President Trump tweets so often that his words have almost become white noise to the average American, but should we start paying attention?
“Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam “Shifty” Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, their leader, dumb as a rock AOC, & the entire Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrat Party, starts today at 10:00 A.M. on Fox News…”
The words above were not uttered by a talk news reporter, nor were they said by a brash political analyst or, most expectedly, an angsty teenager with a thesaurus — but rather, they were stated last month on Twitter by the 45th President of the United States.
If you have regularly followed the Trump administration over the past four years, then surely you have recognized how large of a role Twitter has played in Donald Trump’s approach to connecting with American citizens.
Trump uses Twitter to speak directly to Americans about current issues, about the upcoming election and to make comments about other politicians — or just about anyone he has an opinion on. It is clear that Trump runs his own Twitter, meaning it is not run by a staff member, which is the norm for most politicians.
So how has Twitter affected Trump’s presidency, now that he can speak his thoughts directly to Americans from an app on his phone, rather than from the West Wing in a pre-written speech? Do the benefits of this connection to everyday Americans outweigh the downsides of Trump’s naturally outspoken nature?
The consensus from Americans on whether or not Trump’s tweets are beneficial to his presidency is mixed. A Politico article by Nicholas Carr stated, “By blurring private and public discourse, Twitter allows Trump to turn locker-room talk, his favored idiom, into presidential speech.”
This sentiment has proven true throughout Trump’s presidency, as he has made a regular practice of tweeting comments that have been viewed as insensitive, particularly to minorities and politicians of color.
In July 2019, Trump tweeted a string of his thoughts regarding “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen,” stating that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
These comments were regarded as both “racist” and “breathtakingly divisive.” More recently, Trump has been tweeting a slew of photos mocking the height of Mike Bloomberg — a feature which has very little to do with his ability to serve as president.
On Feb. 18, ABC News reported that Attorney General Bill Barr told sources close to President Trump that he was considering resigning over Trump’s recent tweets regarding criminal matters in the Justice Department, stating that they made it “impossible” for him to do his job. A resignation from Barr would prove shocking, as he has often been believed to be one of the cabinet members “most loyal to Trump.”
Overall, Trump’s tweets have gotten him into trouble with fellow politicians, but have gotten mixed reviews from fellow Americans. Some people find him to be “relatable,” “funny” and “normal” based upon his social media use, while others have labeled him as “erratic” and “narcissistic.”
Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly described Trump as “unhinged” and “off the rails,” while a Los Angeles Times opinion piece opened a discussion about Trump’s outspoken nature, causing some people to refer to his Twitter usage as “unusual, but refreshing.”
The idea that Trump can speak his mind to the American people from the comfort of his phone or computer is a new and somewhat unsettling idea. Past presidents that have served their country during the digital age haven’t dared to adopt the same level of “comfortability” with their audience as Trump has. He says what he wants to say, and does not seem to filter himself much, if at all. It seems that Trump’s casual approach to his presidency could tear down barriers in politics — barriers which caused presidents to act like, well, presidents.
So, what’s the truth to be believed here? Are Trump’s tweets the markings of a clinical narcissist whose mental stability should be taken into question, or simply the ramblings of a brash businessman who isn’t afraid to speak his mind? It seems that the answer is in the eye of the beholder.
Regardless of what team you’re on, one thing is certain — when Trump tweets, we should listen.