Get to work, off Twit­ter

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE -

We smirk to our­selves when we see our future self­ab­sorbed gen­er­a­tion snap­ping “self­ies” to send to their friends, tak­ing videos of their pets and tweet­ing their thoughts on ev­ery con­ceiv­able is­sue.

“Get off Twit­ter and get to work” is prob­a­bly some­thing that many par­ents say to their teens in 2016.

Per­haps its time for Amer­ica to give the 45th pres­i­dent the same ad­vice.

Let’s re­cap how Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump — who is set to as­sume the high­est of­fice in the na­tion in eight weeks and still has an im­mense amount of work to do to pre­pare for his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s first days, in­clud­ing nam­ing more than 15 de­part­ment level heads — chose to spend at least some of his time over the past week.

On Satur­day and Sun­day, Trump sent out a flurry of tweets de­nounc­ing the Green Party’s ef­forts to launch re­counts in Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia, af­ter it cited con­cerns about vot­ing ma­chine hack­ing from a third-party like Rus­sia. The pres­i­dent-elect may un­der­stand­ably be per­turbed about an­other can­di­date ques­tion­ing the le­git­i­macy of his elec­tion — although we’d have to be­lieve that he sowed those seeds with his “rigged elec­tion” cam­paign — but Trump won, and the moral high ground should be the path for­ward here.

Not to leave that is­sue alone, how­ever, Trump also tweeted out Satur­day that he would have also won the elec­tion’s pop­u­lar vote “if you deduct the mil­lions of peo­ple who voted il­le­gally,” cit­ing in­stances of voter fraud in Vir­ginia, North Carolina and Cal­i­for­nia with­out proof.

It’s a con­spir­acy cham­pi­oned by alt-right web­sites based on a sup­posed anal­y­sis of 180 mil­lion voter regis­tra­tions by an or­ga­ni­za­tion called VoteFraud. The only prob­lem? VoteFraud ap­par­ently did no such report, ac­cord­ing to Poli­tiFact, an award-win­ning fact-check­ing site, which de­bunked the story more than a week be­fore Trump’s tweet­ing. Ex­perts on elec­tion laws sim­i­larly dis­missed the idea that mil­lions could have ne­far­i­ously cast bal­lots with­out au­thor­i­ties rec­og­niz­ing them.

Whether our next pres­i­dent chooses to be­lieve it or not, more cit­i­zens didn’t vote for him than did. It makes no dif­fer­ence as to the le­git­i­macy of his pres­i­dency, but should serve as a check on his be­lief that his win was a man­date from the peo­ple.

Now, if Trump had sim­ply left it at the dozen or so tweets he per­son­ally put out on those is­sues, we may just chalk it up to the pres­i­dent-elect re­spond­ing to crit­i­cism lobbed his way … but he didn’t.

Af­ter CNN re­porter Jeff Ze­leny re­ported on Trump’s tweets and said cam­paign sources told him that the ticket’s pop­u­lar vote loss has been weigh­ing on Trump, the pres­i­dent-elect went a bit kooky. Over the past 48 hours, he’s spent time retweet­ing a se­ries of ran­dom Twit­ter ac­counts, in­clud­ing a 16-year-old, that bashed Ze­leny for not un­cov­er­ing a non-ex­is­tent con­spir­acy.

Why is it that the pres­i­dent-elect has a mount­ing pile of work to be done in a de­creas­ing num­ber of days and he’s trolling Twit­ter, call­ing out his haters?

The Amer­i­can peo­ple elected you to fix what has be­come so bro­ken in this coun­try, to fix why the Amer­i­can Dream feels like it is get­ting far­ther away rather than closer. Taunt­ing your crit­ics on so­cial me­dia isn’t go­ing to get that done.

So get off Twit­ter and get to work.

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