The Anatomy of a Trump Tweetstorm
Trump has said that Twitter and Facebook have helped him win his 2016 election. He tweeted frequently at political opponents and journalists during the 2016 campaign including Megan Kelly. He also said that when elected president, he would do it in a much more restrained manner.
It would be helpful to understand just what fuels Trump when he makes tweets, which more often than not creates a media-firestorm. Trump apparently has not taken the Barack Obama approach yet, but before we jump to conclusions about what’s going on in his mind, let’s take a look at some of the tweets that Trump has posted and break down what goes on in a Trump tweet.
In the worst-case scenario, typically insinuated from liberals and conspiracy theorists, Trump is someone who is against a free press and is a tyrannical despot.
John McCain belongs in this camp of insinuation.
McCain responds: “That’s How Dictators Get Started.”
Sure, suppressing a free press is a violation of the First Amendment and one characteristic of someone who is a despot, but Trump is rather expressing his First Amendment right to Free Speech and not at all hindering the Press’s ability to do its job.
Following the Protests of Trump’s Inauguration on January 20, 2017, Sean Spicer went on described Trump’s take on the First Amendment:
“I think he has a healthy respect for the First Amendment. This is what makes our country so beautiful is that on one day you can inaugurate a president. On the next day, people can occupy the same space to protest something.”
It seems that Trump attacks people because he is enjoying his freedom of speech much like any other citizen, however, critics will often look at a man to present decorum in the highest position in the world and that he could be could be playing the role of a lobbyist.
Sean Spicer said that Trump was cognizant of people who have different views than he does, so, if that’s the case — than he’s just not good at showing it and that’s not what his intent is (to silence people) with his tweets.”
More recently, Trump has been lobbying against the Senate’s Rule for 60 votes to pass the Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare. One of the founding principles of our government was to create a system of checks and balances.
The Federalist Papers laid out a foundation which the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branch would check each other. The 60 vote rule was initiated because they wanted the rulemaking process to be a lot slower than Congress. Congressmen and women are voted in every 2 years, but people can stay a lifetime in the Senate.
The Trump administration has threatened Senator Murkowski of Alaska for recently voting no on the health-care repeal bill, saying that the vital aspects of their economy would be threatened as a result of not voting the way that they wanted her. News sites indicated that the Trump administration threatened to retaliate against Alaska for GOP Senator Murkowski’s Obamacare repeal vote.
Senator Murkowski has an independent streak, but it remains to be seen whether John McCain would be targeted for his no-vote or not. So far, none of Trump’s recent tweets have been targeted at John McCain. Instead, they have been about the rulemaking process and using the nuclear option for the 51-vote count.
Winning is very important to Donald Trump. The candidate Trump said that we will get so tired of winning that we’re not going to want it anymore. So, it makes sense that Trump is attacking these individuals. While the behavior may not be appropriate, the more recent tweets about health-care really exemplify his leadership approach. His message doesn’t jibe well with other people because he criticizes people that oppose him — but — he sees people as opponents who don’t agree with him that he feels should deservedly be chastised.
While this is perfectly normal behavior for a private citizen, Trump has not gotten used to governing though with his lack of experience and says things at times that lacks candor.
Case in point, if anyone has forgotten about Trump’s wiretapping tweets, let me quote them once more. In a series of tweets, Trump established Obama as an evil-boogeyman that spied on him and wiretapped Trump Towers, when in reality the Obama administration was monitoring people who were already on their list whom happened to be with the Trump transition team or campaign.
The conclusion that Trump attacks people on Twitter because they’re his political opponents who oppose his agenda makes a lot more sense than him assuming the role of a dictator.
One common theme with Trump’s tweets is that he seems to be obsessed with winning at a whatever-the-cost attitude (at the risk of foregoing the filibuster permanently!)
Trump is convinced of his vision, and believes that people who get in his way are obstructionists. It would be helpful if people were to see him more in this way than imagining the worst-case scenarios, then, perhaps, we can start figuring out The Art of the Deal and how to better effectively communicate with him to help enact legislation.