Friday, Jan 20, 2017 - I wrote this post earlier in the week and scheduled it to post and apparently it did not. So here it is.
This past weekend we celebrated the birth of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. One way many people commemorate his birthday is by performing community service projects. Ideally, we all do some sort of community service during the full year, but MLK Day is a great way to get the habit started.
Instead of focusing on communities pitching in to make improvements, the media focused on Donald Trump's Twitter blast of Representative John Lewis. Mr.Lewis is a civil rights icon who marched alongside Dr. King and has continued fighting for civil rights throughout his personal and professional career. Mr.Lewis stated in an interview that he was not going to attend Mr. Trump's inauguration and said one of his reasons was that Mr. Trump is not a legitimate president.
I understand why Mr. Lewis feels that way, but Mr. Trump's presidency is legitimate. He meets all the constitutional requirements to be president and he garnered enough electoral votes. Mr. Lewis has every right to not attend the inauguration, but I question what message that sends. Mr. Trump does not handle criticism well. His reactions on Twitter are akin to a teenager. And I say that as a parent of a teenager.
Mr. Trump retaliated to Mr. Lewis' criticism by saying that he has not done enough for his home district in Georgia and that he is all talk and no action. Slap against the forehead! What??? Mr. Lewis I think personifies what it means to walk the walk and talk the talk. Mr. Trump's response should have been something like this,"I am sorry Mr. Lewis feels this way. I look forward to meeting with him and finding ways we can work together to make America great for everyone. I appreciate his service to this country by being an elected official and his passion and tireless work in the field of civil rights."
So far I see Mr. Trump as someone with all talk and no action. He is quite blustery and impulsive. He says one thing one day and contradicts himself the next (or even just a few hours later). He really needs to either self-regulate what he tweets or allow his staff to correct or soften his words. I'm glad he has embraced social media and appreciates what it can do in a positive way, but he also needs to understand the negative impact not-well-thought-out tweets can have.
Words can motivate. Words can inspire. But it is action that actually makes change. Action is what makes a difference. Mr. Trump, choose your words carefully and take action.