President Donald J. Trump became the first world leader censored by his favorite media tool, Twitter on Tuesday. Twitter added a sub-banner to two of the president’s tweets regarding the legitimacy and functionality of mail-in ballots ahead of his bid for re-election in November.
The message “get the facts about mail-in ballot” appeared at the bottom of two of his tweets and the president wasted no time in bashing Twitter for censorship. This is an interesting point by the president because over the course of three years, he’s moved with surgical precision in trying to silence dissenting voices within his administration and seeking to silence, through Twitter, outsiders who didn’t fall in line with his worldview or thinking generally. The point made about how he and his allies continue to drive a bogus myth of rampant voter fraud due to mail-in ballots actually has a strong proponent in the West Wing – the president himself. It’s interesting to note that President Trump has utilized mail-in balloting often in the past and records acquired by The Hill publication in Washington, DC show that the Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has submitted mail-in ballots no less than 10 times over the last 15 years for various elections she was eligible to vote in. This hypocrisy is an obvious form of endorsing practices which encourages voter suppression but which in the COVID-19 era may actually suppress the rural Republican vote more so than any other eligible voter in November.
It is often said the castle collapses from within. It seems that President Trump has finally been checked, maybe three years too late, in spreading falsehoods thinking that it will help his re-election. It’s clear that his attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden aren’t sticking and the growing health and economic fallouts from COVID-19 have contributed to increasingly erratic behavior. Differing views, articulate discussions about policy, and different exit strategies for the twin crises plaguing the country and the world are natural and are bound to happen during the course of what is anything but a regular election cycle. However, it’s a wholly different thing for the platform of the presidency and the official accounts of the White House on social media and other government agencies, funded by taxpayers, to peddle conspiracy theories, legitimately fake news, and outright lies. Such criticisms do not suggest it is a crime to be a conservative and it’s not some sort of liberal media bias. It’s that the man has finally, maybe for one of the few times in his life, at close to the age of 75, has been publicly held accountable and he doesn’t know how to deal with the rejection from his favorite platform.