In the 10th Federalist Paper, James Madison observed that “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” But Madison did not have a Twitter account, while Donald Trump does.
On Thursday morning, Trump once again took to Twitter to attack a business and an individual that had had the nerve to say something critical about the Trump empire. A day after Vanity Fair published a negative review of Trump Grill, the steakhouse at Trump Tower in New York City, Trump mocked the magazine for having a low circulation and personally attacked the publication’s editor by name as a “no talent.”
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
- After NBC Nightly News aired a report on Sunday about his growing rift with the intelligence community and other challenges, Trump attacked the network and CNN:
- Following United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones’ truthful criticisms of Trump’s much-touted deal with Carrier, Trump blamed the labor leader for the loss of manufacturing jobs. Soon after the tweets, Jones began to receive threats to his safety.
- Not long after Boeing’s CEO suggested that Trump’s promises to restrict international trade could pose problems for the company, Trump slammed the company’s government contract and sent its stock prices temporarily tumbling.
- Trump blasted Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live for satirizing him, calling the show “unwatchable,” “totally biased,” “not funny,” and “sad.”
Trump has also taken aim at the “failing New York Times” and the “overrated” Broadway musical Hamilton due to other perceived slights. He has previously suggested that the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees provide “too much protection.” Still, Trump has indicated a willingness to tweet less — if only people would stop criticizing him.
If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2016
Trump postponed a promised press conference, scheduled to happen Thursday (after holding none since July), until after the Electoral College meets. His excuse: “Busy times!” interfering with his ability to address his myriad business conflicts of interests. Still, the president-elect apparently has plenty of time to smear his critics.