The Trump rally is the modern-day fireside chat
Have we ever lived under a presidential administration that has found a way to directly connect with the American people on such a personal level? The answer is "no."
Unless you lived during the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency (and that would make you a dinosaur), you've probably never received direct messages from the president. The technological advances of the last thirty years have allowed everyone from preachers to porn stars to directly communicate with us through social media. So it's no surprise that President Trump found a way to utilize social media better than any of his predecessors. Trump has become the nation's tweeter-in-chief as he fires off daily messages to his followers. Some contain motivating points on the improving economy and declining unemployment, while others are red meat that he uses to stir up the stagnant political swamp in Washington, D.C.
Now Trump has found an even more effective way to connect with his base in the form of his never-ending campaign-style rallies. The man's unceasing energy allows him to crisscross the country and directly speak to the electorate.
Roosevelt's fireside chats became sacred during the 1930s, as they allowed Americans to familiarize themselves with their leader like never before. The Great Depression had created a national mood of despair and uncertainty, but with the turn of a radio knob, people were able to invite President Roosevelt into their homes to join them for supper and a chat. This interpersonal connection with the chief executive endeared Roosevelt to Americans of all political strands across the country because it was personal, and it uplifted their spirits. Like Roosevelt, Trump has turned his larger-than-life rallies into opportunities to connect with any American willing to show up and participate in our democratic way of life. You might not like Trump's message, and not every American liked FDR's politics, but if you didn't like it, all you had to do is turn the radio off.
Tom Copper is a pseudonym.