How US Policy Changed When Trump Began to Lead Via Twitter
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How US Policy Changed When Trump Began to Lead Via Twitter


WASHINGTON, DC – November 20, 2018

Shortly after the midterms, Trump fired 71-year-old attorney General Jeff Sessions. The President tweeted: "We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date."

It was soon announced that Matthew Whitaker had been appointed to the vacant post, as stated by another tweet from the head of state.

With the help of Twitter, Trump attracted voters before the elections, leading a relentless struggle against the fake news media through his multi-million audience. Nobody is surprised anymore but this unorthodox model for state governance. Trump became a kind of "commander-in-chief of Twitter." Throughout his two years in power so far, he has actively used the social network to guide changes in the media and politics.

Management via Twitter not only allows Trump to communicate directly with voters and supporters, but to express disdain and even ignore the mainstream media (the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, SNN, and others). Being the President and using his rights and influence, Trump turns the political principles of state governance that have developed over the 240 years of the state's existence upside down.

The President is no longer a role model of moral character; the President no longer embodies the system of moral values; he is not a respected political leader any more. But the President is close to the people in the early morning and late at night, and at work, and on the weekends — always and everywhere — in 140 characters, he expresses his opinion about events big and small, inside the country and abroad, rallies the masses, reaches agreements, and makes decisions on various issues.

Nothing goes unanswered by the President's Twitter feed. His actions are transparent, but still not clear. The political strategy of the country that pretends to be a global leader is determined spontaneously, changes completely, or remains unrealized because of things that have nothing to do with it.

Like a reality show star, Trump carries out absurd scenes coupled with straight-forward statements, forming the attitude of other countries towards US policy and diplomacy.

It is obvious that American voters, ordinary citizens, and politicians were not ready for Trump's Twitter governing policy. The way to understand the mechanism of Trump's decision-making is through full immersion in the political and information environment.

Here are some statistics from Trump's account from July 4, 2018: In the 3,400 days since the account was created in March 2009, 38,000 tweets were posted, at an average of 11 a day. But unlike Obama or other politicians, Trump does not resort to anyone's help and does not hire special people to conduct his Twitter. All of the entries are made by him personally, as evinced by the occasional mistakes or typos.

Trump’s audience has exceeded 55 million—50 times larger the than the circulation of the New York Times, and 40 times more than the audience for CNN’s Anderson 360°. More than 85% of Trump fans faithfully believe only him. Everything Trump says, they perceive as good news; for them the words of the President have an unsurpassed power of persuasiveness. No well-known political or public figure can shake the position and credibility of Trump.

After Trump became President, his tweets became a sensation for the American and foreign media, thereby increasing the importance of the President’s “original thinking.”

Of course, social network communication is very different from traditional media messages, where the presenter is dressed in a suit and tie and every word is weighed. Meanwhile, social media values spontaneity, originality, timeliness, authenticity, and expressiveness. The language should be alive, aimed at its audience, imaginative, words should encourage action. This cannot always be learned quickly; these skills are not acquired in the short-term. However, in this regard, Trump is incomparable and certainly has the appropriate experience and training.

Those few decades of Trump's life when he worked in real estate were filled with surprises, and he was able to cope with them calmly and easily, and he even liked to solve complex problems. Then for ten years he worked on a reality show where he demonstrated his individuality, becoming a kind of promising brand for Americans. Some devoted fans call him the "Hemingway of a tweet."

Trump didn't need to learn to meet the television requirements of urgency and provocativeness. He was always able to keep his statements short and to the point with an appropriate degree of emotion. Regardless of your attitude towards Trump as a person, from his tweets you can clearly understand his position on any issue and the goals he pursues.

If during the Second World War, President Roosevelt expressed his thoughts on the radio in "conversations by the fireplace,” trying to create a sense of relaxed home conversation with all the American people, Trump reigns in the era of US governance through social networks.

Five years ago, during his campaign, Romney admitted that in order to rule out misinterpretations of a politician's behavior on social media, each tweet should be approved by 22 members of his campaign team. Such caution was evidence of ignorance and a lack of understanding of social networks.

Given politicians’ generally low social network ability, the unprocessed express of their thoughts there can lead to problems. For example, on May 30, 2017, a California Democrat Congressman, new to Twitter, tweeted out a random series of letters: “Yrsvjseubpihfcovswtvnjhgfefesxnklimnq.” This garnered 22,000 likes and became an online joke. On the other hand, processed messages seem dry and soulless, with little chance of success.

Politicians of the "pre-Trump" era rejected risk and openness, they kept a distance and clearly chose stability. However, the emergence of the “Trump model” caught them off-guard and threw “traditional establishment” into a panic and fear, including media representatives and political experts who had lost all willingness and determination.

Even the most conservative media have pondered over the question of whether to publish the President's tweets. Does every message published every 3-4 hours with the President’s mocking or narcissism about the successful economy deserve attention? Of course, Trump is the head of the whole show, and his every word and action relates to US policy, and therefore, his messages can’t just be ignored. What to do?

His 11 daily tweets create the illusion of an omnipresent President, always in touch, though this impression is false—such frequent publications are Trump’s response to the mainstream media—an attempt to protect himself from them and restrain them.

Trump has held press conferences but less often than is typical. The President himself struggles with traditional media, especially liberal outlets the New York Times and CNN. Thus, the freedom of the press could be under threat. Trump spreads his info directly through social networks, demonizing negative media and traditional political news.

Having settled in the White House, Trump not only did not bother to establish relations with the media, but he only contributed to the further deterioration of these relations through his social network accounts. Trump fans on Twitter no longer watch CNN, do not buy newspapers, because everything important can be found directly on the President's Twitter.

With his passion for social networking Trump has changed the entire political environment in Washington. Politicians are now forced to register in social networks and interact with their electorate through the keyboard and virtual space.

Trump even informs officials of their firing through tweets.

On May 7, 2017, at about 11 am, James Comey, in a meeting at the offices of the FBI of Los Angeles, learned of his firing via a CNN report on a recent Trump tweet. Before that he knew nothing about it.

Tillerson found out he was fired while in the bathroom from an assistant who confirmed the news from Trump’s Twitter account.

This is not a joke at all. This is a new way of spreading information in political circles, and a new reality for American politics.

Twitter governance has made US political life incomprehensible for people outside America or who don’t use social networks very often. Trump is forcing people to keep up with the technological revolution.

The new reality requires new approaches, and those who will be unable to respond to the challenges of the present era will be removed from political life forever.

Author: USA Really