Editor’s note: Disco Biscuit is a frequent contributor to the site. Follow her on Twitter @discobiscuit127
By DISCO BISCUIT
Last Friday evening, President Trump signed an extremely controversial Executive Order that banned (or didn’t ban if you listen to Trump, but also DID ban if you also listen to Trump) travel from seven Muslim majority countries into the US and halted indefinitely the refugee program from Syria. While everyone was wrapped up with that, he did something with an arguably greater impact to our national security. On Saturday, while all of the protests at airports around the country were still going on, Trump signed a presidential memorandum giving his Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, a permanent seat on the National Security Council’s principals committee. At the same time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence have been demoted, and will now only participate when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.” This is unprecedented, especially considering that Bannon was appointed and did not have to undergo a confirmation by the Senate. But I doubt you saw much of anything about this on social media.
Here’s the problem with following what I call “outrage Twitter.” Twitter is extremely liberal. Twitter is very concerned with societal issues that promote or attempt to stifle social justice. Facebook is just as bad, but I see more of what I call “the crazy aunt” over on Facebook. You know the type – they share clearly false stories and memes with captions like “wow, didn’t know that” and “hm, makes you think.” Outrage can be important and spark meaningful change, but while Twitter and other social media platforms were galvanizing the liberal base, Trump was removing two of the most important figures in National Security policy and replacing them with the man who ran Breitbart News (by the way while the NYT headline for the move reads: “Bannon Is Given Security Role Usually Held for Generals;” the Brietbart headline is: “Another Promotion for Rising Star Bannon” — laugh out loud funny), is lauded by outspoken white nationalists as a hero, and has no foreign policy experience. He’s already got the ear of President Trump, who’s executive orders and memorandums in his first days as President have seemed to echo Bannon’s anti-immigrant, anti-establishment platform.
This move is unprecedented and has received backlash from both sides of the aisle. In fact, Michael Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Bush and Obama wrote a scathing op ed saying the move was “unsettling and should be remedied as soon as possible.” Even worse, a report released yesterday says Trump wasn’t even completely briefed on the details of the memorandum. We have a major issue when one man can author a memorandum giving himself more power within Washington and the man who is beholden to the people will blindly sign it. Bannon is a smart man, and I have no doubt that his intentions are to give himself more power in an attempt to further guide the President’s domestic and foreign policies. That is certainly concerning.
All Americans – whether you voted Trump, Clinton, third party, whatever – need to make sure to stay informed. Read multiple news sources, don’t rely on what’s trending, and for the love of God stop saying “fake news” when you’re talking about a news source that you don’t agree with. Because if you do that you’ll find yourself just reading InfoWars, and while hilarious, I’m not sure a man who truly believes that Hillary Clinton is a demon from hell is very credible.