****Disclaimer: This post has no political affiliation. It is simply a post about what the title says, Trumps tweeting and FDRs fireside chats****
Franklin D. Roosevelt became president of the United States in 1933. He was Commander in Chief through some of America’s toughest times; The Great Depression and World War II. Taking history classes I was always fascinated by FDRs ability to reach out to the American people and utilize new technology to address the public. He did a total of 30 radio addresses, his topics ranged from the New Deal, Fascism to unemployment.
Think about it, at this time there were around 123 million people living in the United States and television won’t be in every Americans home for years to come, the odds that the President of the United States would talk to you were slim. These fireside chats were instrumental in having Americans believe in FDR. He talked to YOU, he used language that the majority of Americans would use and he referred to his audience as “you”. GENIUS! This was an opportunity for citizens to listen directly to the President and not just read what the newspapers told them.
Of course now back to 2017, President Trump is notorious for his 3am twitter rants. I think this is awesome! How else can you talk to a population that is enthralled with social media and can barely read more than 140 words? You utilize the technology that is presented before you.
Now I know most people will say that he’s not tweeting for those reasons, he’s tweeting to argue with his opponents and so forth, which I agree. But FDR started his fireside chats by defending his actions to close the banks for an extended holiday. Many believed that closing the banks would be disastrous and that FDR was over reaching his power. Roosevelt explained to the American public his decisions and thanked them for their patience.
I admit I believed that Trump should have stopped tweeting once he was in office, I mean I don’t even have Twitter and I thought the President should have a lot more to do than tweet. But to reach the American public, not with a press conference, but with a tweet? This is unprecedented.
(I am just fascinated with the possibility that Trumps tweeting will be in history books just like FDRs fireside chats were)