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Keep tweeting, Mr. President, but here’s how you should do it differently in 2018


By —— Bio and Archives--January 1, 2018

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Keep tweeting, Mr. President,
You know President Trump has hit on something effective when the media are constantly telling him to stop it, and nothing has exemplified this more than his use of Twitter. Ever since the campaign, the punditry and the political class has insisted that someone needs to take his phone away from him or else there will be disaster. Maybe there are some on his staff who agree, but no one appears to have the chops to actually do it, and the president keeps on tweeting.

Now I hate Twitter. The culture of Twitter is a microscopic step up from Hell itself. But Trump has correctly understood from the start of his campaign on through the first year of his presidency that the use of Twitter gives him a platform other presidents either didn’t have or didn’t have the courage to use to its full effect. It’s more than just going around the media and talking directly to the American people, although it’s certainly that an importantly so. It’s also a way of manipulating the media he’s going around. They don’t cover everything Trump tweets, but when he decides to get really provocative, they’re all over it. Of course, they think they’re damaging Trump by covering his edgier tweets, but every time they do they’re allowing Trump to set the terms of the day’s discourse.

The real reason the media want Trump to stop tweeting

And whoever sets the terms usually prevails.

The real reason the media want Trump to stop tweeting is that he’s taking away their power to choose where the nation will focus its attention. He’s also taking away much of their discretion for how they’re going to cover him, because every time he tweets and they lose their marbles over it, he’s decided what they’re going to talk about.

So I absolutely want Trump to keep tweeting, but here’s how he can use Twitter more effectively in 2018:

We don’t need to hear any more about CNN, Rosie O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger or even Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Those of us who are willing to see it already know how ridiculous they are. Those who aren’t willing are certainly not going to be convinced because Trump says it. But what the nation needs to know more about is the malevolent deeds of the deep state.

Now let’s be clear about what this means, because there are people claiming the “deep state” doesn’t exist, and they try to convince you of this by assigning to the deep state an absurd definition that makes anyone who believes in it sound like an utter fool. The deep state is not dark, mysterious spies conducting espionage in the service of some sinister agenda. The deep state is the administrative state - the hundreds of thousands of federal bureaucrats who use regulatory rulemaking and insider manipulation to not only undermine White House policies, but harass individuals and businesses who are supposed to be the bosses of the federal government, not its subjects.

The DEEP STATE

The deep state is Lois Lerner harassing conservative nonprofits.

The deep state is Richard Cordray shaking down banks and other financial institutions, and Leandra English staging a mini-coup and trying to take control of the CFPB upon Cordray’s departure.

The deep state is EPA “scientists” imposing unreasonable burdens on businesses looking to grow, or on existing businesses trying to operate.

The deep state is State Department careerists undermining our allies and colluding with our enemies.

The deep state is national security personnel leaking classified information to the news media.

The deep state is the National Labor Relations Board putting the thumb on the scales in favor of unionization attempts workers don’t even want.

President Trump has discovered that it’s much easier to run a company, where you can fire anyone you want whenever you want, then it is to run a federal bureaucracy in which the bureaucrats intend to undermine your policies, and have civil service protections that make it relatively risk-free for them to do so.

Most of the public does not fully understand that the federal bureaucracy is essentially accountable to no one. The Constitution vests executive power in one person and one person only - the president - but the civil service protections passed by Congress over the years have made it almost impossible for the president to establish executive policies, since federal employees pay no price if they ignore him and do what they want.

President Trump needs to use his Twitter feed to tell us more about this in 2018. The American public does not want a bureaucracy that is a fiefdom unto itself, and will not be pleased to learn of continued examples of this happening. Even many who oppose the president politically will recognize that this is not a situation that’s good for the country over the long term, or even the short term. You will always have your share of partisans who will favor anything they perceive to be good for their side at the moment, so the committed Trump-hater will love the deep state at this point in time.

Continued below...

Now tell us about the people who are screwing the rest of us

But most people are not that partisan, and will recognize that a deep state that undermines the president they hate today could also undermine one they like in the future. Almost no one favors unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats essentially running the federal government. But not enough people know the extent to which it’s happening.

So tell us, Mr. President. Tweet about it. No one is in a better position to know than you are. Keep the deep state horror stories coming. Of course, many will wonder why he can’t do anything about it, so he has to explain that too. Done well, it might even create a groundswell in favor of repealing civil service protections for federal employees. Now that would be a real policy triumph.

The media will react to this as they always do. You’ll see headlines like, “Trump claims without evidence that bureaucrats are doing whatever.” But when they do that, it will be yet another example of Trump having set the terms of the debate. And if his claims about the deep state turn out to be true, then the public will not only turn against the bureaucracy but also against the media who are trying to cover for them.

This is the best way the president can use his Twitter feed in 2018. We already know who irritates him. Now tell us about the people who are screwing the rest of us.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.


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