It's Thanksgiving, so let's find something on which we can all agree: President-elect Donald Trump should stop with all the tweeting. I mean it's so undisciplined, raw, and now that he's going to be the leader of the free world, it's just not becoming the office of the presidency. Right?
Well so much for something that can bring us together, because there are actually a lot of good reasons why Mr. Trump should once again ignore all the experts and keep on tweeting like it's going out of style. Here are the top 3:
1) Let's get real
Just look at the way President Obama's supporters talk about the man. Even after eight years in office, many of them still talk about him and act like he's a cross between a savior and an Olympian hero. We caught a glimpse of similar god-like hero worship of Hillary Clinton over the last few years too. Republicans were guilty of it with President Reagan. This just isn't healthy. Americans of all political stripes seem to be backsliding lately into an inherent human monarchist tendency. And that's bad for our republic and democracy in general.
Along comes Trump, and even most of his more ardent supporters seem to not only see his human flaws but revel in them. And in case you forget about those flaws, his Twitter feed will provide you with evidence of his all-too-real humanity on a daily basis.
Most presidents seem to come into office hoping the country will treat them with some kind of reverence. But that's been a silly pipe dream at least since President Nixon left office in disgrace.
And what precedent for the unnecessary "dignity" of the office has President Obama set exactly? This is the POTUS who slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon, read the mean tweets with Jimmy Kimmel, appeared on "Between Two Ferns," and "Funny or Die," and did an interview with that YouTube celebrity who once ate her way out of a bathtub filled with breakfast cereal! And guess what? President Obama was smart to do all of those things as they burnished his persuasive "cool" brand while in office. Let's face it folks, the curtain on the presidency has been pulled back already. And that fact has often helped the man in the Oval Office rather than harmed him.
The best Trump can do is get people to see him as a regular guy, and Twitter helps him do that. Think of it like a four-to-eight-year-long episode of "Stuff My President Says."
2) It's Trump on his own terms
President Jimmy Carter tried to look more like a man of the people by sometimes carrying his own luggage on foreign trips. That actually made him look like a poor schlub. Trump's tweeting of his thoughts and opinions on his own terms projects an image of a guy who doesn't care about the polite rules. That's an alluring and persuasive image for a lot of people who want to believe the president and the presidency is strong. To them, you don't get there by consulting Emily Post. If we want a nice friend, maybe we should get a dog. But if we want an effective president, the kind of person who doesn't care if you're offended by a few random tweets might be just what the doctor ordered.
3) What's the alternative?
How many times have those "open government access" advocates complained about too-infrequent White House news conferences and the generally restricted access to the president? Well, here we have a president who's giving us access on steroids.
And why are taxpayer-funded White House speechwriters and image handlers somehow better for America? The public can see through that stuff more and more these days, and it doesn't seem to like it. I mean, was there ever a presidential candidate who looked and sounded more like he came out of central casting for the role of "handsome, dignified president" than Mitt Romney? And we all know how that worked out for him.
With that hair and that voice and of course, the tweeting, Donald Trump doesn't look the part at all. And not even the best Hollywood makeover magic could change that. So why would we think he's suddenly going to be more respectful and restrained once he gets into office? That's not really what his upset-the-establishment supporters want and it's not likely to work for him even if he tries.
Twitter or no Twitter, the only restraints on President Trump that we should rely on are the checks and balances in the U. S. Constitution. Maybe the best result of this election is that Trump's fans and haters alike will stop looking to hero worship the president, and instead find new reasons to revere and revive the Founders' very wise warnings and safeguards, not against uncouth behavior, but against actually dangerous tyranny. President-elect Trump's tweeting isn't either of those things, and we'd all do better to focus our time indignation elsewhere.