Trump's Tweets Are Dangerous
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President Trump's Tweets Are Dangerous

But so is ignoring and writing them off as harmless.

President Trump's Tweets Are Dangerous

Our President seems to like tweeting.

The medium appears to be his primary mode of communicating directly with the American people, revolutionizing it as a tool for connection much as Franklin Roosevelt used the radio in his famous "fireside chats."

Twitter, however, allows for a much quicker and, in Trump's case, seemingly less censored medium. The President has caught a fair amount of ridicule for the fact that his tweets are often unprofessional, misspelled, and bereft of any sign that they were proofread by anyone before he hit send.

It is one issue, of course, that our President appears to lack basic grammatical skills; though it may be embarrassing in many ways, he is not the first President who left something to be desired with their grasp of the English language. (Though that deficiency is not unimportant and should still be considered–in many situations, it could be seen as crucial that the President have a strong vocabulary.)

The President's grammar, however, is not the main thing we should be concerned about in regard to his Tweets. No, it is the content that we should be concerned about.

Trump has used Twitter as a place to introduce some of his more extreme ideas, espousing hatred and utter disdain for the media, the potential for media censorship, and statements dripping with violent, xenophobic, and racist overtones. While some argue that he hasn't taken these ideas to their logical conclusion, we have proof from his own hand that he has considered ideas that are directly antithetical to the Constitutional protections afforded to Americans. When the President of one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) nations in the world speaks, the words carry weight. An ordinary American citizen tweeting racist ideas is one thing; Someone with the power to enact sweeping policies that enforce those ideas (who, in many ways, has actually begun to do so—see child separation, for example) is another thing altogether.

But even if we were to pretend that Trump was not actually serious about or able to enact the most incendiary of his statements, the danger of his rhetoric on Twitter and beyond would not disappear. History tells us as much.

Just look at the case of Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation. Though he once was an advocate for Jews, towards the end of his life (possibly in the grips of mental illness), Luther took a violent anti-Semitic turn in his writing. Those statements would be used to justify violence against Jews long after his death, most prominently by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Luther is but one example of demagogues and institutions using the words of powerful figures from the past to justify present heinous actions. Luther did not, himself, lead a mass genocide against the Jewish people, but as one of the most influential figures in the history of the Christian Church, his writings were used to bolster that genocide as time went on. It's not all too hard, sadly, to imagine a German Christian between the years of 1933 and 1945, conflicted between action or apathy in the face of Nazism, comforted into the latter by the words of the German theological giant Luther.

By mere virtue of the office he holds, Trump will hold influence in American history—that much is assured. His name will be one that lives in infamy, but our views of historical figures often change with where we stand as a society. Even if, today, Trump does not enact the dark ends he suggests in his tweets and public statements, he has now created a precedent that makes it seem all the more reasonable to do so.

Many of the policies of President Trump have been met with protest, and deservedly so. But for those opposed to the dangerous statements made by the President, it may be time to consider whether or not we need to not only protest policy, but also the very things the President says—even those that don't come to fruition.

Because the truth is, the words spoken by a leader matter, even long after they are gone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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