Donald Trump is known for his no-backing-down, say-what-he-feels rhetoric ever since he stepped on the political scene. In fact, many of his followers and supports consider his bombast to be a positive.
In a world full of political correctness and politicians looking to put on their best faces to score votes, Trump is paving the way for a new style of leader.
All of this talk doesn’t just come with Trump trying to say the unsaid. He often finds himself lashing out and arguing over the internet using his favorite medium, Twitter. Trump has been cited for insulting everyone from Gold Star families to female politicians, but as of the last few weeks, his attacks have found a target close to home.
Over the summer, Donald Trump endorsed the Republican nominee for governor in Florida, Ron DeSantis. Keeping up with his now popular “Us vs Them” political strategy, this meant that Trump naturally had to mount an offensive against the man running against DeSantis, Andrew Gillum. Gillum represents the “them” to Trump so he is a natural threat. As mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum holds the reputation of the city on his shoulders. This, in turn, made the city a target.
In August, the day after DeSantis won his party’s nomination, Trump took to Twitter, writing “a failed Socialist Mayor.” This criticism was drawn from the fact that Gillum had received an endorsement from popular Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, gave his open support for the mayor, thus giving the illusion that Gillum is of the same school of thought.
Gillum has yet to truly state that he has a similar affiliation to Sanders’ political ideologies.
Gillum has not been free from scandal, of course. His city has been under FBI investigation, and Gillum’s own behavior has come under scrutiny. Gillum denies any wrongdoing but both DeSantis and Trump have used the findings as a point to press the mayor on. In recent news, Trump has taken to Twitter to accuse Gillum of being a “thief” and alleging that Tallahassee is both violent and corrupt. By no means have these insults fallen on deaf ears as Mayor Gillum has also used his own Twitter account to fire back at Trump by calling the President “weak.” Trump has also been known to bring up the reported crime rate in Tallahassee.
While speaking at a rally in Central Florida in October, Trump mentioned that Gillum runs a city with “a lot of problems” and “tremendous corruption, tremendous crime.” Gillum, however came to the city’s defense and has been doing so to assert that the city is on track to reach a nearly 20-year low in the crime rate.
Trump often has his differences with his fellow politicians, but Andrew Gillum seems to keep up an offensive against the president. With comebacks like “@ me next time” and “don’t talk trash about my city,” Gillum seems to be serious about maintaining the integrity of his town.
Though Tallahassee is rare to garner attention from the national spotlight, the 2018 midterms may be the most important the city has had in a long time.