US President: The dangerous overzeal of Trump hunters
Donald Trump’s criticism is becoming increasingly extreme as the election campaign progresses. Many allegations seem justified, but some are also doubtful. Actions against the US president, such as blocking online accounts, could even help Trump. By Ansgar Graw.
President Donald Trump is currently experiencing the toughest neck slaps of his tenure to date – and just at the start of the hot phase of his re-election campaign.
On the one hand, there is the daily bad news about the corona pandemic, which has killed every fourth person infected and every fourth person killed in the USA. These depressing figures and the resulting economic downturn are attributed to the man in the White House (who is by no means wrong at every stage) regardless of the extent to which democratic governors, for example, shared responsibility for the lack of defense against the disease.
Added to this are the “black lives matter” protests following the death of an African American named George Floyd, who was quickly turned into demonstrations against the President. When violent riots broke out and Trump announced the deployment of the military domestically, Trump’s first defense minister, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who was highly respected among his supporters, distanced himself from the “immature” president’s plan.
Headlines about “Russian bounty” in Afghanistan
These headlines are currently overlaid with explosive revelations from the “New York Times”, according to which Trump had already been briefed in writing by his secret services at the end of February about conjectures that Russian intelligence officers had offered the Afghan Taliban bounties for the killed US military – but Trump had this hint ignored.
Trump’s “most malicious” attacks are said to have targeted Merkel
And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, tweets and video accounts from Trump and the chat communities of his supporters are now being warned or even deleted on various social networks on charges of “hate speech” or misrepresentation of facts.
It is no wonder that in such a situation the survey values collapse? The (officially still to be chosen) democratic challenger Joe Biden leads more or less clearly in almost all swing states and with almost all survey institutes.
At the national level, Trump’s job approval is currently a miserable 39 percent, according to Gallup – only Jimmy Carter (1980; 32 percent) and George H.W. Bush (1992; 37 percent), and both failed in November of each year to apply for a second term.
The deceptive numbers of demos
And yet, at this point, caution should be exercised: Exactly four years ago, demos consistently saw Hillary Clinton leading the way. Even Trump no longer expected his victory, and yet, scarcely possible, he made the leap into the White House in November 2016. Since then, it has been known that there is only one reliable survey in the United States, namely Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that is November 3 this year.
Democrats “are tougher” than North Korea: Trump blasphemes at political opponents
Another point is added: Trump has earned the most violent and almost every criticism. Since moving into the Oval Office, he has intertwined family interests with those of the state. He was right to criticize the deficient defense spending, especially in Berlin, but the alleged master negotiator destroyed a lot of trust within NATO, which Russia is particularly pleased about.
Trump also had the right instinct to no longer underestimate China’s reach for world power, unlike his predecessors. But from the disclosure book of his ex-security adviser John Bolton, we know that in return for Beijing’s generous purchases from US farmers, he would have let this conflict go through.
The President and the “White Power” video
Trump is even weaker in day-to-day business. He reacted completely empathetically to the anger of the black community about the brutality of the police operation against George Floyd. At the end of June, the president did not blunt himself to retweet a video on which one of his supporters shouted the slogan “White Power” to black demonstrators. Only after violent protests did Trump delete the retweet and now claims that he did not understand the (very clear) reputation of his fan.
Therefore one can presumably say: No matter how weak the aged Biden might act as president, he would in any case be an improvement on Trump, who has lost personal credibility and moral integrity through his countless false claims and selfish acts.
Trump hunters’ euphoria
But nevertheless be warned again of the noticeable euphoria of the Trump hunters. In the collective awareness of “being on the right side”, some rifles against the unpredictable president are currently being loaded that can easily backfire.
There is, for example, the dispute as to whether Trump knew about the “bounty claims” of the Russians for Afghan Taliban in the fight against American soldiers, which his intelligence agencies assumed. The two government officials quoted by the New York Times (anonymous but credible), according to which the President was informed in writing of these findings in the “President’s Daily Brief” on February 27, in no way prove that Trump has taken note of these facts .
Trump calls coronavirus “Kung Flu” and gets thunderous applause
The previous day, Trump had given a big press conference, during which he persistently praised himself for allegedly taking the right measures against the corona pandemic at an early stage. The nation argued about this the next day, and there are many indications that the extremely lazy president had no interest in the daily written report of the secret services (which he despised anyway).
