The Internet sometimes, well much of the time…actually most of the time, is a pretty cruel place. Just ask CNN commentator and activist Van Jones, who is being showered with criticism over his comments after President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
Jones, who has been known as a staunch critic of Republicans and conservatives in general actually praised Trump, saying that the president honoring the wife of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens during the address was the instant he started to look presidential.
“He became President of the United States in that moment, period,” Jones said on CNN. “That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.”
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 1, 2017
While nobody seems to have a problem with Trump’s praising of Owens sacrifice — every president praises members of the military who lose their lives, many do have serious issues with Owens dying in a raid in Yemen in January, the first military mission ordered by Trump as president. They also feel that he emotionally exploited Owens widow Carryn for his own political purposes.
As a result, people didn’t take kindly to Jones’ praising of Trump, and unleashed their wrath at him through, what else? Social media.
Huffington Post Editor Lydia Polgreen, while not being harsh on Jones, still questioned his thinking
This Van Jones quote is even more surprising given how Trump passed the buck on taking responsibility for Owens’ death.
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) March 1, 2017
This Twitter user expresses a whole lot in the space of 140 characters.
I admire Van Jones, but he is wrong if he thinks one non-incendiary speech makes Trump presidential – actions, not words, make a president.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 1, 2017
This one’s just funny.
People looking at Van Jones like pic.twitter.com/sIf2IreoiV
— Every 1 Luvs Red (@Candygrl38) March 1, 2017
So far Jones has not responded to the criticism and it is not clear if he will. Just a few days ago he was lauded for announcing that he would be building a #LoveArmy through his organization The Dream Corps to fight against Trump’s rhetoric and policies. But in an interview with EBONY, he hinted that not hating Trump could be a way to defeat him.
“I’m not going to let Donald Trump take away from our community, something that Fannie Lou Hamer shed blood to give us. Something that Ella Jo Baker braved conditions in the South and sweatshops in Harlem to give us,” he said. He’s a horrible human being, but he ain’t worse than Bull Connor. Fannie Lou loved Bull Connor and beat Bull Connor because she loved him.”