Is President Trump’s response to SNL a cause for concern?

Who does President Trump expect to investigate a comedic sketch?


(Wikimedia Commons)

Immediately after the State of the Union address, rumors began to swirl that President Donald Trump was considering calling a national emergency to bypass Congress’ power of the purse and secure the money for his border wall. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress made it clear that they weren’t willing to allocate the exorbitant sum of money the president was asking for, but were happy to include an increase of funding for border security.

On Feb 15th, the president signed a spending bill that included $1.4 billion for border construction, thus avoiding another government shutdown. However, that same day, unsatisfied with this bipartisan compromise, he declared a national state of emergency, aiming to secure $8 billion from various sources for his wall.

The next evening, Saturday Night Live included a segment in which actor Alec Baldwin impersonated Trump announcing his national emergency in front of the White House. The skit was done in typical SNL fashion, as Baldwin poked fun at the way in which Trump went about securing the funding.  He also questioned just how real this emergency was, calling it “fake”. In addition, he joked about the president’s warm and fuzzy relationship with the North Korean dictator. As the American public knows all too well, the president has only six hours of executive time and loves watching cable TV for leisure. Sure enough, Trump was watching the program and promptly proceeded to fire back on Twitter.

As we’ve seen so often, Trump’s frequent responses to criticism or jokes at his expense are often brushed aside and normalized because of how often they happen. However, the president’s words continue to carry a huge amount of weight all over the world and can set the stage for serious implications – something that was highlighted after Trump responded to Baldwin.

This seemingly petty response could contain a more sinister meaning. Who does the President of the United States expect to look into a comedic sketch that poked fun at him? If he’s truly calling on the government, any such action could represent a serious blow to our commitment to freedom of speech. Perhaps he hopes for a response from his base of support, which has previously demonstrated its aggression when responding to Trump’s opponents. Regardless, it’s a slippery slope that we’re allowing Trump to step on.

Justifiably, Baldwin challenged the President wondering if “a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?”  

As the finalization of the Mueller report’s findings looms, it seems ironic that the President should be concerning himself with so called collusion within the ranks of left-leaning media outlets. Only time, and hopefully properly carried out justice, will tell which allegations are legitimate.

Email Vadim at [email protected].

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