Over the past month, I’ve picked up a new activity in my morning routine. Once I’ve showered, brushed my teeth, and started my morning cup of coffee, I now log on to Twitter to see what wild and wacky hijinks our soon-to-be president has been up to on social media that morning. Twitter is even nice enough to put the tweets at the top of my feed in the “While You Were Away” section so I don’t even have to scroll far to get to the fun stuff.
Sunday morning provided perhaps the wildest and wackiest moment yet when President-Elect Trump went after Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live for their unflattering portrayal of him. An incoming president publicly chastising a comedy program for criticizing him may be unprecedented, however it’s anything but unexpected.
Remember all of the claims we heard throughout the election cycle that the fabled Trump “pivot” was on the way? That Trump would eventually cast himself into the presidential mold and that the offhand comments and shots-from-the-hip were simply campaign theatrics for publicity? Well it didn’t come after the Republican primary, it never came during the general election, and if you are holding your breath that it will come sometime in the next forty-six days before Trump takes the oath, you can safely exhale. Trump is Trump, and he will never stop being Trump.
At this point, unpredictable tweeting is a major part of the Trump image, and lest we forget the refrain of his most fervent supporters during the campaign: Trump speaks his mind! He’s not afraid to go there and say what everyone is thinking! He’s not bound by political correctness! To Trump, going off on Twitter is simply giving the people what they want: a president that refuses to be bound by convention and tradition.
And as I watched Sunday Night Football last night, I saw multiple television spots for the new Celebrity Apprentice, now hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former centerpiece of the Trump media empire, still being carried on the network that publicly disavowed him a year ago, and now being hosted by a former governor who just so happened to be a #NeverTrump Republican. Forget Twitter, we may get a weekly press conference from the East Room about the state of those ratings.
For better or worse, online presidential outbursts will just be our new national normal. Pray for wisdom for our tweeting president.