President Trump Might Need a Different Hobby
Twitter: Trump's Main Communication Platform
Trump: Needing Something To Tweet?
President Donald Trump is probably the first president ever to really use Twitter for everything from discussion of national policy to complaining about the behavior of football players. I've skimmed the profiles of leaders like Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and even Trump's predecessor Barack Obama. This is probably the first time I've seen a world leader concern himself on the regular with matters "ordinary" citizens would really talk about over coffee.
I'll admit it - I don't get why a president would worry about NFL players taking a knee to the point where he's pushing the NFL commissioner to take action. I don't get why he would take shots at the actors on Saturday Night Live. I don't get why now, he's turned his attention to something that happened around two years ago with Jimmy Fallon.
As we all know, social media is a hugely powerful platform. Fandoms rise and fall all the time with social media. I realize that Trump has always set his sights on having the best ratings ever, regardless of whether he's hosting The Apprentice or running the United States of America.
However, running a television show and running a country are - I would imagine - two very different things, and Trump isn't hosting a TV show anymore.
So that's why, yet again, I'm here, wondering why Trump has chosen to argue over something as silly as what Fallon did on his talk show two years ago.
Doesn't he have anything else to worry about? The Mueller investigation? The fact that he pulled the United States out of the United Nations Human Rights Council? The trade war he picked with Canada? As an aside, I'm still a little surprised over that one - we Canadians aren't exactly known for being hard to get along with, and yet, Trump is choosing to act as though our government is trying to put the States under its thumb.
Instead of concerning himself with what are undoubtedly more pressing matters, he tweets his life away about kneeling football players, stars and television series that choose to parody him, and now, a talk show host who tousled his hair.
Even I had to read that last line again - a talk show host that tousled his hair - and I'm the one who wrote it.
This is a 72-year-old man, and he spends his days tweeting about matters most of us would discuss around the proverbial water cooler. While his profile is punctuated by the occasional comments about actual political matters, for the most part, he sounds very much like the grumpy neighbor who will choose to complain about just about anything.
One of the ideas I discuss in some of my classes is the idea that when criticized, we have to remember to take things professionally rather than personally. I don't think Mr. Trump has learned that lesson at any point along his 72 years on the planet. I realize he grew up under very privileged circumstances, as have his children, but one would think as a businessman there would have been some point where he would have had to sit down and realize he had to stop fussing about people who didn't like him and go about his daily life.
In complaining about the NFL players or even Jimmy Fallon, Trump does not just stop at saying, "I disagree with what these individuals are doing or did." He doesn't even express that idea particularly eloquently; he immediately questions their individual integrity, their manhood, or their talent.
It's no different than the school bullies I hear about from my kids.
It's one thing if you're going to hit social media with any sort of issue to debate and actually try to encourage healthy debate, but that's not what's occurring here. This is a world leader, trying to seem relevant by taking potshots at issues that are either non-existent - like the Fallon tousle somehow being relevant two years after the fact - or that he shouldn't be involved with in the first place.
He's the President of the United States, and he's not hitting Twitter with his March Madness picks, or anything like that. There's very little lighthearted ideas in the way he tweets about anything; there's a mean streak there a lot of the time, with little to no connection at all to what he should be concerned about.
He needs to refocus his Twitter energies on issues that involve the presidency - not the minutiae of things like a two-year-old hair tousle.