Donald Trump thinks he is having an awfully rough time of it, having to defend himself on Twitter because he says the media that all but handed him the election is unfair to him, having to personally attack every perceived critic and imagined slight.
So when Indiana steelworker and union leader Chuck Jones called Trump a liar, the thin-skinned egomaniac who is our president-elect, took to twitter to smear the man and put his life in danger.
The man’s perceived sin? He told the truth. And the truth cannot be allowed to stand in the face of Trump’s 30-lie-a-day pace.
Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald reacted probably much the same as the rest of us, tweeting,
I cannot wrap my head around the fact that the President Elect just publicly slammed an Indiana steelworker just for criticizing him. Scary.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 8, 2016
That simple fact is appalling enough. But awful as the idea of a president taking the time to attack an individual citizen, this attack has put that individual in danger of attacks by that president’s deranged and well-armed supporters:
Trump attacks an Indiana union leader and now Jones is getting death threats. This is not presidential; this is authoritarian bullying.
— Mary Beth Schneider (@marybschneider) December 8, 2016
And not only him, but his children:
1/2 hour after Trump smeared a union guy on Twitter for calling out a lie, people were calling to threaten his kids. https://t.co/Oj36Xpa6jM
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) December 8, 2016
Sopan Deb tweeted some particulars:
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) December 8, 2016
As John Harwood of CNBC and the NYT points out,
in last two days, President-elect has strongly attacked an individual company and an individual union leader who questioned his policies
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 8, 2016
Colonel Morris Davis (ret), Gitmo chief prosecutor 2005-07, made an excellent point, one that has been made also of Trump’s ability to find time to watch SNL:
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) December 8, 2016
We have elected a man who has carefully built up a myth about himself. Before, he was operating on the fringes, just hovering on the edge of the spotlight and able to use bullying tactics to maintain his reputation as a tough-as-nails mogul. Now that he is the president-elect, that myth cannot survive contact with the enemy. Or as the rest of us like to think of it: reality.
This is the new America, where a man who is about to become our president will single out individual American citizens and put their lives in danger because he is so thin-skinned he cannot stand a little honest criticism.
In the end, The Guardian‘s Hugo Rifkind gets it right when he says, “No analysis of anything Trump does makes sense without first acknowledging he’s just a really shabby human being.”
Or, as Stephen King parses it using slightly stronger language, “Trump’s mental condition is open to debate, I suppose; that he’s an incompetent asshat seems undeniable.”
He is certainly not our president.