Social media has, quite literally, changed how the world communicates, but to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, this medium of exchange doesn’t matter too much.
This past Sunday, Ryan was on 60 Minutes where he said about President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter habits, “Who cares what he tweeted on some Thursday night if we fix this country’s big problems?”
Now, this has some truth to it. If Trump is able to fulfill some major campaign promises, such as saying he will double economic output ratcheting up the U.S.’s GDP growth to 4 percent, no one will care about his tweets because economically we will all be better off — a rising tide lifts all boats.
If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2016
But unfortunately for Trump and Ryan, most, if not all, economic predictions and forecasts of the president-elect’s economic plan put the growth rate at a more modest level and on par with historic averages.
Another thing hampering Ryan’s claim is Trump’s view of social media. In a different 60 Minutes episode, Trump said on social media, “It’s a great form of communication. . . . I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out.”
Basically, we cannot, as Ryan suggests, simply disregard Trump’s tweets. We have to consider the tweets Trump sends out as president as official messages to us, the people.
Frankly, I’m okay with that.
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
How social media made waves in the 2016 electionIn 140 characters or less, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tweets have the power to Read…
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, he utilized the radio, delivering regular fireside chats about the state of the country. This happened in the 1930s and 1940s. Today’s radio is Twitter and Facebook and all other social media sites. Utilizing them as president simply means that one is keeping the people informed.
Now, I’m not saying that Trump’s tweets carry the same weight or cover such important topics as FDR’s fireside chats, especially due to their briefness, but it’s refreshing to see the standard bearer of a party, which has almost specifically catered to older Americans in recent years, use quite adeptly a form of communication made by and for young people.
Aaron Reilly ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in social work and economics.