It’s strange to say, but President Trump is the first Influencer-in-Chief. Throughout President Trump’s life he has mastered the art of generating press and getting his face in the New York Post’s Page Six and on the cover of the National Enquirer. All President Trump’s dealings with the media have led him to develop an astute reflexive gauge for monitoring the ebbs and flows of the media’s interest. Luckily, he’s also developed a keen radar to monitor mainstream media bias.
Yes, an argument can be made that any sitting president is the biggest influencer in the world, but Donald Trump ascended to the presidency as someone who already maintained a key corps of followers who looked to his Twitter feed for political and cultural wisdom and information. Much will be written about this political wisdom in scholarly textbooks for years to come. Think about all the elected officials over time who have looked to reach their core supporters by way of email blasts and monthly newsletters, and place this side by side with the limitless reach of a simple Tweet.
President Trump’s foresight in understanding that Twitter, among other social media outlets, would be the wave of the future speak to the President’s uncanny business savvy. Twitter has also allowed President Trump to sharpen this political tool that can be utilized during election seasons, to promote legislation and initiatives, and support other GOP candidates. The Twitterverse has created the perfect conditions for President Trump to reach his base while employing the ultimate newsletter -- a 280-character Tweet.
As more elected officials become well versed in reaching their constituencies via social media one must wonder if this trend will lead to online participation in our democracy. Will we be able to vote online? Will we be able to access more constituent services via internet? Perhaps we’re living through the genesis of American direct democracy, and if we are, President Trump will be forever linked to its evolution.
Tom Copper is a pseudonym.