On the evening of December 7, minutes after a local Indiana union leader, Chuck Jones, criticized Trump on CNN for falsely promising to keep Carrier jobs in the U.S., Trump tweeted, “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”
Since that tweet went out, Chuck Jones says “I’m getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters.”
Moments later, Trump tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”
Boeing shares immediately took a hit. As it turns out, Boeing doesn’t even have a $4 billion order to make Air Force One planes.
Trump doesn’t take kindly to anyone criticizing him – not journalists (whom he refers to as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum” when they take him on), not corporate executives, not entertainers who satirize him, not local labor leaders, no one.
The President-elect’s tendency to go after people who criticize him by sending false and provocative statements to his 16 million twitter followers not only imperils those people and their organizations.
It also poses a clear and present danger to our democracy.
Democracy depends on the freedom to criticize those in power without fear of retribution.