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Should ANY President Communicate A Lot With Twitter?

Should ANY President Communicate A Lot With Twitter?  

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President Trump and "governing by Twitter" is a common phrase these days. 

Regardless of Trump - What do you think of this overall strategy of a president offering mass amounts of communication overall? 

Meaning, I get it that people who are anti Trump hate his Twitter activity. I'm not talking about that.

I'm asking about the strategy of ANY PRESIDENT offering massive communication each day to the public. For better or worse, there hasn't been a president in history where we've known as much what he's thinking each day as we do with Trump.

Is knowing a bad thing?

I wonder if future presidents won't do something very similar?

What do you think? 

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President Obama tried very hard to do what President Trump did during his tenure as POTUS. I think the reason Trump's tweets resonate in some form or another is that they're so off-script and unfiltered that it might be considered refreshing to some who loathe the managers that typically get a hold of what the public official is saying and massage it for public consumption.

TL;DR

He's unfiltered, and that's what makes it so unique in politics. 

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Twitter, Facebook, whatever the next big thing will be -- all are useful tools for communication.

I imagine there was a day when people wondered whether microphones should be used, or radio, or television.

The medium isn't the issue. The content is the issue.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with using Twitter or any other form of communication.

I think the main issue with Trump is that he uses Twitter to gaslight, spread lies and conspiracy theories, and do lots of other things which are far beneath the dignity of the office.

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Official POTUS account with official statements and things?

Sure.

Daily musings and lies on a personal account?

No thank you.

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A Lot?   No.

Occassionally...in an official, responsible capacity (i.e. Veterans Day tweets/official commentary on tragedy)?  Yes.

 

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"Congratulations to the Washington Nationals on a great World Series win!" - sure

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" - why not

"Stop being mean to me!!!" - nope

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The poll asks should any Prez communicate a lot with Twitter. Well sure. Should they do it in this manner, no.

I think this is a one-off. At least using Twitter this way at this level of office. 

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5 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Official POTUS account with official statements and things?

Sure.

Daily musings and lies on a personal account?

No thank you.

Right.  How Obama intended it to work when they set up a POTUS account is completely appropriate. 

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I think future Presidents would have more respect for the office and themselves to use it as Trump has.  As others have said, no reason not to use it to get out important information, celebrations, congratulations, etc.  Using it for daily complaints and pushing agendas should be off limits (or just know better).

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It's the new "fireside chats".  Will not be going away.

However, I expect the next POTUS to be less unhinged.  At least hoping so.

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Presidents shouldn’t do any tweeting personally. Drop the personal account and the WH communications Director should do the POTUS account.

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Absolutely not.

First, Twitter is a terrible medium for expressing thoughtful, considered opinions.  It's great for tossing out hot takes, but that's not what I want to see from the president.

Second, I should be able to go through my day without having the president in front of me on social media.  Ideally I would not hear from the president for months at a time, unless there is some kind of a crisis or something.  One of the most exhausting things about this administration is how there's just no escape from it because the president insists on being the center of attention all the time.  I very badly do not want that to be our new norm.

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I took the question more to mean should the President use twitter the way that normal everyday people use twitter - brain farting everything that comes to mind or pictures of their lunch or whatnot. Therefore I answered probably not. It should be used in an official capacity and really shouldn't contain anything that the President wouldn't normally talk about to the public in front of a microphone.

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It comes down to quality more so than quantity to me, but as much as Trump tweets (over 30 times per day lately), there's no way for any human (whether President or not) to have that many quality tweets per day.  I unfollowed Trump on Twitter not due to disagreement with political views, but I just found him clogging my timeline with too much uninteresting gobbledy####.

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Communicate = Yes

Communicate A lot = No

Don Q nailed it.

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22 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Absolutely not.

First, Twitter is a terrible medium for expressing thoughtful, considered opinions.  It's great for tossing out hot takes, but that's not what I want to see from the president.

