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OPINION

Twitter Is President Trump’s Version of FDR’s 'Fireside Chats'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Social media, and Twitter in particular, is President Trump’s version of a “fireside chat” — the tool he uses to speak directly to the American people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously used his fireside chats to buoy the nation’s spirits during the Great Depression and World War II — but he also used the weekly radio address to make the case for his policy proposals, allowing him to circumvent a polarized news media and reduce the complexities of government into language that all Americans could understand. 

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Just as FDR found a way to maximize the political utility of radio — still a relatively new technology at the time — with his fireside chats, President Trump uses social media to communicate with Americans in a new and engaging way. After FDR demonstrated the political value of radio, future presidents felt obliged to copy his example, turning the format into a firmly-entrenched tradition. 

President Trump is making the exact same kind of transformational impact with his use of Twitter, but rather than trying to emulate his successful approach, as FDR’s critics did, some Democrats want social media companies to censor the President of the United States by shutting down his accounts. Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat in desperate need of a boost for her flagging presidential candidacy, unequivocally stated during the most recent Democratic debate in Ohio that President Trump’s Twitter account “should be taken down.” 

The senator’s authoritarian position is a direct affront to our Constitution and the values this country was founded upon. Our founders enshrined the freedom of speech and expression as the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights in order to emphasize that all of our other freedoms depend on the right to speak one’s mind. Sadly, the Democrats seem to hate this Republican president more than they love this Republic. 

It’s not just Trump supporters who should be worried. If the Democrats think it’s acceptable to censor the social media accounts of the President of the United States, then why would they have any reservations about censoring you, too? 

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In 2020, we will have a choice between a Democratic Party that is willing to sacrifice our Constitutional freedoms for its own short-term political gain and a Republican Party led by the most transparent and patriotic president in history. One need look no further than the Trump rallies attended that consistently draw thousands upon thousands of supporters to see how effectively this president is engaging with voters by speaking to them directly through social media. President Trump is pioneering a 21st century version of FDR’s fireside chats, bringing politics to the people in a way that has never been done before. His opponents don’t think the American people should be allowed to listen.

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