TRUMP’S TRYST WITH CONTROVERSIES CONTINUES EVEN AS HE ASSUMES PRESIDENCY

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

The controversial businessman and President-elect Donald Trump is US President now with the White House as his official and residential address for at least the next four years, a distinction that makes him unarguably the most powerful person on the Earth.

But true to his controversial past, his tryst with controversies has continued unabated and has, in fact, seen two major controversies in just two days after his inaugural on January 20, 2017.

Donald Trump has had a bad reputation when it comes to respecting women. He has made several gaudy, bitter in taste sexist remarks against women with women even accusing him of sexual assault. His reputation on this front is sullied to the extent that news outfits run even ‘Donald Trump sexism tracker’.

It was natural then that millions of women protested against Trump, not just in Washington but in many cities in America and across the world. According to an ABC news report, ‘more than than 600 rallies in 60 countries around the world’ were held. Reuters headlined the worldwide women protests as ‘unprecedented’. They were all there, mocking and denouncing the new US President, as the Reuters report put it.

But Donald Trump, in his trademark style, a hangover from his past, chose to berate women again. Tweeting from his personal Twitter handle (@realDonaldTrump), Trump mocked women protesters, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” Though he later tweeted to say that even if didn’t agree, ‘he recognized the rights of people to express their views’, he left an impression that protests didn’t matter for him.

And it seems Trump has chosen people like him to represent his administration. After the inauguration ceremony, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that it was the most watched inauguration ever of any US President, a false claim that fell flat with contradictory figures. According to Nielsen data, Trump’s inauguration with 30.6 million eyeballs ranked behind Ronald Reagan (1981-41.8 million), Barack Obama (2009-37.7 million), Jimmy Carter (1977-34.1 million) and Richard Nixon (1973-33 million).

But Trump, in his familiar style, tried to belittle his predecessor Barack Obama again tweeting “Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!”. Clearly, he was trying to shield behind a selective set of information, picking up what suited his purpose.

Both Trump and his Press Secretary have slammed the media for being preferential and biased for showing truth behind the numbers. Trump thinks media is dishonest when it says that Barack Obama’s inaugural in 2009 had more people in attendance. Going a step further, his Press Secretary Spicer threatened to ‘hold the press accountable’ blaming that ‘some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting’.

If it is the beginning, let’s see what happens next. If Trump and his administration can’t handle media coverage on his inauguration, imagine what would happen when it comes to media carrying in-depth policy analysis of Donald Trump’s stated priorities where he said he would go against the established norms, be it Obamacare repeal or nuclear proliferation and military expansion or climate change protocols or trade protectionism or the US intervention in the geopolitical affairs.

©SantoshChaubey

WHAT DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST TWEETS SINCE NOV 9 TELL US!

Since November 9, when Republican Donald Trump started tweeting (@realDonaldTrump) again after his landslide (and stunning) victory in the US Presidential polls defeating the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a wide margin of the electoral college vote (even if Hillary Clinton emerged as the winner of the popular vote), he has tweeted 14 times.

And if we see into these tweets – they tell us how the next phase is going to be in the life of the US President Elect Donald Trump – till January 20 next year when Donald Trump will be sworn in.

And it doesn’t look good.

His first and second tweets (since November 9) were normal – saying ‘happy 241st birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps!’ and – and how his first meeting with Obamas was fantastic.

But his third and fourth tweets were aimed at media and the protests raging against him.

In one tweet, he says them professional protesters and blames media of inciting them. And he doesn’t look to do some course correction in the next tweet when he refers to them as a ‘small group of protesters’. Yes, he says that they (the protesters) have passion for their great country and they (including Trump) will come together but he clearly tries to show them as marginal players while we all know the protesters are not just a ‘small group’. Spontaneous anti-Trump protests have broken out in many US states and even in other countries.

His fifth and sixth tweet since November 9 (November 10 is a no tweet day) are again normal business like – about his team in the government and expressing gratitude on the Veterans Day.

His only tweet on November 12 is again aimed at normalizing an abnormal situation – a divided US society – saying ‘we will unite and we will win, win, win!’ That attitude is a must for him and he needs to practice it honestly if he, indeed, has to see a united America – because the truth is – his election has bitterly divided the US.

And today it looks like about visiting the old foes (and old values again).

Three of his seven tweets today (so far) are about NY Times – that how the publication ‘is losing thousands of subscribers because of its very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the “Trump phenomena”- that ‘NY Times sent a letter to their subscribers apologizing for their BAD coverage of me. I wonder if it will change – doubt it?’ – and that ‘NY Times states today that DJT believes “more countries should acquire nuclear weapons.” How dishonest are they. I never said this!’

These three tweets and the earlier one blaming media for inciting anti-Trump protests show we should rule out a near future thaw – given the way Trump’s campaign has been – he didn’t believe in climate crisis; he believed in racial domination; he despised immigrants; he liked dictators like Vladimir Putin; he spoke against Muslims; he promoted populism at the cost of logic like his liberal nuclear doctrine or his anti-outsourcing rant and many more – all ingredients to make any media anti-Trump if Trump doesn’t work to change that.

The signals so far have been mixed.

Though before this hour, he had not said anything outrageous after winning the polls – like he used to do every other day during the campaign phase – and has indicated a ‘softened’ approach to Obamacare, something that he had said he would disband – he just sounded absurd again when he said in an interview that he would soon ‘deport 3 million immigrants’ and the US-Mexican border will be ‘partly fenced’.

These tweets indicate, together with his policy decisions like these, tell us that the days ahead are going to be tumultuous in the US.

If Trump would continue with his absurd but populist ultra-nationalist agenda of expelling immigrants (and fencing borders and so on), he will rightly be questioned by media and it will certainly propel the anti-Trump protesters who are quite a sizeable chunk (and are growing) to do more against the Republican President.

His other four tweets of the day are about thanking people and announcing his upcoming TV interaction.

©SantoshChaubey