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Dear Mr. President, I’m a Casualty of Your Drive-By Tweeting War. We All Are.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m a Casualty of Your Drive-By Tweeting War. We all are.  Last week you tweeted an insult my way.  It was an accidental mis-tweet of course, I’m just an ordinary citizen (Jonathan Carl) and not worthy of POTUS attention like ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl.  Nonetheless your drive-by tweet quickly brought a spectrum of intense vitriol and hatred my way.  Although I was an accidental casualty caught in the cross-fire of your “lightweight” tweet, your attack was very purposeful and hurtful.  Many others, whether American citizens or global citizens, feel wounded and hurt by the shrapnel and side-effects of your ongoing Twitter attacks.

In light of the lessons of my wounds I thought I would share a few personal thoughts as well as some helpful wisdom for us all from a well-admired man whose birthplace I pass almost every day.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861)

I’m not mad at you, I’m sad for you.  My first reaction was to laugh out loud at your mistake when I saw your tweet.  My second response was sadness and compassion for you.  Our words overflow from our hearts and can quickly evidence the health or sickness of our souls.  Your heart must be in a dangerous place to have such a consistent flow of defamation and disrespect towards so many.

“I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.”
Abraham Lincoln, Remarks at the Monogahela House (February 14, 1861)

President Trump's Mis-Tweet
Be Slow to Tweet. It is wonderful that you want to communicate frequently with your constituency and the world.  Exercise self-control and be more patient and selective with your correspondence.  Please don’t make the Twitter-universe such a dark and depressing place.  It shouldn’t be a place to argue, fight, or jockey for position.  We can disagree and debate without childish name-calling. You can make Twitter a better place if you choose a platform of love instead of hate. As everyone’s mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t tweet anything at all.”

“In times like the present men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.” Abraham Lincoln, Second State of the Union (December 1, 1862)

Apologize more.  Everyone makes mistakes.  All of us have regrets about past things we’ve said and wish we could change.  When you mess up, please learn to say you are sorry and admit you were wrong.  Even to ordinary folk like me.  Such humility goes a long way.  Aim to own up and stop trying to coverup, hide, deny, or ignore your faults.  No-one is perfect.

“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.” Abraham Lincoln, Address Delivered in Candidacy for the State Legislature. (March 9, 1832)

Be humble. You called an experienced reporter a “lightweight.”  Let’s be honest, you are a lightweight too.  We all are.  God is the only heavyweight who knows it all and gets it right all the time.  That should keep things in perspective for all of us.  You are not the ultimate Commander-In-Chief.  May we all be reminded of our national motto, “In God We Trust” and be more faithful to Him, avoiding the temptation to trust more in a politician, party, or post.

“I rejoice with you in the success which has, so far, attended that cause. Yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.” Abraham Lincoln, Remarks at Springfield, Illinois (November 20, 1860)

Choose kindness.  Goodness speaks much louder and more effectively than harsh words.  Gentleness builds up instead of tearing down.  The world is hateful enough.  Meekness is not a weakness, but a strength.  The world needs more light and hope.  My prayer is that you grow into a bright beacon of joy and peace in a traumatized universe.

“This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter.” Abraham Lincoln, Speech to the One Hundred Sixty-fourth Ohio Regiment, Delivered at Washington, D.C. (August 18, 1864)

Let’s Keep Things In Perspective.  At the end of the day, being right or wrong on social media regarding the prediction of a catastrophic weather event like Hurricane Dorian isn’t the main issue.  Thousands of souls are suffering and they need our prayers, encouragement, and support.  We need good leaders.  Please lead us well.


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