The President-Elect’s Tweets
One final thought: What opportunities are there to use the president-elect’s embrace of social media to encourage smart civic engagement among our students? What responsibilities come with having such access to the future president and how can we encourage students to do so in a productive way?
I follow and, on occasion, respond to Donald Trump’s tweets. There, I said it. In fact, the more I do the more I consider it a form of healthy civic engagement. President Obama and other elected officials use twitter, but it is not always clear when their tweets are published by staffers. There is no question that Trump’s output is his own and this both thrills his supporters and horrifies his detractors.
But from where I sit what I find fascinating is that this is the first time in American history when citizens can respond directly to a president-elect in real time. We all have equal access. Think about that for a minute.
We are privy to the daily thoughts of our most powerful elected official in this country and I for one welcome it, even as I find much of what he has to say troubling. Regardless of his intent the president-elect’s tweets and “tweet storms” compliment our democratic ideals and I hope he continues to utilize it moving forward. The more information, the better.
I have responded in many ways over the past weeks. Some, like the above response, are a bit snarky that note my disapproval or even horror, but I am always respectful.
Of course, I do not expect Mr. Trump to “re-tweet” or “love” my responses. If you respond early enough to his tweets you are guaranteed a few thousand responses from his most diehard defenders that will send chills up your spine.
In the end, my tweets are nothing more than a simple way for me to signal to the rest of the world that I am listening to what this man has to say and that I have a voice.