Our president, the only president of the U.S. at present, my president, your president, everyone’s president (at least in our country) has been under fire from the usual suspects for excessive tweeting. In their view, it is unbecoming of a president of the U.S. to tweet at all, let alone so much. And, also, he hits below the belt: when you get into a mud fight, even if you “win,” you still get dirty. This is the feedback from his so called friends. What is forthcoming from his enemies usually features the four letter “F” word, and it is not “fair” or “free.”
His real supporters have entirely a different view. It is that he is a “fighter” and when he gets hit, he strikes back. And, he usually gives “better” than he receives. This reminds me of comedian Chevy Chase’s continual portrayal of President Gerald Ford as an inept (physical) blunderer, always tripping over his own feet. And yet this target played football at a Big Ten University, and you don’t get to do anything of the sort if you are not a good athlete. I wonder what would have happened had Ford challenged Chase to a sort of decathlon: bowling, shooting free throws, running a quarter mile, swimming 100 yards, a tennis game, etc. I’ll bet Ford, who spotted Chase a decade or two, would have won, and put the latter in his place. Trump’s counter tweeting is seen by his real supporters in this vein.
What is the libertarian take on this matter?
It is pretty positive I claim. One element is that the exalted nature of that office might be taken down a peg or two. Nothing that reduces the prestige of that office can be all bad from the libertarian point of view. Another benefit can best be seen by extrapolation: suppose the Donald did nothing but tweet; would this be good for liberty or not? While Trump has done some good things, or at least bodes well to do so (regulation reduction, tax decreases, his Supreme Court nomination), most of what he has accomplished so far must be placed on the debit side of the ledger: protectionism, and especially bombing countries the U.S. has no business of even occupying in the first place. So, Mr. President, let those tweets rip. The more of them the better. And, while you’re at it, Donald, why not get your cabinet to tweet as well? If you all tweeted, oh, 8-10 hours per day, and left the rest of us strictly alone, that would go on the credit side of the ledger. (Similarly, when Obama went on vacation, or played basketball, liberty got a boost; and, thank God for golf, when Eisenhower was in the oval office).2:47 pm on July 3, 2017 Email Walter E. Block