Donald Trump’s Tweets have always been a source of fascination. The provocative president has not only used his 140-character-or-less blasts to lash out at his critics, but he has also taken the time to praise allies and adversaries, challenge the government to action, and even muse on the state of the American labor force. Now that he is in his third month as president of the United States, it’s time to decipher the real meaning of Trump’s latest Tweets.

How Is Trump’s Performance Different From That of Obama and Bush?

To start, let’s look at how Trump’s approach to foreign policy compares to his predecessors’, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Obama and Bush each took the reins of the Free World during one of the most turbulent periods in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic had just begun to wreak havoc across the globe, and financial markets were in freefall, as shown in the accompanying chart, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by 26% from the pre-pandemic peak to its post-pandemic low in September 2020.

While most presidents would have taken the opportunity to rest and allow the world to recover, Trump had other ideas. On March 26, 2020, he tweeted: “The United States will not be intimidated by communist dictators seeking to undermine our great country. We will restore faith in free elections and free marketplaces, and we will win!”

This was hardly the response of a man who wanted to make life better for the average American. Instead, it was a defiant message to China and other nations that dared to defy him. While it was clear that Trump had a point to make, his language was a little over the top.

As the chart below shows, the Dow’s performance was exceptional under Trump’s leadership, rising by 275% from its March 2020 low to a record-setting 26,000-point closing high on September 21, 2020.

Why Is Trump’s Performance On Twitter Important?

One of the things that made Donald Trump so unusual as a candidate was his constant presence on social media. He was a prolific tweeter who used his platform to bully his critics, praise friends, and insult rivals. But despite his fondness for social media, Trump didn’t create the platform. He just used it.

It’s important to remember that the presidency is a public trust, and Trump has accepted that he will be held accountable to the people. As a result, his approach to office is now being watched more closely than ever. His success or failure as a leader will be determined by how well he performs on social media, where his base of support is located.

So it’s reasonable to expect that the Trump administration will try to use social media to their advantage, just as he has done throughout his career. That means that his tweets will likely become even more important, as they provide a window into his thinking and strategy.

What About The Impact Of Retweets And Favorites?

It’s also important to keep in mind that a lot of people may have been fooled by the attention-grabbing headlines and catchy phrases that Trump tends to favor. As a result, his tweets have gotten a lot of retweets, but not all of them are meaningful. The fact is that Twitter is a noisy platform, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment and retweet something you think is funny without actually paying close attention to its content. In the case of Bush, Obama, and other politicians who tweeted frequently, many of their retweets could be traced to attempts to game the system or make it appear that they supported certain policies or opinions, when in fact they didn’t. So it’s important to examine the context of a given Tweet, preferably within a few days of its publication.

What Did Trump Mean When He Claimed That Voter Fraud Happened In The 2016 Election?

One of the most provocative claims that Trump made in the year since his election was that millions of people voted illegally, costing him the popular vote. As he repeatedly pointed out, he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the electoral college, not in the popular vote. In one of his earliest interviews as president-elect, Trump was asked whether he would have done anything differently as president. His answer: “Yes, I think I would have won the popular vote if you give it to me. And I have many millions of voters who would have given me the popular vote had it been available to them.”

The electoral college is where electoral votes are allocated based on the results of the popular vote. To put it simply, a candidate must receive at least 270 votes in the electoral college to win the presidency. Currently, there are only 232 electoral votes in the electoral college. To get to 270, Trump would have had to win the popular vote in the Electoral College by more than 100 million votes, which would have been quite a feat (in 2016, he won the popular vote by a margin of 2.9 million votes).

To muddy the waters even more, there is strong evidence that at least in the state of Florida, there was an effort to skew the vote count in Trump’s favor. Whether that’s true of other states as well is still being investigated. Regardless, when the president of the United States loses the popular vote, it undermines the very idea of a democratic society. Ultimately, the only way to preserve electoral integrity is by ensuring that elections are conducted using only paper ballots and optical character recognition software (OCR), which is easily hackable.

What Is Trump’s Strategy On Social Media?

Trump’s aggressive approach to social media is probably best illustrated by his strategy for increasing engagement on his Twitter account. In an effort to become the most followed account on the platform, he has frequently retweeted other prominent users, in an attempt to build his own follower base. Interestingly enough, many of Trump’s top retweeted users were prominent conservatives, including Candace Owens, Paul Watson, and Tomi Lahren, who called for his impeachment. It’s safe to assume that they see him as a champion of their cause, and are willing to lend him their popularity.

As a result of his retweets and favoritings, Trump now has over 30.3 million followers on Twitter. Not too shabby.

How Is Trump’s Performance On Other Social Media Platforms?

Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has mastered the art of the tweet, and he has continued to hone that skill as president. He has also become very familiar with other social media platforms, such as TikTok (where he has over 19.8 million followers), Instagram, and Facebook.

On TikTok, Trump regularly retweets other users’ videos, and he also creates and shares his own clips, which consistently receive millions of views. Like on Twitter, certain users have built followings thanks to their association with the president, including Jack Dorsey (who owns and operates Twitter and TikTok), Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump. The president’s daughter, Ivanka, also uses TikTok to promote her clothing and lifestyle brand, offering fashion advice and trends, alongside her own insights into motherhood and the work-life balance.

On Instagram, where he has over 12.4 million followers, Trump regularly retweets famous people and prominent accounts he follows. Like on Twitter, the president’s top retweets are consistently associated with right-wing causes. However, on Instagram, he also has more frequently shared content from food and lifestyle accounts, as well as content that promotes his brand. While Trump has over 6.3 million followers on Facebook, his posts are more varied, touching on a variety of topics from foreign policy to the latest political scandals.

What About The Media?

With each tweet and each performance on social media, Trump has become more accessible to the average American. While traditional journalists have focused on his words as contained in the traditional media, social media has made it possible to keep an eye on the entire administration, providing a steady stream of content from which the public can keep up. That makes traditional journalists, such as journalists at The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post, important, but it also means they no longer have a monopoly on providing insight into the actions of the United States government.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the news and information industries, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, are now trying to figure out how to get back on their feet. As a result, outlets like the New York Times and the Post are struggling to maintain quality journalism, as they cut back on international reporting and rely more heavily on local journalists to cover the news. While it’s good that reporters are trying to find their footing, it doesn’t mean that the institutions that own and operate these organizations are out of the woods yet. And it certainly doesn’t mean that traditional media are immune to challenges posed by social media and alternate sources of information.