Those on the left and right seem to agree on one thing — that President Trump should sit down, shut up and by all means – STOP tweeting.
Realizing that the opinion which follows is in the vast minority, it seems that a case can and should be made for the efficacious presidential tweet. So, at the risk of being excoriated by both sides, here are the pros and cons of a tweeting president.
In descending order of those most opposed to the presidential tweet, one must begin with the elite establishment media. Heretofore news professionals (a loose term at best) had nearly exclusive access to the president’s actions and comments. This differed substantially with most rank and file Americans who needed the Fourth Estate to relay the president’s intentions. Thus, the press could filter everything said and done by POTUS.
As a former member of the broadcast news industry, I can tell you the media loves one thing above all else – control. And the presidential tweet limits both control and the ability to filter. This is more than a bit frustrating for those who previously had exclusive entree to presidential words and deeds. And it takes away one of the preeminent tools afforded the press – power. Instead of leading, they are relegated to the back of the pack. Their special status is being chipped — and chirped away — right before their eyes. It’s downright demeaning, and one can sense their seething at this loss of power as the hue and cry goes up for Donald Trump to stop tweeting. “It’s not presidential.” “It lowers the dignity of the office.” Dost, they protest too much.
Next in line regarding those who detest the presidential tweet are the swamp-dwellers. The presidential tweet forces politicians and the chattering class into a proverbial corner. No longer can they keep their backroom machinations hidden from view lest they too are called out by The Prez. So, what’s a swampist to do? Why they must return in kind and tweet back. This causes a Twitter storm of sorts, and the nasty part of this is that it is done in full view of the public. Gone are the days of quiet little side deals on the Q-T. It’s all out there now, and it can get ugly.
Continuing in descending order of twitter opposition, we come next to supporters of the president. By gosh, President Trump’s tweets are embarrassing. Esteemed Republicans who hide behind their intellect and influence are ashamed to observe such base comments coming from the President of the United States – and from their own party no less. It’s tacky. It’s crude and oh-so unsophisticated. It lowers their sense of superiority and turns them into a lover of all things unpolished, vulgar and uncouth. “I just wish he would stop tweeting,” is the clarion call of the Trumpist. Others, without realizing it, buy into the leftist narrative that tweeting is un-presidential or that Trump’s tweets are spur-of-the-moment thoughtless rants that only serve to get him into a whole heap of trouble. Either way, it comes down to something like, “Oh the shame of it all!”
Finally, we come to The Resistance. They are in fact so low on the totem pole of opposition because President Trump’s tweets tell them what they already know – that he is nothing more than a low life. Naturally, a person of his ilk would resort to tweeting. This kind of behavior from such an “ist” (fascist, etc.) is to be expected. They protest about his tweeting but secretly The Resistance is pleased by his behavior as it only serves to prove them right.
As someone who barely knows how to tweet, I have a grand total of four people I “follow” on Twitter and only one that I permit to notify me with the chirping of a little blue bird – and that is Donald Trump. When I wake up from my sweet slumber knowing Hillary Clinton was denied the presidency and hear that unmistakable sound, it occurs to me that the President has something to say. I can choose to ignore it. I can choose to read it. I can choose to make what I want of it. But those decisions are mine — they come unfiltered directly to me. I have to think that if the founders had this technology they would have tweeted early and often. It is a way to communicate directly to the American people without any spin or agenda from others.
It also dawns on me that Mr. Trump’s tweets depict a man playing chess while others are sitting in front of the checkerboard. His comments – be they incendiary or simply in praise of someone or something –are not simply popped off the top of his head (as is widely rumored) but designed to deliberately control the conversation. He strikes me as someone who is as dumb as a fox. Take the case of the Obama wiretapping tweet: You can say what you want, but it certainly managed to alter the discussion. Even the left took the bait and stopped talking so much about the Trump-Russia connection and started blabbing incessantly about the Trump-Obama wiretap. Nice pivot, Mr. President.
Bottom line: The presidential tweet puts power back where it belongs – with the people. Leave it to a Brit to get the essence of the argument. British television entertainer and entrepreneur Simon Cowell once said, “The only people with power today are the audience. And that is increasing with Twitter, Facebook, and everything else. We cater to their likes and dislikes, and you ignore that at your peril.”
Underestimating the power of the presidential tweet and the strategies and tactics of President Trump to control the dialogue with his smartphone is up to you. But as Mr. Cowell so aptly remarks — you do so at your own risk.
Oops – got to go. I hear the chirp, chirp of that little bird again. The President is speaking directly to you and to me. Keep tweeting Mr. President, for America is listening – whether they like it or not.