by Kate Billingsley
Ever since President Donald Trump joined twitter in 2009, he has been stirring up controversy. It is known that politicians have a love-hate relationship with social media. During the 2016 election, Trump took this relationship to the next level.
There were times that his twitter presence was beneficial to his campaign, and other times that it set him back, especially in the eyes of citizens. Trump is very involved in the twitter community and is not afraid to make his presence known.
Trump has a difficult time filtering his thoughts. Many people seem to think that he simply tweets the first idea to come to his head, without running it past anyone. He has tweeted his plans for future America on multiple occasions, but has forgone telling any of his political advisers about his new plans.
Trump’s presence on social media has a big influence on the Stuart community.
Physics teacher, Tony Wambaugh believes that Trumps social media use can be seen as a good thing. “I think the publicity and discussion surrounding Mr. Trump’s Social Media presence helps raise awareness of the power this tool.” Wambaugh thinks that the use of Twitter is a good way for students to voice their opinions. “Fairfax County Students first flexed their social media muscles in a big way back in January, 2015 when they saw #closeFCPS trending nationally as they advocated for a snow day. I think students today will look to Mr. Trump and see the influence of social media but also learn about the responsible use of social media.”
That being said, Mathematics teacher, Ahmad Sawtari said that “[Trump]made a lot of inflammatory remarks to many different groups in the country. If he plans to run his presidency through his negative tweets, that might create problems across the country and possibly the world.”
While at a party rally in 2015, Trump mocked disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski. This occurrence was caught on camera and was seen live by thousands. According to the New York Times, Trump said “Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy, ‘Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!’ ” While saying this, he, was jerking his arms around and making crude gestures. After he made these remarks, Twitter erupted in outrage. Citizens were full of disbelief and disappointment.
Later that week, he said “I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovalski, is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence.” On November 26, 2016, he tweeted “I do not know the reporter for the @nytimes, or what he looks like. I was showing a person groveling to take back a statement made long ago!” Both of these instances contradict what he had previously said and done.
Over a year later, on January 8, 2017, award winning actress Meryl Streep made comments on Trump’s mistreatment of minorities and disabled in a Golden Globes speech. In her almost five minute speech, Streep addressed Trump’s incident with Kovalski, saying “It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”