President Trump’s elementary tweets are full of political accusations
While Twitter has become one of the most popular mediums of communication for millennials nowadays, the situation is a little different when it comes to the President of the United States. Not only are his tweets an English teacher's nightmare, as Ruth Ben-Ghiat describes them in a CNN opinion piece, but they tend to be angry and full of political accusations. As an obsessive Middle-Eastern Twitter user, watching the transition from the Obama presidency to Trump’s has been interesting, to say the least; American politics have never been more accessible.
One of the most significant things that Trump’s constant tweeting has done is take Middle Eastern involvement in American politics to a whole new level. Experiencing political changes in one of the world’s major powers hands-on and by the second is quite different from merely seeing it on the news. The fact that Trump frequently uses Twitter to make announcements and release statements makes it easier to understand how the political arena in the U.S. is changing straight from the source. This is not to say that reading hardly legible tweets is a good thing but having a clearer picture of events as they happen is useful to someone who lives halfway across the globe. Perks of globalization and weirdly capitalized tweets, you could say.
Another thing that is different because Trump uses Twitter so much is the extent to which we understand how the current President thinks and goes about life. It is one thing to listen to a president make official statements on television in a formal manner, but it is completely different to read daily tweets that give us insight and a deeper understanding of his mentality. I do not think that this kind of relationship would have been possible without globalization and the internet. It was just a few years ago that transparency was an alien concept when it came to country officials. This is not just important because the U.S. has so much influence all over the world, but especially because of its extensive involvement in the Middle East. The simplest and most recent example is when Trump first tweeted about the Gulf crisis and Qatar’s alleged funding of radical ideologies. This is particularly intriguing because the internet does not forget, and Trump, surprisingly enough, is now one of the major players in mediating between Qatar and the countries blockading it.
One more way that we can tell how Trump thinks through his tweets is his constant slander towards the Obama administration. While it is normal for a president to want to implement new changes and correct wrong decisions that he does not see as wise, it has not been known to be a very diplomatic move for one to tweet about it. On March 23, Trump tweeted about the Obama administration legalizing bump stocks. It does not matter whether they did, or they did not, or whether it was a good move or not, but describing it as a “BAD IDEA” is certainly not the kind of diplomacy the U.S. is used to from its presidents. It is therefore interesting for us as people living in the Middle East to keep track of how recent events are unfolding through such a convenient medium.
Something that Twitter users and non-users have equally heard about is the ongoing feud between Kim Jong-un and Trump. The way Trump tweeted about it by calling him a fat pig more than once has surely made history. If we were to contrast how this situation was handled on social media to how a similar one would have been, hypothetically, in the Obama presidency, the two are not even comparable. I think Trump’s Twitter would probably be a good thing to keep an eye on when anticipating a third world war.
Something that I think is very crucial for the world to know is how minorities are being treated under the new presidency. It is no surprise that Trump wanted to change policies concerning immigration, but his Twitter says a lot more about that. The things he talked about doing if he became president during the election, like the border wall, are actually coming to life. Even though many thought he was all talk, this kind of thing is not limited to the American people to know about because he openly discusses the wall and other immigration policies online. I think this is important because this kind of thing seems more fictional than realistic but when we actually see it coming to life, that changes how much we are willing to do about it.
The reason why this kind of "transparency" is important with a president like Trump circles back to the kind of irrational behavior he is known for. As someone who does not live in the U.S., Trump’s tweets act as the only outlet through which I can see the difference between his mentality and the U.S. foreign affairs. Otherwise, we would only get one side of the story. The boring one, that is.
Another reason why keeping up with what Trump has to say (or tweet) is that despite him being controversial and whether we like it or not, he is influential. One example that can demonstrate this is how his Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries tweet tipped the scales and changed the market within seconds. All he had to say was that oil prices were artificially high and that is unacceptable.
Everything I talked about here, whether foreign or internal American affairs, is not limited in its effect to the U.S. Trump’s tweets might be offensive and ridiculous at times, but they sure do open up a window for the rest of the world to see what is going on in the U.S. They also provide quality content for sarcastic grammar-obsessed Twitter users, so I’m not complaining.