Why Republicans Should Not Just Shut Up and Get in Line with Trump
Folks, I’m in a quandary.
We are in a predicament regarding President-elect Trump. Many Republicans are calling for waiting period in which we hold off criticism of our President-elect due to the fact that he is in no position to actually affect policy change until he is inaugurated into office. This is a valid argument to some degree–Trump should be given a chance to actually enact policy before his success as a president can be evaluated.
My problem is with those who would claim that I should offer no criticism of anything Trump says or does between now and Inauguration Day. For example, Trump’s cabinet appointments have caused great concern among many conservatives, especially with the choice of Steven Bannon–champion of the alt-right–or Reince Priebus–poster-boy for the establishment. Both of these selections are problematic at best, yet the Newt Gingriches of the world tell us we have to get in line with Trump.
“Donald Trump has to be Donald Trump and the country will organize itself around who he is.”
No, Mr. Gingrich. I will not. Trump may be a blank slate as far as his record of enacting policy, but this idea that I have to shut up while the President-elect appoints establishment figures or sympathizers to the alt-right to his cabinet is bordering on intra-party censorship that I fear will be used to excuse broken promises and bad behavior in the future.
By no means am I taking back my vote for Trump–Hillary would have been light-years worse. Despite this vote, however, I find myself perfectly within my prerogative to criticize the pending administration now even with these early statements and selections. I refuse to conform to this group-think idea of “give him a chance” which in many cases translates to “just shut up why don’t you” and go along for the ride.
So when the President-elect appoints Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist, I will say something. When the President-elect calls conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to thank him for his support, I will object. When the President-elect starts walking back promises to repeal Obamacare or deal with illegal immigration, I will scream from the rooftops! This is not sabotage, as some would call it, but holding the next president accountable for his promises and actions.
3 Ways Twitter Can Make Social Media Great Again
Twitter has been a ground breaking social media platform that has enabled millions of average citizens to have a platform on which to share ideas on a global scale. It has leveled the communication playing field so that celebrities, elites, and average citizens can express their points of view with the potential of a large scale audience. Despite this great benefit to the proliferation of worldwide free speech, Twitter has been struggling to gain new users and maintain current consumer levels.
There are three ways that Twitter can work to broaden its audience and gain more users than it loses. First of all, Twitter should make the idea of freedom of speech its foundational principle as a business. In recent months, Twitter has been actively censoring people who post opinions that the safety council disagrees with (Prestigiacomo, 2016), rather than merely content that could lead to violence. While the 1st Amendment cannot be enforced on private corporations or individuals, this is a big deterrent to people who may want to use Twitter but have either left or have been forced to leave because they express opinions that the powers that be at Twitter do not approve of. By loosening such bigoted restrictions, Twitter can expand its base to a greater audience and show that it is welcoming to alternative opinions being expressed which will ultimately attract more users.
Secondly, Twitter should work to simplify its user platform. Twitter is often considered an escape from the more bogged down, overly ad saturated, and content controlled social media outlets such as FaceBook. When Twitter announced changes that would make its platform operate more like FaceBook it caused such a backlash that the hashtag #RIPTwitter started trending, causing the company to ultimately walk back these changes to some degree (Kharpal, 2016). Since it is clear that a simplified platform is one of the most attractive features of Twitter, the company should work to maintain and even further simplify their platform by keeping ads minimal and allowing user controlled content rather than content controlled by algorithms.
Finally, Twitter should allow more mixed media posts. The 140 character limit to each post has been one of Twitter’s most winning features; however I and other colleagues that use Twitter have complained that links to outside sources often take up too much of our character limit. We end up having to choose between text, links, gifs, pictures, or videos, and it is often difficult to come up with a combination that expresses our message while still fitting within the length requirements. Twitter should consider opening up its limit for content posting to be 140 characters of text in addition to a picture, link, or video to stimulate further use and discussion. By making the above changes that I have suggested, Twitter will have made a bold move let go of its restrictive trend and embrace both new users and better ways of sharing a diverse selection of ideas.
Kharpal, A. (2016, February 8). #RIPTwitter: User outrage over changes to tweets. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/08/twitter-users-decry-reported-plan-to-prioritize-tweets.html
Levin, J. (2016, February 20). Is Twitter Silencing Conservatives. Retrieved from http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/02/is-twitter-silencing-conservatives/
Prestigiacomo, A. (2016, January 11). Twitter Tried To Hurt Gay Conservative Milo Yiannopoulos. It Really, REALLY Backfired. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/2509/twitter-tried-hurt-gay-conservative-milo-amanda-prestigiacomo