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Trump threatens to veto Pentagon budget unless his petty social media demands are met

Trump threatens to veto Pentagon budget unless his petty social media demands are met

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Donald Trump’s skewed priorities have been apparent since day one. The man who swore an oath to defend our Constitution never had any interest in doing so and pursued the presidency for the mercenary purpose of accumulating personal power to line the pockets of himself, his family, and his cronies.

This president has spent the last four years waging way against the institutions that lend our democracy its strength in service to his own ego and immediate political needs. He claimed to be the “law & order” president while flagrantly violating the law and pretended to be strong on national security while not even bothering to read the President’s Daily Briefing. The simple fact is that Trump has never cared about anything other than himself and he will leave our nation plundered, divided, and weaker in his wake.

Joe Biden will strive to do undo the damage that Trump has inflicted on our Republic, but unfortunately, we still 49 days until he’s sworn into office and there’s no telling what Trump might do in the interim. So far, the indicators are grim.

Late last night, Trump hopped on Twitter and threatened to veto the annual defense bill unless Congress agrees to repeal Section 230, a law that shields social media giants like Twitter and Facebook from legal liability for the content posted on their websites. It also gives them near unlimited leeway to police their platforms and decide what to delete or keep up.

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Section 230 has become a personal obsession of Trump’s. He and other Republicans believe or at least pretend to believe that social media companies are violating the rights of conservatives and unfairly suppressing their opinions on their websites. The allegations are unproven and conveniently overlook the fact that many right-wingers are often banned or censored on social media for violating the relevant terms of services—for reasons ranging from the posting of Nazi memes to targeted harassment to the spreading of blatant misinformation.

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By dragging the roughly $740 billion defense budget into his personal vendetta against Silicon Valley, Trump is once again showing that he will always put his own interests over those of the United States. To him, the safety of our country is just another bargaining chip in the endless series of corrupt deals that constitutes his life.

Regardless of what one thinks of the defense budget—and there are compelling arguments for why it should be reconsidered and reshaped—this is not the way to do it. Trump has no interest in meaningful reform or in taking a hard, clear-eyed look at the role of the military-industrial complex in American politics. This is just a cheap, dangerous stunt to get what he wants. After supporting and enabling this ignorant beast for four years, Republicans can never again claim with a straight-face to be the party of national security.

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