To be great, a president must communicate effectively. Our greatest leaders like Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Reagan and Obama all commanded a keen mastery of English rhetoric. Ironically, a president with such extensive experience in front of television cameras fails to muster the same communicative prowess or respect for thoughtful discourse. His disdain for an adversarial press is case-in-point.
Undoubtedly, this is no ordinary presidency. And while his unorthodox communicative style persuaded enough Americans that he could break through the sound and fury of Washington politics-as-usual, it may prove to be ultimate downfall.
White House policy now comes from Twitter. Half-baked ideas flow freely, leaving his staff to fill in the blanks. And while late-night comedians have never had more material, Trump’s latest round of tweets attacking Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough de-legitimized his own authority as well as tarnished the office he holds.
A nuclear North Korea, a languishing Republican health-care bill, and the threat of further Russian intervention in our midterm elections might persuade a different president to log off of Twitter and reassure the American people that he is working to protect us and our interests. Sometimes, true strength lies in the punches we choose not to throw. Instead, he takes the bait every time to deliver a pithy schoolyard taunt.
President Trump won the presidency through using Twitter, but he diminishes it by the same means. Ask yourself this: Would Lincoln have delivered the Gettysburg Address 140 characters at a time?