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

The tweets that foreshadowed Thursday’s news for the Miami Hurricanes began the third week of Januar ...

UM coach Manny Diaz, who expressed disappointment in Miami’s South Florida recruiting efforts in the ...

Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare didn’t want his Hurricanes this past Sunday looking ahead to the we ...

When UM spring practice begins in a month, here’s one of many things the coaches need to determine: ...

Jaiden Francois already had a reputation as one of South Florida’s top defensive backs for the Class ...

Prominent music scholar Kyra Gaunt will deliver a talk Friday about her research into the racial opp ...

Students are invited to participate in the second annual Students of Color Symposium this weekend, f ...

At an annual luncheon, University of Miami scholarship recipients connect with the donors who help m ...

From eliminating waste to reusable containers, there are simple steps you can take to make UM more s ...

UM public health experts try to help tackle Venezuela’s ongoing health care crisis. ...

Michelle Atherley of the Miami track and field team made history on Thursday, as she dominated from ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team dropped a 73-65 decision Thursday night to Virginia Te ...

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Canes head to Gainesville, Fla., for a three-game rivalry ser ...

The No. 14 Miami women's basketball team is set to cap its longest road stretch of the season T ...

Check out the February edition of UM Athletics' e-magazine. ...

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.