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article imageOp-Ed: Trump, the Rose Garden, and a few other vegetables

By Paul Wallis     Jul 12, 2019 in Politics
Washington - Things the Trump presidency will not be famous for are dignity, civility and basic standards of human conduct. The “social media summit” in the Rose Garden effectively proved the point.
It takes the prize for whatever this type of conduct is to this presidency. (Another win, guys!)
Coverage by the press of the Rose Garden summit was universally hostile. That’s partly thanks to the abuse of journalists by various people including someone called Gorka, who turns out to be another conspiracy theorist. White House staff did nothing to mitigate a tirade of abuse by Gorka against a CNN journalist, which apparently nearly came to blows.
(Please excuse my ignorance about who Gorka is. I’m so used to seeing the revolving door of Trump associates and their 5 hour public lifespans I don’t usually bother to pay much attention to who or what they are.)
The White House Rose Garden is famous around the world as a beautiful place. Many important people have been truly charmed by it. Not this time. The gathering of gargoyles from the extreme right didn’t quite go with the setting.
No actual Republican Party members were to be seen, at least not from reports. Just the Alt-Right at its frat-brat level of communication in a few hours of adorable high jinx and a lot of rather anonymous-looking white guys in suits. A perfect tableau of America’s Least Interesting promoted to people of standing for a little while.
Anyway, everyone had a wonderful, very brief time. Most of that time was spent basking in the fabulous glow of a meeting of people to whom facts are alien and whose names nobody will bother to remember unless someone documents it in a book sometime. Big deal? Not really.
Trump confined his commentary on events to the failure of his census moves, and that was it for the working presidential news. The rest was propaganda against social media, notably Twitter, where the President is annoyed that his follower numbers are reducing.
Bias? A context or so for consideration
Meanwhile, this gathering of pampered peasants was supposed to be about social media, bias, and anything else that sounded good for an election campaign. Easy to forget that in the haze of infantilism, isn’t it?
The claim of bias is a claim that has to be heard, if not necessarily believed, in this case. The Alt Right was spraying social media with hate and conspiracy theories long before Trump waddled in to it. During the Obama first term election, the right wing trolls were everywhere, abusing people who disagreed with them online. All of them using exactly the same phraseology as usual, and all seeming to know each other just like now. Trump’s contribution to social media has been to make anything and everything OK, at least according to him.
The question is whether a president whose main media card to play is alienating people can expect those people not to react. His Twitter feed is largely full of anything which praises him and a constant barrage against any dissent. Trump also lost out rather badly when the Supreme Court ruled that he couldn’t delete or block negative Twitter users under the First Amendment.
Have to wonder what a guy who reacts so badly to criticism is doing in an environment where criticism is the working machinery of government. Ah well, maybe the trail of legal breadcrumbs following him around will take his mind off it.
If nothing else, and that’s a fair assessment in this case, the net result of the Trump social media summit was hardly impressive. It was a lot of very complacent, almost totally unimportant guys in suits sitting in rather shabby chairs and agreeing with each other. This is what America has come to.
I hope the Rose Garden won’t be permanently affected. It’s a nice garden. It deserves so much better than this and a much higher quality of vegetation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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