The Orwellian Way Trump Reacted To Alabama’s Senate Results

By on September 27, 2017

President Donald Trump reacted poorly to the results of the Senate primary runoff race in Alabama on Tuesday night, deleting several tweets he made endorsing the loser of the race.

Trump had backed the appointed incumbent Luther Strange, encouraging Alabamans to go to the polls and vote for him over far-right conservative firebrand Roy Moore.

“Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job – vote today for ‘Big Luther,'” Trump wrote before the special election. That tweet was deleted around 10 P.M. on Tuesday night, following confirmation that Roy Moore had won.

Many experts said this was an important race for Trump, and would determine whether his clout as president would translate into winning elections for candidates he supported. Moore’s win also makes Democrats’ chances in the election a tad bit better, although Alabama is still deeply red for Republicans, having voted for Trump by a 28-point margin.

Yet a new wrinkle is added into the mix — when a Trump-backed candidate loses, it now seems that Trump will go to great lengths to hide the fact that he’s not “winning.”

To be sure, a few tweets still remain that show Trump endorsed Strange. Yet how long they will stay up, or whether they’ll be up permanently or not, is unknown at this point.

The greater question is what implications his deleting of tweets may have. It’s very Orwellian of Trump to try and change history, to attempt to throw these tweets down the proverbial “memory hole,” reminiscent of the novel 1984. Some legal experts also insist that it’s illegal — federal law requires communications by government officials must be preserved. Trump’s tweets qualify as such communications, an admission that his administration made back in June.

Luther Strange’s loss on Tuesday night was a huge embarrassment for Trump. How he reacted to that loss, however, is possibly a greater travesty for democracy. The American people have a right to access the records of the president’s public thoughts and opinions. Trump is creating an impediment to that right in deleting his tweets.