One of my favorite things about 2017 is that I can open up Twitter and see that the President of the United States has been either angrily tweeting or boldly bragging at 3 in the morning. I don’t understand the negative sentiment people have against the president and his constant Tweeting, as it’s his constant communication that made him so appealing to so many. Contrast Trump’s overly transparent nature to Obama’s horrible opaqueness, and you start to wonder where people’s priorities are. It’s the 21st century, the American people don’t want their elected leader to disappear into the depths of Washington, only reporting in via occasional press briefings. In a previous blog I highlighted Trump’s speech in Iowa, and how good of an idea it was to physically visit his hard earned fanbase and remind them of all the promises he’s kept. His Twitter functions in a similar manner, yet is utilized much more often, and personally, I think it’s the most effective tool Trump has against the media and the Washington machine. What makes his Twitter so fascinating is that nobody has managed to admit how much power Trump’s social media use has over national news, and how expertly Trump uses it to his advantage.
In case you missed it, Trump started a fair bit of Twitter drama this past week by starting a feud with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of NBC’s “Morning Joe Show”. He brought up that the duo had been trash talking him on the show, and that it was more unfair bias coming from media. He didn’t stop there though, as he proceeded to drop some serious heat on Mika, calling out how awful she looked after she got some plastic surgery. The “Morning Joe” co-hosts fired back with claims that the president was harassing them and that his behavior wasn’t befitting of the office he held. People on the left and right happened to agree with them, saying that they were constantly ashamed by what the president put out. Trump’s response to all the criticism was merely this tweet:
Crude? Sure. Effective? Definitely, but not in the way you think. These past days, Trump’s temporary travel ban against dangerous Islamic nations took effect. This was a massive executive decision, the sort that would typically receive plenty of journalistic and political review. We should be hearing senators giving their feedback on the ethics and constitutionality of this decision, but Lindsay Graham and Bernie Sanders are busy responding to Trump’s scandalous tweets. As they say, “All press is good press”.
What makes this move so funny to me is that this is how Trump managed to win the primary despite being up against a fine array of candidates on the Republican side. Trump’s exact strategy can be better examined in the Netflix documentary, “Get Me Roger Stone”, a fantastic inside look at a close advisor of Trump’s and a long standing member of the Republican political machine, Roger Stone. I can’t recommend the documentary enough, as it will allow you to get a new perspective on how Trump and his advisors are playing a different game than most people are used to. Next time Trump goes on one of these Twitter battles, just take a look at what legislation he got passed at the same time, and maybe you’ll start to respect the POTUS’ political skills more. This is what happens when you get a businessman in the White House.
Trump’s use of Twitter is just one of his elements that make him the most interesting president we’ve had in years. His brash language and constant stream of consciousness show us a multitude of things. It shows us that Trump really is a political outsider. He shows us vulnerable moments like admitting foreign affairs are more complicated than they appear to outsiders. It shows us that Trump means what he said on the campaign trail. The constant sharing of crime statistics committed by illegal immigrants and the constant fight for the fixing of healthcare show that his words aren’t just empty claims, especially as he starts to fulfill his promises. Above all else, it shows us that literally anyone can become the president. Sure, you can complain that Trump is a billionaire and this allowed him to put his hat in the campaign in the first place, but I’d like to remind you how financially lean he actually ran his campaign. Also, every time that I see Trump look confused, like in Saudi Arabia, or every time he admits weakness, like when he defers to experts in a field instead of relying on his gut, he does something that hasn’t been done in years. He reminds us that politics aren’t just for staunchy old people in suits cooped up in Washington. Politics are for the people, and Trump treats it as such. He’s transparent, he’s brash, he’s funny, he’s revolutionary, and above all else he’s honest. If that isn’t exactly what this nation needs right now I don’t know what else can help us. Next time Trump sends a nasty or immature tweet, take a look at how badly the political apparatus and the media freak out. Then take a look at what Trump managed to pull off in front of people’s faces, and laugh along with the rest of the right. Trump in this sense is a magician, and the media are the audience member pulled up on stage, obsessed with exposing the trick but still getting duped. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun being in the audience laughing along.