After seeing Donald Trump's tweets this morning, I initially just rolled my eyes and moved on. But there was something about today's missives that lingered in my mind, largely because they reinforced concerns that the sitting American president is unwell.
"...The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media. They have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady."When I ultimately leave office in six years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding), they will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public. That's why they will all be Endorsing me at some point, one way or the other."Could you imagine having Sleepy Joe Biden, or @AlfredENeuman99 or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas (1000/24th), as your President, rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!"Sorry to say that even Social Media would be driven out of business along with, and finally, the Fake News Media!"
If you were to receive a message like this from someone in your personal life -- a relative, a friend, a co-worker -- you'd likely be concerned about his or her stability. And that would be an entirely appropriate response, since grounded, well-balanced adults tend not to make ridiculous declarations like these.
And yet, this is our life now. The man running around boasting about his appearance and suspect intellect has access to the nuclear codes. Bizarre rants that should never feel normal have effectively become the background noise of modern American politics.
Donald Trump has told a great many lies to the public, but among the most dramatic was his 2016 assurance, "I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament."
I'm skeptical of the utility of fact-checking a nonsensical rant, but as long as we're on the subject, it's probably worth noting a few things:
* Trump "came down the escalator" in June 2015, not November 2016, and it's weird that the president doesn't remember the details of his own recent political history.
* He sure does "joke" a lot about serving more than two terms.
* Trump has gone after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) before, but I believe today was the first time he complained that the senator doesn't weigh enough.
The first week of Trump's term, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote that the Republican's "disconnect from reality is my biggest fear about Trump, more than any one policy he has proposed. My worry is the president of the United States is barking mad."
It wasn't an unreasonable concern at the time. It's even more necessary now.