However, despite the content of the president’s tweets, the fact that President Trump is so active on social media gives the American people a unique access to the White House that we have never had before. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with what the president is actually tweeting, President Trump being on Twitter at all is a good thing.
Among many other responsibilities, the job of an American president is to represent, serve and listen to the people of the United States. Part of this task would seemingly require interaction with the public, and an ideal president would interact and converse with his constituents in a way that they understand.
For President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his communication with his people occurred over the radio in his famous “Fireside Chats.” These 30 or so speeches, according to the History Channel, discussed everything from unemployment to foreign threats during and after World War II. FDR saw that America needed answers, and found a medium to address their concerns that could reach nearly 90 percent of Americans that owned a radio at the time. Similarly, in the 50s and 60s, President John F. Kennedy mastered the art of communication over the most up and coming medium of the time –– television.
Today, President Trump has followed in the footsteps of these two incredibly popular former presidents and embraced the “medium of his era,” according to the Washington Post. What is also interesting to note is the president’s age; while social media such as Twitter have become somewhat of a playground for millennials, America’s 70-year-old president has become one of its most involved members.
When examining President Trump as a successful businessman instead of a mediocre president, his Twitter behavior makes much more sense. The Globe and Mail Inc. examined the way President Trump utilizes social media to get his message across, regardless of how controversial it may be. Researchers found that the simplicity and fluency of tweets factor into how viral they can become; while President Trump may seem as though he is aimlessly tweeting his thoughts about Democrats or foreign leaders, he is actually tailoring his interactions toward his audience. This strategy is not entirely political, but shows instead his foundation in the world of business.
It is important to note that while we believe President Trump’s presence on Twitter is a good thing, this does not mean that we agree with all his statements and the way he uses the media platform to reach out to foreign leaders and other politicians, as well as regular American citizens. Indeed, President Trump is exceedingly critical of journalists and the media, calling the press the “enemy of the American people,” in February. This is untrue, as we view the press as the “fourth branch of government,” which carries the responsibility of holding the other branches to a higher standard, as well as informing the American people of what is really going on.
However, regardless of our agreement or disagreement with the president on any number of his stances, we are glad he’s on Twitter because if anything, it shows he is doing his best to interact with us in a way we can comprehend. His tweets give the American people a direct channel into the White House, which is something we have not had in recent past presidencies. Even if he’s tweeting threats or being blatantly rude over social media, at least he’s present, and at least he’s communicating with America.