As Donald Trump’s tweets descend into even more pathetic and disturbing depths in recent days, some say that we, and the media, should ignore them. He’s just trolling and trying to distract attention, they say. This is very bad advice, for multiple reasons. His latest bit of WTF:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Yes, he’s trolling here. No, he is not trying to distract attention. He doesn’t think that strategically. He just can’t help himself. He’s a child, with zero impulse control. And that is precisely why the media should continue to cover his tweets, because they reinforce his worst tendencies. He does things like this specifically because he knows they’ll cause outrage, because he’s basically screaming “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME, I DO WHAT I WANT!” So the more he’s criticized, the worse he’ll get.
And that’s a good thing. The more he does this, the more he confines any support he might otherwise get only to his hardcore base, the kind of simpleminded lickspittles who salivate at the feet of bullies like Trump. The more he displays such behavior, the harder it becomes for anyone who is capable of changing their mind about him to keep supporting him. And the lower his support numbers go, the less likely he is to get cooperation from his fellow Republicans in Congress, who are increasingly being forced to distance themselves from him.
So we should be ramping up the criticism, not dampening it. We should be going after him hard, because doing so will only lead him further down the rabbit hole of irrelevance.