Trump’s limited attention span makes it seem conclusive that he never took note of the report and is now convinced to tell the (subjective) truth if he asserts that he has never been informed of the bounty matter.
To avoid any misunderstanding: The fact that a president does not read – and in the opinion of his ghostwriter Tony Schwartz at the time did not even read “his” bestseller “The Art of the Deal”, which was actually written by Schwartz – should disqualify him for this position and for most others too. But his electorate knew that the real estate billionaire, who had become popular as a TV celebrity, is not a man of books, and in a democracy there is no passage that only people with academic interests should be elected.
This is therefore only about the point that both sides could be right: Trump, who claims he knew nothing about the alleged bounty campaigns by the Russians, and the “New York Times”, based on sources, the President had been informed in writing.
His most loyal supporters, whom Trump said in January 2016 that he could shoot a man on New York’s 5th Avenue without losing a single one, are likely to see the media outrage as an attempt to help campaigners for bids rather than as a serious argument against their light form interpret.
When hate content is deleted
Another attack against Trump could ultimately even benefit him. In the United States, the free word is a great commodity, even if it can sometimes be used for defamation. This is why the discomfort extends far to the left of society when Twitter presumes to label the president’s tweets with a “warning about glorification of violence” – such as the one the president used to warn of violent outbursts in Black Lives Matter demonstrations at the end of May : “When looting begins, there will be shooting.”
The notion that a society would be safer if an excessive threat of this kind no longer appeared is absurd. Because it would be worse if the president actually deployed troops and the citizens were completely surprised – even if so far in the event of violent riots it was not the president who had to decide whether to use firearms, but the local police chief and, if necessary, the governor.
An account of the President on the live streaming platform Twitch, which belongs to the Amazon group, was provisionally suspended on Tuesday. Twitch justified this by saying that “hate content” had been posted on the channel.
Donald Trump again calls the corona virus “Kung Flu”
This includes Trump’s opening campaign speech from June 2015, in which he described illegal immigrants from Mexico as drug dealers and rapists – including the addition: “And some, I assume, are good people”.
Where does the free word end, where does the defamation begin?
This speech is now available on video and in full on the Washington Post website, and one does not want to imagine a US where all media platforms eliminate this revealing speech that set the tone for Trump’s entire 2016 campaign.
The same applies to any other speech by a president or presidential candidate. After all, which interest should be rated higher? That of people who feel violated by Trump’s speech and which fuel prejudice?
Or that of those who want to be able to find the content on the Internet that is easy to access for themselves and their children tomorrow, which ushered in a new, disturbing phase in American domestic and foreign policy?
At the same time, the Trump fan site r / The_Donald on the Internet platform Reddit was closed on Monday. It’s not a shame about the site itself, which attracted attention with absurd conspiracy theories surrounding an alleged gang of child abusers in the area of Hillary Clinton, insults to dissenters and calls for manipulation of Amazon bestseller lists.
Nonetheless, with such actions, the boundary between the freedom of expression guaranteed by the state and the interpretation of “hate content” that private companies have defined themselves is given a strange arbitrariness. If in the past four years Twitch and Reddit have tolerated the long-standing and now only discriminated sides of Trump or his followers, then they have either been wrong with their definition of hate so far – or they are doing it now. Given this doubt, you should always choose freedom.
Internet companies would have censored Trump two or three years ago (that is, in times when the president was more powerful than in his current stricken state) that America would be more hate-free.
It is more likely that many Americans will find their idol Trump’s claim confirmed that he alone protects freedom of expression. Trump, who understands brutal bullying like no other, should not expect any consideration from the political opponent. But his hunters’ overzeal could benefit him.
About the author: Ansgar Graw, today editor of TheEuropean and Pardon-Magazin, reported from 2009 to 2017 as a USA correspondent for WELT and WELT AM SONNTAG from Washington. He published the book on this in 2017 “Trump is crazy about the world. How the US President is Changing His Country and Geopolitics ” (Herbig Verlag Stuttgart, 240 pages, 20 euros)
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* The article “The dangerous over-zeal of Trump hunters” is published by The European. Contact the responsible person here.