Second, I should be able to go through my day without having the president in front of me on social media.  Ideally I would not hear from the president for months at a time, unless there is some kind of a crisis or something.  One of the most exhausting things about this administration is how there's just no escape from it because the president insists on being the center of attention all the time.  I very badly do not want that to be our new norm.

What do you think of a weekly "fireside chat" type thing? 

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I wonder if there should have been fireside chats or televised debates or press conferences.

 

Communication evolves.  It can be abused or used.

 

I see I was five minutes late in hitting send.

Edited by Ditkaless Wonders

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I tend to think it's a good thing to know more. But I always lean more towards that. 

For instance, if Pete Buttigieg were to be President, I think a lot of his supporters would like to see this same type of content as we see now on https://twitter.com/PeteButtigieg

One thing that hasn't surprised me about President Trump is he thinks like I would as a business person and "marketing". People are confused he continues to hold rallies. I'm not at all. He realizes election night doesn't mean you stop "marketing" for 3 years. He's continuing to keep the foot on the accelerator. I may not like the car he's driving, but I totally understand what he's doing with it. Makes perfect sense to me. 

In the same way, I think the next president after Trump would be wise to do similar things in continuing to "campaign" which is really just marketing and communicating. 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

What do you think of a weekly "fireside chat" type thing? 

I would be okay with that, although again I think there are better formats than Twitter.  Like a weekly press conference for example, where the president can take media questions and it isn't as one-sided.

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I see Twitter like alcohol. There is value to a good drink now and then. I like a glass of wine with dinner from time to time, a beer while I’m watching football, a mixed drink when I’m out with friends. 

But drinking a lot gives me a headache and makes me ill. And sometimes I act stupid. 

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If a president can refrain from posting pointless tirades and infantile attacks, I have no real issue with them using it. Honestly, to me it's a waste of time.

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a lot ?

no, not a good idea

but what Twitter can do, is free the Presidents voice from the White House and allow a means to communicate with the people directly

Trump doesn't do it right IMO, but its a powerful tool social media 

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18 hours ago, Stealthycat said:

a lot ?

no, not a good idea

but what Twitter can do, is free the Presidents voice from the White House and allow a means to communicate with the people directly

Trump doesn't do it right IMO, but its a powerful tool social media 

I think I agree, but can you explain what you mean by " free the Presidents voice from the White House"?

If you mean that it prevents the president from being isolated in the White House then I probably agree.  Since twitter could be two way it could also safely allow the president instant feedback beyond his staff which presumably since they have the job at some level think similarly to the president about issues.  Handled correctly that would be a valuable benefit.

If you meant that it prevents his staff from acting as a filter on his public communication then I guess it depends on the president and staff.

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11 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I think I agree, but can you explain what you mean by " free the Presidents voice from the White House"?

If you mean that it prevents the president from being isolated in the White House then I probably agree.  Since twitter could be two way it could also safely allow the president instant feedback beyond his staff which presumably since they have the job at some level think similarly to the president about issues.  Handled correctly that would be a valuable benefit.

If you meant that it prevents his staff from acting as a filter on his public communication then I guess it depends on the president and staff.

 

It means he can use he personal Right to Free Speech on one forum (Twitter) and say what he wants .... and then in the seat of the Presidency he's supposed to be much better than he is ..... and say politically correct, presidential things

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6 minutes ago, Stealthycat said:

 

It means he can use he personal Right to Free Speech on one forum (Twitter) and say what he wants .... and then in the seat of the Presidency he's supposed to be much better than he is ..... and say politically correct, presidential things

Then I disagree pretty strongly.   The person is the president is the person.  There can be no separation.  That is just the nature of the job like it or not, right or wrong.

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Should the office of the President tweet?  Yes.  It’s not the greatest mode of communication but it’s good.

Should a President tweet?  probably not during his time in office but the occasional tweet would be ok

Should a President tweet like Trump?  Nobody should tweet like Trump - it’s embarrassing and juvenile 

Edited by AAABatteries
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1 hour ago, AAABatteries said:

Should the office of the President tweet?  Yes.  It’s not the greatest mode of communication but it’s good.

