“The punishment would have been DEATH!” former president Donald Trump said of outgoing U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, whom he is accusing of being a traitor, supposedly selling him out to China during the last days of his presidency.
When it comes to branding traitors, it seems the former president is not short on people and organizations to name, and just a few hours after posting his rant about General Milley, accused Comcast of treason due its “one-side(sic) vicious coverage by NBC News, and in particular MSNBC,” calling on authorities to investigate the network for its “Country Threatening Treason”. The former president has also called President Joe Biden a traitor and has accused him of treason multiple times.
Donald Trump: Using social media as a soapbox
The vast majority of Trump’s diatribes are posted on social media. Before he got banned from the platform, Trump’s primary soapbox was Twitter, where he inundated followers with random personal thoughts and re-tweeted content. Following the events of January 6, he was banned from the platform. Though he has been reinstated by Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, he has only tweeted once – his mugshot when he was booked in Georgia over the indictment he is facing there.
Much of what Trump posts now is on Truth Social, a Twitter-like site that he owns. Especially since he announced his bid to return to the White House, Trump has been posting on the platform several times every day.
From ranting at the U.S. women’s soccer team for being “woke” – which in his reasoning, was the reason for their early elimination in the Women’s World Cup a few months ago – to retweeting positive coverage about him, and polls showing his lead in the Republican primary, to name-calling his political adversaries and rivals – “Crooked Joe Biden”, “Liddle Mike Pence”, “Ron DeSanctimonious”, “Deranged Jack Smith” – everything is on Trump’s Truth Social feed.
Taking things too far?
The Biden administration seems to have taken more notice of Trump’s increasingly extreme social media posts, which some, like the case of General Milley, imply the commission of violence.
And while having ownership of Truth Social means that he is very unlikely to be sanctioned for his behavior, at the very least, it gives not only Biden, but his other, more immediate rivals ammunition to use against him.
A report from the New York Times shows that since Trump’s indictments, there has been a 300% increase in threats against authorities and law enforcement. An unidentified person called up the chambers of the judge assigned to Trump’s election interference case threatening murder if Trump does not get elected president next year. FBI agents assigned to Trump-related cases report that the threats sometimes extend to their families.
A study released this year revealed that at least 4.5% of Americans believe that violence was “justified to restore Donald Trump to the presidency.” Trump has repeatedly claimed – and still continues to claim – that he won the 2020 election and that the results proclaiming Biden were fraudulent.
If there are any lessons to be learned from the past, it is that “sticks and stones” aren’t the only things that break bones – words can too. Especially words posted online for millions of followers to see.
About the Author
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.
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