Is Trump really the king of Twits?

No, we do not shun social media. I have tried a few of them and I simply find them wanting. It came as a surprise that when I decided they were a terrible waste of time, I could not get rid of them. It is insidious but I guess it substantiates some of the outrageous membership figures they tell us about. It would be like the New York Times keeping the names of deceased subscribers on their daily circulation figures forever.

I am pleased to say that I am not included in the numbers who follow the real president Trump on Twitter. The last figure I looked at was over 50 million. It does seem odd that the news media have to subscribe to Twitter to be able to tell us what is going on with the American administration. It is also odd but it is more shocking that the president of the most powerful nation on earth uses such poor language skills.

When Twitter was first presented to the public, I thought it was an interesting challenge to people to communicate in just 140 characters. What it is really achieving is the destruction of English as well as many other languages. It has been embarrassing for me that I have never figured out what many short forms for words such as ‘LOL’ really mean. And those emoticons are a poor substitute for words at any time.

Luckily most politicians who use Twitter to communicate with voters have professionals who do the final writing and placement. What foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland placed in Twitter recently about human rights in Saudi Arabia was unfortunate. There was nothing new about what she tweeted. What she did was gravely insult the Saudis by using Twitter in English to reach her voters in Toronto. It’s a World Wide Web, lady!

Of course, Trump is no diplomat. When he insults some foreign leader from Trudeau in Canada to Erdogan in Turkey, they do not recall their ambassadors. They probably have multiple meetings with high-priced staff and consultants and nothing happens. It is just the news media that goes crazy. And Trump gets off again—because he can.

What the world needs to do (and to think I used to charge huge fees for advice like this) is to stop allowing it to go unpunished. Just insult the bastard right back. Do it intelligently. Do it with humour. If you can get the Americans laughing at him, you win. What the hell have you got to lose?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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