Should a President tweet?  probably not during his time in office but the occasional tweet would be ok

Should a President tweet like Trump?  Nobody should tweet like Trump - it’s embarrassing and juvenile 

Agreed but it has been effective in keeping his base and antagonizing his opponents

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1 minute ago, Godsbrother said:

Agreed but it has been effective in keeping his base and antagonizing his opponents

I’d argue that his base is loyal to the R more than Trump but I get your point.

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The President should not be posting on social media a lot.  Posting about certain things is expected but keep there is a lot of personal stuff that should be kept off social media.

I'm just a business person in small town Iowa and even I know better than to put my political opinions out on social media.  I try to be very careful with what I say because it can directly affect my business.  Our President should take the same precautions.

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I assume most have seen the Nov 2 NYT piece on the Twitter Presidency. I'm sure its totally biased and full of fake news.  I found it pretty fascinating, but really just confirms what most of us who follow him already know.  They went through the 11,000+ tweets from Trump's account since the inauguration and analyzed them in different contexts and categories.  

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/02/us/politics/trump-twitter-presidency.html?module=inline

I've followed Trump on Twitter since long before the election.  He's always been entertaining.  Anyone who follows his twitter knows his use has steadily increased over the past couple years.  He's now up to over 250 tweets per week, with  the busiest tweeting times being early morning and late evening, when he is most likely unsupervised.  These are by far the most entertaining tweets - bitter, crazy attacks, bizarre third-person self-promotion, typos, near-illiterate levels of grammar and syntax, and in many cases just complete nonsense. During the day, when one of his PR people is probably in control, the tweets are mostly boring stuff.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Then I disagree pretty strongly.   The person is the president is the person.  There can be no separation.  That is just the nature of the job like it or not, right or wrong.

you can disagree - but people have individual Rights as well as the rights they have as an elected official too

what we CAN agree on I bet, is that Trump is a horrible communicator in that he is an antagonist, petty name calls, and in general is just an ##### in how he comes across

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Donald Trump's tweets are a refreshing change from the usual self-indulgent nonsense that has plagued American politics for years. His tweets can be taken as a refreshing break from the typical, stale talking points.

However, it's impossible not to notice that Trump's tweets are a reaction to his critics. He wants them to be criticized, he wants them to be criticized in a way that's more constructive than the criticisms he often receives from Democrats. I'm sure that Trump would have a tough time finding the time to sit down and write a single column for a newspaper, so what he does is write tweets to criticize his opponents.

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1 hour ago, Stealthycat said:

you can disagree - but people have individual Rights as well as the rights they have as an elected official too

what we CAN agree on I bet, is that Trump is a horrible communicator in that he is an antagonist, petty name calls, and in general is just an ##### in how he comes across

To keep us from talking past each other I'm not denying the particular right for a president to try to be able to project separate personal persona and a presidential persona.  I'm pretty sure that a skill that most presidents have is the ability to compartmentalize.  I just don't think that the masses make the same distinctions.   Or at the very least those opposed to the president looking for anything to criticize.   I'm not arguing if the president "can" exercise these distinct rights, I'm arguing that at the end of the day everything will be credited to or blamed on the president so there are no such distinctions in practice.

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1 hour ago, butcher boy said:

Donald Trump's tweets are a refreshing change from the usual self-indulgent nonsense that has plagued American politics for years. His tweets can be taken as a refreshing break from the typical, stale talking points.

To actually believe this is just so incredibly strange to me.

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On 11/12/2019 at 12:41 PM, Joe Bryant said:

President Trump and "governing by Twitter" is a common phrase these days. 

Regardless of Trump - What do you think of this overall strategy of a president offering mass amounts of communication overall? 

Meaning, I get it that people who are anti Trump hate his Twitter activity. I'm not talking about that.

