As we gear up for a new year that promises to be fraught with uncertainty, challenges and perils for our country, I think it wise to recall some of the highlights, or lowlights, we have seen from our chief executive in 2017. A compilation of 125 of President Trump's most significant tweets provides a background for where we have been and where we may be going.
There has been so much noise emanating from this administration that it is easy to forget some of the more egregious statements and actions we have experienced this year. I believe it is important not to forget, in order to have a context for examining and understanding what we may be subjected to in the coming year.
Therefore, I want to just remind us of a few gems from the past year. You can fill in some of the blanks by reviewing the more detailed list of 125 tweets.
Tweets against Hillary Clinton: "Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails" … "So many people are asking why isn't the A.G. or Special Counsel looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?"
Tweets against the media: ".@NBC News is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job." …
"The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!"
Tweets about dictators: "Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now?" … "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'
Tweets about politicians: "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart" …
"Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. 'Richie' devised one of the greatest military frauds in U. S. history" … "Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam - except he was never there."
"We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!"
Tweet about the Judiciary: "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"
Tweet about President Obama: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Tweets on the Russian Investigation: "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt" … "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations" … "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director! Witch Hunt"
… "There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!"
"Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended" …
Tweet on history: "Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!"
Immigration tweet: "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!"
Tweet on presidential pardon power: … "I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joseph Arpaio."
Tweet on hurricane relief: "...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico" …
There is so much more to look at, and tweets represent only one aspect of the first year of the Trump presidency. Yet I believe what we see here provides a flavor of who the man is who occupies the Oval Office. He is unlike any president who has ever served in that capacity. He exhibits a strong tendency toward authoritarianism. His lack of truthfulness or consistency gives credence to suggestions regarding his mental stability.
He needs to be watched very closely in the coming year. Foreign conflicts may well escalate. Erosion of civil liberties and long-held freedoms could continue. If the Russian investigation gets closer to the White House, desperate actions seem likely from this president.
Strong American institutions have limited the damage from this president thus far. Continued vigilance will be needed in 2018 to preserve our democracy as we have known it.