Political Usage Social Media

Political Usage of Social Media: A War of Words

How does a President interact with their citizens?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once led the Nation through the Great Depression, reassuring his citizens with a series of fireside chats via radio. Richard Nixon holds the record for most Oval Office addresses on television. Donald Trump addresses his constituents with 140 characters through Twitter.

It seems that whenever he sends a tweet, news organizations flock to what he has to say. This phenomenon is due to the amount of weight a tweet of his possesses. In his first year as Tweeter-in-Chief, he has had so many precedents. He tweeted his proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced a travel ban on Middle Eastern countries, and informed the country of his two-week “working” vacation on a Bedminster, NJ golf course.

He has also remarked on Confederate statues being toppled, asking if Washington or Jefferson would be next. Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was scurrilously pardoned via Twitter. One day after the Las Vegas shooting, the biggest mass shooting in American history, Trump tweeted the “FAKE NEWS” fabricated this event. When a typo happened, the infamous “Covfefe” incident, it was played off as a secret code word. But, even a typo gained national news coverage.

What alarms me the most is his candor when tweeting. He is unafraid to call people out by name and insult them, mainly, North Korea’s Kim Jung Un. He has called the North Korean leader “short and fat”, and appeasing Un with the nickname “Rocket Man”. On Jan. 2, Trump tweeted a threat to Kim Jung Un: “…Please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

There’s no need for debate on that tweet. He is threatening nuclear war with a single message. Talk about peaceful, diplomatic negotiations.

Being the history geek that I am, I can’t help but compare this with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

For 13 days, the United States was in a state of terror because of Soviet missiles in Communist Cuba. Why the terror? Because of a nuclear war threat.

But, now, a message directly from the President’s fingertips is challenging Kim Jung Un. That has to be a first. Trump is saying, “Hit me with your best shot, chump. I’ve got bigger toys to play with.” You don’t need a degree in literature to interpret that message.

His tweets are often inaccurate. Facts are ignored. Grudges are maintained. For his first State of the Union on Jan. 30, he tweeted that he had the largest viewing audience in history and the highest ratings. Both claims were false.

Other examples include the scale of voting fraud in the 2016 election, his denial for the Birther conspiracy, and his denial of the ‘s******* nations’ comments. For someone who is adamant on exposing the “fake news”, he is quite hypocritical.

When I was in high school, there would be the occasional Twitter argume nt over sports teams or emotional situations. This is no way to communicate. Insulting people with frank remarks doesn’t work either. But, this is now reality. A brash President runs the show with his thumbs.

I remember in my high school history classes, we read speeches like Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Kennedy’s Rice Moon Speech, Nixon’s Resignation, Fifty years from now, students will be reading Trump’s tweets in a textbook. That’s concerning. A man this unpredictable, unfiltered, and arrogant needs to be kept in check.

IMAGE TAKEN from President Donald Trump’s Twitter page