Use modern ‘fireside chats’ with caution
After reading Daniel Gallington’s insightful op-ed (“President Trumps tweets,” Web, July 17) I am struck by another unique aspect of the tweeting experience: the intimacy of it. Although intimacy has its dangerous side, we are inescapably drawn to it like moths to a flame.
When else in history has there been such immediate and direct connection to the unpolished, human, sometimes-flawed side of a president? Perhaps FDR’s fireside chats somewhat similarly brought the president into the living rooms of ordinary Americans, but President Trump’s uncensored, spontaneous, unrehearsed tweets take intimacy with power to a new level. Bus drivers and teenagers, CEOs and short-order cooks — all are engaging in personal conversations with our president. After all, isn’t this what got him elected?
Despite the public reality, social media over the Internet carries the illusion of privacy. To the tweeter it’s him or her and the most powerful person in the world having a very personal, off-the-cuff conversation. Use this well but with caution, Mr. President.