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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.


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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

Twitter Barbarian

Jul. 6, 2017 1:47 am
Categories: None

There is a bizarre simultaneity in our so-called president’s use of Twitter.

President Trump has called his use of social media “modern day presidential,” and indeed he makes thoroughly modern use of Twitter, with all its immediacy and superficiality.

At the same time, his tweets aren’t just barbed, they’re barbarously weaponized. He takes us back to a dark, brutish age of ugliness and even threats. And he attacks the same principles that permit his own free expression on social media by assaulting an independent press and, by extension, the First Amendment to the Constitution.

He strikes me as lacking the depth and self-awareness to realize all this.

This past week Trump's mean, misogynistic tweets about television journalist Mika Brzezinski caused many jaws to drop. Trump reveals his dislike and possibly fear of strong women, some of whom he has called “fat pigs” and “slobs.” Women that he has verbally attacked include Megyn Kelly, Rosie O'Donnell, Carly Fiorina, Heidi Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Alicia Machado, Natasha Stoynoff and Heidi Klum, and there are certainly more.

Then, over the weekend, Trump tweeted a video in which he beats down a figure with a CNN logo crudely superimposed on his head. It was reminiscent of Montana Republican Greg Gianforte body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, who was merely doing his job, asking what were apparently unwelcome questions.

Many in the Trump and Gianforte camps feel that brutish beat-downs such as these are deserved. Of course, the Fourth Estate plays a crucial role in our democracy, but thugs like Trump and Gianforte wouldn’t have known that because they slept through high school civics class and probably haven't cracked a book since.

So, with Trump we’re seeing social media modernity combined with bestial ugliness and brutal misogyny. It’s the freedom of speech and press that our founding fathers esteemed so highly that Trump is taking advantage of at the same time as he attacks women and the media.

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