch?

Wanting to share some wisdom from a friend

I feel an overwhelming need to share something that a friend and former colleague posted on social media.

Her name is Beth Butler. We worked together for a few years at the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News. She left quite a few years ago. I stayed on until Aug. 31, 2012.

Beth posted this item on Facebook:

I have never met a single person who believes we should throw the borders wide open, much less give cars to immigrants (legal or not). I have never talked to anyone in real life who thinks no more newcomers should be allowed into the U.S. I have never met a Democrat who thinks it’s great that Steve Scalise got shot. I’ve never met a Republican who thinks mailing pipe bombs is a good way to solve political disagreements. These people are extremists. They are not rational. They do not represent America. Why are we letting them set the tone?

Please, please, please let’s stop reacting emotionally. We will not agree on everything. None of us can have everything our way, but we can work together to find workable solutions. If we keep letting the lunatic fringe define our positions, we will destroy this country and one another.

Republicans running for public office are “defining” the views of Democrats, but they are lying their backsides off in the process.

The nation’s top Republican, Donald Trump, is leading the amen chorus of lies.

My friend’s brief message is calling them out. I want to thank her for doing so.

Critics keep us all humble

You know already that I love my calling as a blogger. What you might not know — at least not yet — is that I also love the critics who read this blog.

I’ll admit that my love for them is more of a “biblical” nature. But I love them nevertheless.

Back when I was working for a living, I found that critics performed a service for me. They kept me humble. They occasionally would chastise for something I wrote and then might offer a perspective I hadn’t considered. On the rarest of occasions, I might change my mind on an issue.

I also provided a service to them. I figure it was of a more health-related nature. They would read my columns or editorials that I authored for a newspaper and they would hyperventilate. Then they would call me up, chew my rear end out, have their say, hang up and perhaps feel better having gotten whatever bothered them off their chest.

I only can presume that I had oxygenated their blood sufficiently during their rants to cleanse their cardiovascular system.

Just don’t call me “Doctor,” OK? Fine.

My blog critics do the same thing for me and I do the same perhaps for them.

I don’t cherish these individuals, mind you. I accept that every commentator — whether he or she works for a publication or is “self-employed,” so to speak, as I am, cannot possibly please everyone who reads their words.

And yes, High Plains Blogger critics continue to keep me humble. I long have subscribed to the tenet of taking my work far more seriously than I take myself. That tenet holds true to this day.

Keep the criticism coming. Yes, I like the praise more than the criticism. The critics, though, keep me on my toes.