We used to read unattributed comments about Donald Trump’s staff wishing he’d stay off social media because they kept having to clean up behind him. They were never able to convince him of their position (obviously), and it wasn’t until he’d lost his re-election bid and was permanently banned from the platform after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that his busy fingers were stilled.
The withdrawal pains must have been horrific.
Twitter gave until Twitter took it away, and now that he’s been deprived of his bullhorn, we don’t really know how he’s doing – beyond the demonstrated fact that he doesn’t need social media to keep the Republican Party in a figure four leg lock, which of course is a clue that I’m about to drag Glenn “Kane” Jacobs into the discussion.
Jacobs, a soft-spoken, likeable and not unintelligent guy outside the political arena or the square circle where he found fame and fortune, has a lot in common with Trump professionally. They come from separate, but overlapping, bawdy corners of the entertainment world that both require more showmanship than talent, more chutzpah than substance. To his credit, Jacobs worked for years to counteract his menacing professional persona by being a good public citizen – conducting anti-bullying programs in schools, contributing goodly amounts of time and money to worthy causes. Since being elected county mayor, he’s kept his communications team busy recording his uplifting “Friday messages” and taking pictures of him reading to kids.
And then he screws it all up with stuff like last year’s notorious video urging violence against the county health board.
Or this week’s Tweet featuring a selfie of himself posed next to a “The Wrestler Mayor Is A Moron” yard sign planted in a Knox County citizen’s yard complete with this commentary:
“Freedom of speech means the right to say things people don’t want to hear. I’ll stand up for the 1st Amendment everytime (sic), no matter what … even if what you say hurts my little feelings.”
What a statesman.
The county mayor is seven feet tall and 300 pounds and plants his enormous self in front of somebody’s yard and claims to be standing up for their First Amendment rights by taking a selfie to post on Twitter for his rabid rasslin’ fans to enjoy?
And maybe I’m being too touchy, but did he have to follow up his First Amendment homage by demonstrating his devotion to the Second Amendment with a pic of himself in a backwards baseball cap, firing an assault rifle and captioning it “Zen” the very next day?
It’s going to take a lot of Willie Wonka photo ops to wipe away those images, Mayor Kane. Those who are already fans are loving it – but what about those who aren’t?
Betty Bean writes a Thursday opinion column for KnoxTNToday.com.