Donald Trump spent the holiday weekend once again making a fool of himself on Twitter. The president-elect continued his trend of misspelling words and discussing critical foreign policies in 140 characters or less. His refusal to put his phone down and act presidential has left many of us wondering if this is what the next four years are going to be like and it seems we now have our answer.
On Monday, during an interview with Rhode Island news station WPRI, the incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he believes Trump will continue tweeting throughout his presidency. “I think that his use of social media in particular … is gonna be something that’s never been seen before,” Spicer said. “He has this direct pipeline in the American people, where he can talk back and forth.”
Spicer claimed that Trump’s 39 million followers (across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram),“allows him to add an element of a conversation that’s never occurred.”
“He can put his thoughts out and hear what they’re thinking in a way that no one’s ever been able to do before,” he said. “I mean, he does communicate in a much bigger way than there’s ever been before, and I think that’s gonna be just a really exciting part of the job.”
It’s true, Trump has made Twitter his pipeline for communicating to the American people but the reasons for that are not as “exciting” as Spicer wants everyone to believe. First of all, putting all of his unfiltered and dangerous thoughts out on social media means that he doesn’t have to answer for any of it directly. By refusing to hold press conferences (his last one was in July) he doesn’t have to respond to tough questions by the press. Instead he makes outrageous claims on Twitter and his surrogates are then forced to explain what he “really” meant.
Secondly, Trump’s constant tweets are a method of distraction. He knows that if he wakes up in the morning and goes on crazy Twitter rants, that is going to eat up the news cycle and his horrifying Cabinet picks and policies will be ignored; because that is exactly what has happened thus far. This worked perfectly during the presidential election as well.
America is fascinated with reality television and Trump is a walking reality t.v. show with his bombastic rhetoric, obscene (alleged) riches and constant scandals. He knows this and uses it to his advantage. So as embarrassing as it is, the only way to really stop it is to ignore his Twitter rages. As Ben Cohen, the owner of The Daily Banter, explained shortly after the election:
The evidence thus far points to an administration that will be completely incapable of dealing with the complexity of a 21st century global economy, and completely incapable of governing a modern, diverse America. When Trump takes office, we will most likely see an unprecedented breakdown in government and a complete lack of meaningful leadership. The real world consequences will be catastrophic, and the public must be made aware of them in no uncertain terms.
If the media decides instead to engage in the games Trump plays with them, he will continue to retain enough support to legitimize his presidency. If this happens, we will be a witness to the end of American democracy as we know it.
Ben is exactly right and this complete breakdown of democracy will lead to a Trump reelection if we let it. We must not let the country burn while we discuss every moronic tweet he posts.
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