Nobody should be given special treatment – not even the US president

Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

US President Donald Trump is, once again, in hot water.

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US President Donald Trump will likely go down in history as one of the very few US presidents to have led his entire presidency from a social network, posting on Twitter easily every hour, if not multiple times an hour, either praising a specific person that supports him, or attacking one of his many opponents. If anything, one could easily start playing a guess game, betting on who Trump will criticize next, choosing between the mainstream media, political opponents such as Joe Biden, or other politicians, or even regular people, that are opposed to him or his policies.

The rather excessive use of Twitter by the president has led to numerous close calls with foreign nations, such as when Trump escalated the situation with Iran, nearly going to war against the Middle East nation, and declaring this one through the social media network. The same can be said about a number of comments that have bothered or angered political leaders of other countries, such as in Europe, worsening the relationship between the US and its “allies”.

Despite the regular public attacks on companies and people, attempting to discredit them, as well as sharing or posting misleading and false information, sometimes crossing into the conspiracy theory field, the US President has managed to get away each time, with Twitter refusing to act, giving him special treatment, while regular users would have seen their tweets deleted, their accounts temporarily locked or suspended or, in the worst case, banned. However, this time around, the platform stepped in when the president made comments about mail-in ballots, with his two tweets getting labelled by Twitter, linking to clearer, fact-checked information on this matter:

Trump did not appreciate this move by Twitter, talking about how they were now “interfering” with the 2020 presidential elections, especially by basing their assessment on news organizations that are not favourable to him, using his beloved and usual “Fake news media” accusations, even if, at this point, one can wonder which news organization he trusts, having even complained about Fox News.

Trump’s complaint also included Americans’ favourite “free speech” argument, or excuse, while the platform has given him and his followers quite a lot of leeway, allowing him and many others to spread conspiracy theories and attack dozens of political opponents, going as far as attempting to discredit his predecessor, Obama.

Americans need to understand that “free speech”, regardless of what their Constitution or laws say, does not mean that one has the right to say whatever they want without any consequences. Our society has evolved to accept that certain subjects and certain things cannot be said, either openly or even behind closed doors, such as, for example, talking about exterminating an entire group of people based on their gender, skin colour or beliefs. Of course, Americans don’t appear to understand this concept in “free speech”, believing they can say anything and everything they want, and then get to complain about the consequences. Furthermore, and as covered in a number of past articles, “free speech” only really exists in public places. Social media platforms, just as the majority of other websites on the net, are privately owned, with their respective owners having different policies when it comes down to the content and the comments people can post, with these policies usually defined in the “ToS”, or “Terms of Service”, which is the agreement between the user and the platform. In this specific case, while Twitter would have already banned any other user as toxic as Trump, they have been shielding him, giving him special treatment, while he has clearly broken numerous rules multiple times over the past four years. As some people like to say, if Trump doesn’t like the policies of the platform he is using, he is free to move to a different platform that might be friendlier to his… opinions and claims. Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if he is unable to do this, seeing his apparent limited comprehension level on some matters, seemingly not understanding how, for example, tariffs work. By extrapolating this fact, it is easy to assume the current US President would be unable to use anything else than Twitter, with the rest of the options being too complex for him.

At the same time, Trump has lately been attempting to shift attention away from his terrible response to the coronavirus pandemic, which, so far, has costed the lives of nearly 100K Americans, putting to shame other countries which also had disastrous initial responses, such as in mainland Europe. The president is also busy attempting to blame all other nations of having “infected” the United States, as if their initial response had not been disastrous, having had thousands of people in quarantine in some parts of the country, such as in California, weeks before European countries such as Italy or Spain decided to take drastic measures such as the lockdowns. Initially, Trump accused China of spreading the coronavirus. This was followed with attacks to Europe, going as far as restricting air travel between both continents, before moving on to Brazil, while still being one of the worst hit countries in the world, meaning they should be the ones being isolated and cut off from the world, until this pandemic dies down and eventually disappears, if it ever goes away without mass vaccination.

As we’ve already covered in the past, the people happily supporting these constant lies and attacks, going as far as actively spreading them, should have their position in society reconsidered, as it is unimaginable that, in an era of information, where anybody can easily learn multiple languages, customs from foreign countries or small details from history, thanks to the relatively easy access to the tools needed to have a critical eye and form their own opinions, a large group of people appear to happily believe all the words said by some fake gurus who claim to be experts in various fields, with some going as far as drinking bleach because they were told it would work against the coronavirus.

If we come back to Trump’s accusations of “fake news media”, we cannot deny that the press, and, especially, the US press, is very questionable, with most major websites attempting to push their agenda constantly and not covering specific details that do not go in their direction. However, politicians, and especially the US president, should not be attacking this one on a regular basis, or, as Trump does, on a daily basis, as this weakens one of the key components of our current society, with press still covering and sharing information that affects us all.

Trump also appears to be worried that Twitter’s sudden reaction to his tweets might affect his chances of getting re-elected. However, there is little to no doubt that Trump will be winning the upcoming presidential elections, getting a second term and continue ravaging the world with his questionable approach to foreign policy. For instance, these past four years of Trump have already been quite difficult for the world, rewriting and reshaping some of the commonly accepted and agreed positions between nations. While the US has never been a trustworthy ally and friend, the arrival of Trump and the past few years have put the final nail on the coffin, with historical commercial partners and allies such as the European Union greatly suffering from the regular attacks and whims of the president. It is now time for us to prepare for the upcoming four years, and fully reconsider our relationship with the US, eventually splitting up and thinking about our own independence, both economic, political and technological, as, from one day to another, the US president might choose to erase one of our main companies or even entire industries, for no valid reason.

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