Because you can’t get away, ever.
Next week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will finally test a new alert system that was approved back in 2015. Through the Emergency Alert System, FEMA will be able to text the phones of customers for over 100 mobile carriers, and the messages can come directly from Donald Trump himself. In theory, the EAS will allow FEMA to warn millions of people about natural disasters or provide live updates.
Still, it’s a little disconcerting that Trump, who has the impulse control of a cocker spaniel and takes every opportunity to lash out when he feels threatened even by neutral information, will have direct access to swaths of people even when they love themselves enough to not be on Twitter.
But according to NBC News, experts don’t believe there’s reason to be concerned that the president would abuse the system:
“If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president then this is a great idea and an amazing use of technology to reach everybody if they’re in harms way,” said Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California.
UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, “broadcast-based emergency alert systems … have remained professional and impartial over decades.”
That’s all well and good, but it’s not exactly reassuring. The people behind the WEA may be benign, apolitical government workers concerned with public safety. But Trump has politicized everything the presidency has allowed him to get his hands on, from Veterans Affairs to NASA. Expecting him to be professional and impartial at this point is the dumbest bet you can make.
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