“Trump Tweets are like ambushes, clever PR, temper tantrums, and brain farts, rolled into one and fired from a White House cannon.”
The left says he’s a chronic liar, crude and dangerous … that he is
not a duly-elected leader, but a one-man occupation force.
The right dismiss that as Trump Derangement Syndrome: If you didn’t see the train coming before it ran over your election-day expectations, better pay attention next time.
Never Trumpers from both ends of the political spectrum simply can’t wrap their heads around 2016. Strange bedfellows, to say the least.
Our assignment today is to set all of that aside. Forget whether we love him or hate him. Forget our thoughts on the Electoral College. Forget 2016 and 2020. Place ourselves instead in the year 2075. Fifty years or so after he leaves office in 2021 (or 2025), what will history make of Donald J. Trump, the real estate mogul turned reality TV star turned 45th President of the United States of America?
It could be that momentous events yet to occur will define him. Such was the case for Abraham Lincoln (The Civil War), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The Great Depression and World War II), Harry S. Truman (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and Barack Obama (first black president and Obamacare). With such leaders, it’s never entirely clear whether they made history or history made them. But their place in history relies on how they reacted to momentous events and how the world judged their response.
Chances are, President Trump will be remembered for the controversy that has shadowed him 24/7 since his election and inauguration. Then again, he may be remembered for reasons that are not yet on our radar screens.
In 2075, I’ll be 124 and fully engrossed in a long dirt nap. So I’ll take this opportunity to predict what I think may be his biggest impact on American, if not world, politics. Donald Trump didn’t invent Twitter. But he’s done his utmost to use it, 140 characters at time, to discombobulate the national media he dismisses as Fake News. He recognized Twitter as more than a way to share pumpkin pie recipes and birthday party invitations. And he has been enraging his opponents — and causing his supporters to cringe — ever since.
The Internet is just the latest in a series of inventions that have changed the way presidents talk to the nation and interact with the media. The Pony Express. Railroads. Telegraphs. Radio. Transoceanic cables. Commercial aviation. Television. Satellites. Twitter. All have important roles, some now obsolete, in American history. By 2075, the Internet will be as primitive as a flip phone. Twitter will live on, but only alongside rotary dial telephones in museums. And pictured alongside Twitter will be the man who played Tweets like a Stratovarius, good old Donald J.
Trump Tweets are like ambushes, clever PR, temper tantrums, and brain farts, rolled into one and fired from a White House cannon. He enrages and engages. Some disagree. Some agree with the message but reject his style. Some yearn for a nice, friendly fireside chat. But at some level, we all wonder what the red, white and blue blazes he’ll say next.
Any given Trump Tweet can be enduring, outrageous, irrefutable or borderline delusional. Anyone who’s paying attention and able to muster a moment’s objectivity should agree that Trump’s Tweets are sometimes offensive and often unpresidential, but almost always effective. He bypasses the middle man and reaches tens of millions of Americans instantly. He eliminates any legitimate reason for misquotes. He sets the national conversation.
Unless I miss my bet, Trump has changed forever how commanders in chief chiefly communicate. It should be fascinating to see what else is in store.