The Trump Chronicles, Volume 16: Words Matter, and Bring Responsibility

Today Catholics around the world commemorate St. Thomas a Becket (1118-1170). On this day he was martyred on the high altar at the Catebury Cathedral.

Thomas had been the best friend of King Henry II (1133-1189) but by 1170 their relationship soured and King Henry snarled: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four of his knights took his words literally: believing they were acting on orders, they killed Thomas.

I write this because King Henry learned an important lesson that day: if you enjoy great power, you carry great responsibility. President Elect Trump has not learned this. Over the past 18 months we have watched him make dozens of false and preposterous statements. The web page Politifact (who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009) fact checked 342 of his statements. Of those, 114 (33%) were determined to be false and and 62 (18%) were determined to be “pants on fire.”

And while most of those statements are fairly harmless, others were not. The defense contractor Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 fighter plane. On December 22nd Don tweeted that he thought it was too expensive. Overnight the stock price of Lockheed Martin lost 2%, or $1.2 billion of value. It was also a hard day for anyone who works for Lockheed Martin. And this is from someone who claims he’ll be good for jobs.

Simply put, he dumps these tweets with no regard to the fact that many Americans’ jobs and livelihood depend on his actions. It’s true with any President but most of his 44 predecessors recognized their responsibility. This one does not.

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