Donald Trump is using Twitter to cyberbully his own citizens. Let it sink in. A 70-year-old spoiled, mean teenager is going to be President of the United States. Can a person be POTUS and Secretary of Cyberbullying at the same time? Apparently so. It would be funny, but it isn’t. The man who will be president engages in the type of cyberbullying that if practiced by a jerk at your local high school would involve the police and suspension if not expulsion. The PEOTUS slammed union leader Chuck Jones with this tweet on Dec. 7:
Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!
During his campaign he tweeted insults at Lauren Batchelder when she asked him about respecting women at New Hampshire town hall event. Both Batchelder and Jones have received online and other harassments and threats, including phone calls.
Like much of Trump’s rhetoric this behavior is at BEST irresponsible and at worse downright mean, cruel, and evil. Yes, evil. The type of harm caused is damaging and lasting. Eventually someone inspired by his meanness will kill someone or many.
Someone needs to teach Trump the bully lesson where you crumple up a piece of paper and then smooth it out again. The effects of bullying (and all types of abuse and trauma) is that no matter how much you smooth out the paper, the effects of the crumple will always be there. Alas, he doesn’t seem teachable, but I’ll try.
Twitter, like any tool, can be used for good or ill. So far, Trump knows only how to use it to hurt, intimidate and harass. I am providing Trump some examples of how 140 characters can be used to teach, heal, build up, and inspire. I was Inspired by James Martin, SJ who told Krista Tippett on On Being that he responded to someone who thought his social media work demeaned the Gospel by tweeting the Beatitudes, all of which come in under 140 characters.
So Mr. Trump here are some examples of how great people have said important and inspirational things in 140 characters. We’ll start with some Biblical examples for your religious supporters.
- “Let the one among you without sin be the first to cast a stone.” John 8:7
- “If you want to be perfect, sell your possessions & give to the poor, & you will have treasure in heaven.”
- “Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor.” Zech 7:10
- “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mark 10:25
- “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual” Harvey Milk
- “Civilization is the encouragement of differences.” Gandhi
- “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Marie Shear
- “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land.” FDR
- “Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation.” MLK
- “Skeptical scrutiny, in science & religion, is the means by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.” Carl Sagan
Follow the actual tweets at @RevTonyUU and add to this list by using hashtag #wise140 – Let’s see if we can get at least 140 examples of 140 characters of wisdom.