Opinion

The president’s use of Twitter presents benefits, dangers

Alvaro Baez // Contributing Cartoonist

It is not unusual for a president to use a contemporary medium of communication to directly address the American public. Franklin D. Roosevelt had his “fireside chats”  to reassure and ease the fears of the American people throughout the Great Depression and World War II. John F. Kennedy was the first president to use live television as his way to reach the public. Today, we have President Trump and his Twitter account. The president’s use of Twitter offers valuable transparency but becomes dangerous when he uses the website to spread irrational ideas.

Through Twitter, President Trump is able to quickly communicate to millions of people across the world. The tweets give us direct insight into the mind of the president. Through the tweets, we receive messages from the president that are not filtered through messengers like counselor Kellyanne Conway or Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Whenever a story in the media bothers or pleases Trump, he makes sure to let us know. However, according to an NBC-WSJ poll, 69 percent of Americans considered Trump’s use of Twitter as a negative thing. In a Quinnipiac poll, 64 percent of Americans said that they want the president to shut down his Twitter account. In a country divided, here is one issue on which people can agree.

But the president’s prolific use of Twitter itself is not the issue. The issue is when the president uses Twitter to attack companies like Nordstrom or to address delicate foreign policy issues, such as a tweet from Feb. 3 that read, “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”

Foreign leaders pay attention to what the U.S. president says, and an impulsive tweet has the power to embarrass the United States and cause a foreign policy crisis. Considering how Trump’s tweets are sometimes riddled with typos, it is logical to assume that no one is reviewing the tweets before they are sent. Here is where there is cause for concern. Rather than allowing his advisers to take his thoughts and carefully express them to the public, Trump simply tweets out his opinions on complicated policies in a condensed 140 characters.

Short of causing a crisis, liberals and conservatives benefit from Trump’s use of Twitter. Liberals can use Trump’s tweets as time-stamped evidence of the president’s inconsistencies. Conservatives, meanwhile, can enjoy this direct line of communication to the Republican president. Regardless of how you feel about Trump’s Twitter use, it does make checking Twitter interesting in the morning.

Kevin Bustamante is a junior majoring in political science and creative writing.

February 15, 2017

Reporters

Kevin Bustamante


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami tailback/fullback Trayone Gray, a popular fifth-year senior out of Miami Carol C ...

When Mother’s Day came around back in May, Keontra Smith knew it was time to unveil his college comm ...

University of Miami true freshman quarterback Jarren Williams was not at practice on Tuesday morning ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Monday: ▪ The Hurricanes, who began the offseason with five highly sk ...

There’s no doubt who the starting quarterback is at the University of Miami. As for those other thre ...

Conquer common back to school challenges with an expert's guide for parents and children. ...

Unique camp supports children whose parents have cancer. ...

New study shows that discriminating against workers with tattoos puts hiring managers at a competiti ...

Bill Clinton convenes the second summit of his CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at UM. ...

A UM researcher has determined that children exposed to traumatic events exhibit pains that if left ...

Head coach Mark Richt, all 10 assistant coaches and more than 50 players met with the media at the N ...

The Miami Hurricanes were under the lights at Hard Rock Stadium Saturday, closing out the opening we ...

The University of Miami volleyball program reported for training on Tuesday, officially beginning pr ...

Several members of Miami's highly-rated recruiting class have entered fall camp hungry to prove ...

Two University of Miami Track and Field athletes represented their respective countries at the Europ ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.