Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Government by Tweet

Logo by Dgultekin
A long time ago, before our present political situation was a twinkle in the space-time continuum's eye, I wrote a post about what a glorious thing it would be if the President tweeted his every thought.

Well, not just tweeted. Used every means of communicating with the public at his disposal. Here's what I said:

Frankly, I think we'd be much better off if the President carried on a perpetual, ongoing conversation with us about his job -- in TV and YouTube appearances, speeches, press conferences, emails, Twitter or Facebook messages, whatever. Err on the side of telling us everything that doesn't absolutely have to be kept secret. Tell us what your thought process is rather than presenting us with the Party Line after it's done. Definitely give us soaring rhetoric when we need to be inspired and mobilized, but much more often give us your candid thoughts. 
Of course, back then it was inconceivable that any President would ever habitually just pop off with random thoughts whatever time of the day or night they struck him (or her). It was just blue skying. So I was safe: nobody’d ever test this in real life. Right?

But nine years later here we are. My prophecy has been fulfilled! How do you like it?

In 2009 I was sort of hoping for tweets brainstorming ideas on ending world hunger or posting quotes from Aeschylus. And we unfortunately haven't seen any of something else I was hoping for:

And when you screw up, come out immediately and tell us, "I screwed up." We know you're actually human and we can handle it.
In fact, an example of that very thing by our 2009 President was what prompted my post back then.

But the current POTUS's tweeting is what it is -- the stream-of-consciousness of a particular human who happens to be the most powerful one on Earth. As it turns out that kind of messes up everything, so this probably be the last time you'll ever see this.

Enjoy (?) it while you can.

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