Trump busy settling scores
By Thomas Urbain — As a candidate one of the ways Donald Trump shocked America was by locking horns nastily with anybody who got in his way.
He once mocked a journalist with a disability. He argued for a couple of days with the Pakistani-born parents of an Army captain who was killed in Iraq. Now, Trump is days away from being sworn in as president and little has changed: he dwells on minutiae far removed from things presidential and spends a lot of time settling scores.
Before breakfast on Friday, Trump took aim at Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new host of “Celebrity Apprentice”, because the reality TV show’s ratings are lower than when Trump was its star until 2015.
“Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT,” Trump wrote on Twitter, his main conduit for communicating.
The Republican billionaire has attacked the New York Times and Vanity Fair magazine, arguing wrongly their circulations were down.
“People said after he got elected he would act more presidential, that he would change as he assumes the role of the office,” said Daniel Kreiss, associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism.
“Trump hasn’t changed one bit,” Kreiss added. “I have no reason to suspect that it will change.”
His sawed-off-shotgun approach to expressing his opinion may have a down side in what Americans think of Trump, said David Lewis, a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.
“I think there’s a real danger here of him sort of being overexposed in ways that get fatiguing and make people less receptive to his approach domestically,” he added.
Trump regularly dismisses the US media as being “dishonest.” Just this week he derided the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, as a “clown.” “In nearly every single measure, Trump is undermining democratic norms and democratic institutions,” said Kreiss.
For this reason, he said, some of Trump’s tweets are more worrisome than the ones that have zero to do with being president.
Trump’s way of speaking was popular with voters but there is a lot more at stake when the whole world is listening.— AFP