I read an interesting opinion piece this morning that triggered some thoughts about President Donald Trump and the ‘revolution’ he represents in national politics. He obviously sensed this quite some time ago and made it his business to remake the typical approach to a national campaign.
President Trump has been a Twitter user for quite a comparatively long time, as time is measured in the modern era where news is reported instantaneously and consumed the same way. The mainstream media, especially the print media, had already taken a very decided turn to the political left. You and I have recognized that for a long time but the press is only finally coming to understand just what it has become. It was very conveniently mired in believing that it was the same as it had been for decades. The press was still “The Press”…until President Trump outmaneuvered, and unnerved, the press with his tweets. He was everywhere while their ink hadn’t even begun to dry.
This change in technology has been coupled with the media slide to the decided left on virtually all issues of the day. Historically, we readers were fed a strict diet of liberally-slanted ‘news’. Some of us had made our way to the conservative side of the political equation despite that constant stream of political pablum. Many more are making that change today simply because they have more access to more types of thinking and it is found on the devices they use instead of newsprint.
Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, the press has learned a hard lesson; it may never recover its role as a primary thought leader. This is among the reasons that we have a President Trump today. More and more of us are making our own decisions and not simply being hand-fed our thoughts as was earlier happening. In the newsprint days, one had to work to find conservative opinion and conservative thought leaders. Today that thought and those leaders abound.
We see the results in many different ways. Among those are the fact that newsprint versions of the ‘truth’ are being disregarded and those who opine on those pages have lost their primary gullible audience. We are actually thinking for ourselves today! And we are enjoying that relatively newfound freedom. The very idea that we are capable of making up our own minds is not so novel an idea as it was in an earlier era.
The greatest casualty of this shift seems to have been the print media in all its forms. We get our news instantly today and we are usually well-enough educated to be able to digest that news and form our own opinions without being told what we ought to think. We have emerged from the needy era we had been living in, and have found this great new free flow of information that is distinctly more digestible and distinctly more conservative.
President Trump played this to his advantage and appears pointed at doing so from the Oval office, as well. Some tweets are aimed at informing and some are aimed at convincing of a particular position. He drives the press wild because they do not move quickly enough to pre-digest this news for us needy types. They are seeing his words at the same time we are seeing them and each of us, the press and us, make up our minds as to what the tweet means. The press is still the press even though it is trying to reform itself. We have become independent of the press and we make our own decisions.
The new world of media is never going to be tilted in favor of the mass print or television media again. And that simple fact has those entities wild beyond imagination. They see that they are in the very real fight for their continued existence. They see their very underpinnings being eroded. That is very apparent if you have the ability to watch what passes for a ‘press conference’ in this age.
Exciting times are upon us and the changes wrought will be permanent.