I'm asking about the strategy of ANY PRESIDENT offering massive communication each day to the public. For better or worse, there hasn't been a president in history where we've known as much what he's thinking each day as we do with Trump.

Is knowing a bad thing?

I wonder if future presidents won't do something very similar?

What do you think? 

Why not?  It's 2019

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38 minutes ago, Hawkeye21 said:

To actually believe this is just so incredibly strange to me.

I believe that in a very weird way, I totally understand why people think his tweets are refreshing.  I am in my 40's and have grown up in an era were presidents never really said anything.  Politician-speak is pervasive and everything a president says is debated and manufactured by a committee of people.

So I totally get why people that believe like the president (of whom there are many), love the way he communicates.  It's a meme culture. 

Now as for what he actually tweets, that's a different story.  But if you're looking for a positive from the Trump era, politicians in the future will be more real and say what they think a lot more.  

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Nothing wrong with officials using a modern platform to communicate with people.  There’s a certain Morton Downey Jr. ‘Trash TV’ quality with Trump, but there’s also a sort of honest expression going on that I find compelling, even if it is harebrained sometimes.  

I don’t really care about presidential decorum.  If the actions of presidents were consistent with their rhetoric, I would.  But Trump is a more honest expression of what the office actually represents to the rest of the world.  If I still had respect for the office going in I’d probably be offended too.  

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2 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I'm not arguing if the president "can" exercise these distinct rights, I'm arguing that at the end of the day everything will be credited to or blamed on the president so there are no such distinctions in practice.

ok fair enough, the OP's question was "should" ..... and I think they SHOULD be in nowhere near the way Trump is or how he executes his twittering :(

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26 minutes ago, Stealthycat said:

ok fair enough, the OP's question was "should" ..... and I think they SHOULD be in nowhere near the way Trump is or how he executes his twittering :(

Right!   I think you are saying that in an ideal world the president "should" be able to have the privilege of speaking sometimes as president and sometimes as just an ordinary individual and the people will know and respect the differences.   I am saying that because that just isn't the world we occupy then the president "should not" be doing this.  The "ideal" is so foreign to me that I can't get there to contemplate what I would think in that case.  

I think we understand each other's positions so unless you post something that creates doubts I think we can call it a day.  Pleasure discussing this with you.  

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On 11/12/2019 at 1:41 PM, Joe Bryant said:

Meaning, I get it that people who are anti Trump hate his Twitter activity. I'm not talking about that.

I am anti Trump but enjoy reading and commenting on his tweets.

I'm asking about the strategy of ANY PRESIDENT offering massive communication each day to the public. For better or worse, there hasn't been a president in history where we've known as much what he's thinking each day as we do with Trump.

Not good.

Is knowing a bad thing?

Yes.

I wonder if future presidents won't do something very similar?

Doubtful.

 

 

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For the most part, no.  Twitter is, by and large, a toilet, and the president should be above communicating via that medium. 

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1 hour ago, Ghost Rider said:

Twitter is, by and large, a toilet, and the president should be above communicating via that medium. 

Presidents are not, and have never been, above using toilets. While the White House was not equipped with flushing lavatories until Theodore Roosevelt's first term, every President in this nation's grand history has used an outhouse or a chamber pot of some kind after being sworn in. (Lincoln mostly went in the woods before he took office.)

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It’s just another mechanism to connect with and inform the public.

Much of Trump’s content is critical to counteract the mistruths spread by the agenda-filled liberal media.  

If you don’t want the President’s voice to be heard I suggest you help get another President elected.

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7 hours ago, TripItUp said:

It’s just another mechanism to connect with and inform the public.

Much of Trump’s content is critical to counteract the mistruths spread by the agenda-filled liberal media.  

If you don’t want the President’s voice to be heard I suggest you help get another President elected.

Except he isn’t correcting mistruths.  He is disputing actual information with blatant lies.  And has done so over and over again.
It isn’t the medias fault here.

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