President Donald Trump was the runner-up for 2015 TIME Person of the Year award. (Courtesy of TIME Magazine)
Even well before his victory on election day, President Donald Trump has been feuding with the press and the mainstream media. The president’s antagonistic views of the press are a result of his personal view that the news and media are treating him unfairly and are trying to destroy him. While Trump is correct that he is being treated unfairly, it is not by the mainstream media or the press.
Let’s recap some of the things that have happened to give Donald Trump his negative image. Controversy lingered over Trump’s presidential bid from the get-go starting with him being labeled racist and misogynistic, and with his comments about Senator John McCain’s war record.
His public image only grew worse with his propositions of a Muslim registry and a Muslim ban, his schoolyard bully-esque act of giving out patronizing nicknames to his competition, and the infamous Access Hollywood tape where he is heard unabashedly boasting that he could get away with sexual assault due to his star power. Then, to top it all off, Trump won the electoral college, but lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes to Hillary Clinton.
Following his unexpected win, the number of controversies continued to climb. He baselessly claimed that he won the popular vote due to millions of illegal voters, he picked people for his cabinet that were either inexperienced (Betsy DeVos and Rick Perry), were contradicting Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” (Rex Tillerson and Steve Mnuchin), or were surrounded by controversies of their own (Jeff Sessions), and the ever prevalent allegations of being tied to Russia. Because of all of this, Trump entered the White House with the lowest approval rating of any president in history.
This is where the unfair treatment of Donald Trump comes in, and its not from the media, the press, or his expanding opposition; it’s from his supporters and party. While Donald Trump did enter the White House with only about a 45 percent approval rating, considering his attitude and blatant betrayal of campaign promises, that seems very high.
When Trump described his fan base as being the most loyal, he was evidently not speaking in hyperbole. To a lot of them, Trump can say and do no wrong and support him despite the hypocrisy of the act. They are angry at many politicians and news sources for being untrustworthy, while Trump and his administration make up terrorist attacks as alternative facts.
They hated Obama because he was deemed a traitor who “supported ISIS,” but have no objection to Trump’s suspicious relationship with Russia. They loved the WikiLeaks revelations about Hillary Clinton, but don’t like information leaks from the United States’ intelligence agencies to the media.
The problem isn’t just with his supporters. A number of Republican politicians who were initially appalled by some of Trump’s ideas are now on board with no qualms. When Trump initially spoke of his Muslim travel ban, it was met on all sides of the political spectrum for being unconstitutional. Once Trump signed the executive order to make his Muslim ban a reality, suddenly people like Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan were in compete support of it.
While this flip-flopping of his supporters is a worrisome indicator of Trump’s unfair treatment and political advantage, what’s most worrisome is that Trump is apparently impervious to investigation by certain politicians. After the dismissal of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying about his contact with Russia, Senator Rand Paul spoke out against investigating Trump’s administration, or the issue further, stating, “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party.”
hen there’s leader of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, who held multiple investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, yet refuses to investigate anything about the Trump Administration, whether it be his suspected ties to Russia or Kellyanne Conway’s plug for Ivanka Trump’s merchandise.
Now that a month has passed since Trump was inaugurated, his approval rating has continued to drop with polls showing him to be in the low forties to high thirties, there have been multiple marches and protests against him and his policies, and has come under fire for his dictator-esque treatment of the press from John McCain and Fox News commentator Chris Wallace.
All of these actions are what should be expected when it comes to someone like Trump, but devoted fans and members of his own party are unwilling to stand up to him or paint him in a negative light, regardless of what he does. The ultimate irony of it all is that while Trump is the target of unadulterated hatred from all sides, the people who are treating him unfairly are those defending and praising him.