Tweets ruffle feathers

By John Gholson, Columnist

It’s clear to most social media users nowadays that what you write, post, and imply online is vulnerable to public scrutiny.

So it makes me wonder why the leader of one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world would allow his campaign team to post on Twitter snarky unprofessional comments I wouldn’t expect from a high-school class president.

Following the speech made by Clint Eastwood last Thursday at the Republican National Convention, a message appeared on President Obama’s campaign Twitter account reading “This seat’s taken.”

The message was accompanied by a photo of the president sitting in his cabinet room chair which bears a plaque reading “The President.”

While pandering to the newest generation of voters who have grown up on tart, quick-witted messages is an understandable political choice, is it dignified of the most powerful office in the country? Especially to serve as a rebuttal to Eastwood’s speech?

In case you had better things to do with your time than watch the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 30, the speech involved Eastwood sharing a dialogue with a chair serving as an imaginary Barack Obama.

By indirectly responding to Eastwood’s dismissal of the president with that tweet, it seemed to me as if the Obama campaign was saying “Well, he’s already president, so, your argument has no ground.”

That level of arrogance, whether realized by the party saying it or not, is not what I want to see endorsed by the man who represents me and 300 million other citizens.

Perhaps the campaign felt that, because the medium in which they wrote the message was casual, they could let professionalism slide.

Perhaps I’m getting upset over a simple joke which will have no bearing on citizen-government relationships.

Perhaps my fear of letting our president make statements that boil down to “I’m president and you’re not” to his opponents is completely invalid.

But even if all of those are true, I still find this response a highly unprofessional move by the Obama campaign and think tweets sent out by the administration should be more dignified.

Granted, I am talking about a presidential campaign, so the level of dignity here is pretty relative.

I’m not saying Obama is a poor president. I’m not saying any opposition to the president is a better choice either. I’d still find such a message unnerving no matter who said it, and there have undoubtedly been worse things said by the president in the past ten years alone.

But just because others have done worse, or will do worse, does not mean the faults of our current president can be ignored.

You should be fearful when people willingly allow a party in power to respond to criticism with “I’m president.” You should be angry that the party in power would even think it’s alright to respond in such a way.

Such behavior from public officials should not be tolerated by the people.

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