Make America tweet again

Adrian Enzastiga, Staff Writer

It has been a year since the election of President Donald Trump, and the debate is still heated: does his communication with the public make for a positive influence on our country?

One fact that is not debated, however, is his unique means of communication. No other president has used Twitter to the extent Trump has. While @realDonaldTrump is only the 18th most followed Twitter account, it has probably become the most talked about account in the country, if not the world.

With such a well-known Twitter, it is important to recognize the negative effects of Trump’s bizarre methods of communication, which allow him to create unnecessary drama, attack the press freely, and speak without credibility, while lowering the credibility of our country.

One can scroll down the endless sea of Trump’s tweets and find the same phrases in many of them: “fake news,” “crooked Hillary,” and of course “make America great again,” along with a plethora of words needlessly typed out in all caps. From ranting about the corruption of Democrats to preaching the need for tax cuts, it appears that people – liberals and conservatives alike – just can’t get enough of his entertaining online dialogue.

Despite being such a widely discussed Twitter, a majority of his tweets hold little significance. As president, he pontificates on matters that simply do not pertain to politics or his presidency. He addresses topics that are outside his jurisdiction. For example, a conflict involving football players taking a knee during the NFL in support of Black Lives Matter was amplified with just a few tweets from the president. It is not the president’s job to weigh in on topics like this.

An event goes from harmless news to a venomous debate once Trump is involved. His presidency is such a sensitive topic that those with even the slightest passion for politics will dispute over anything he says. With such heavy social media usage on topics irrelevant to the presidency, Trump should consider using all that time to instead form a plan for the U.S. such as a successful healthcare bill.

Moreover, Twitter provides Trump an outlet in which he can speak without the need for a legitimate, credited source. This approach is additionally aided in that social media, in general, does not allow for much debate. Instead, one can simply share their opinions, unrestrained by the views and criticisms of others, which are necessary to keeping the government’s power in check.

Another dependency needed in order to limit the government’s power is the press, and Trump has been a direct enemy to the majority of them since before his election. Criticizing the government  is the media outlets’ prerogative. It is a key factor in maintaining the balance of power between the government and the people. This equilibrium is upset by Trump’s harsh attacks on the press.

For example, Trump makes crude remarks on Twitter towards CNN, a left-driven network, just about every day, but he does not address the accusations they make. He instead calls them fake or insults their mental health and avoids the politics altogether.

This tweet epitomizes his attack on the press. “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”

He lashes out at any news station that utters one negative word, and he unashamedly embellishes the one source that constantly praises him. He attacks the press, not for the enlightenment of the people, but for the growth of his own popularity.

Trump’s supporters believe his every word, but even after his election, those neutral toward him are reluctant to buy into his antics. It is difficult to take a man seriously when reading his words through the screen of a smartphone. It’s easy to forget Trump is more than just an editorial cartoon. He has become an internet meme to his people.

Domestic affairs aside, expressing ideas through other means would improve Trump’s credibility, if not for the American public, then for international respect. It is believed that world leaders do not take him seriously. According to Pew Research Center, only 2 out of 37 countries (Russia and Israel) view Trump more confidently than Obama. Almost identical statistics were found when measuring foreign countries’ favorability of the U.S. A restraint on his social platforms could greatly enhance our country’s international credibility.

To be fair, Trump’s tweets may actually have a positive effect. They can provide a sense of security that a strong man, a decisive leader, safeguards the country. Some of his supporters take pride that their president interacts with them on a daily basis through Twitter. His denunciation of the Charlottesville riots on social media highlights this potential ability to unify.

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”

However, Trump’s tweets are so often a direct attack on an individual or group that he inspires in his followers more hate for the opposing side than pride in themselves.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!”

This was tweeted Nov. 18, 2017, a year after the election. It seems that he is the one who is still obsessed with his win. He craves an excuse to tweet out something hateful. Even when he praises his Cabinet or Party, there is still an unnecessary antagonistic reference to the other side.

To summarize, he definitely makes himself notable, but Trump is neither eloquent nor honorable. His communication with the American public, especially through his use of Twitter, develops unnecessary controversy, tarnishes the established relationship between the state and the people, and lowers our worldwide credibility. They say Trump’s words unify the public. I say they divide it.