Twitter Ambassador Trump’s Terrifying Tweets And The Bad New World


By Rahul Sharma

Mr Jack Dorsey might have his political views and Mr Donald Trump might have many twigs to pick with Twitter, but there should not be any argument over who’s the best ambassador and brand builder for the social media platform.

It is the U.S. President – the most powerful man in the world — who has unabashedly taken the Twitter route to push his point of view and policy changes in a way no other global leader has.

His late night tweets may have more to do with him and his place in the sun than for Twitter, but indirectly he has shown the power of an idea that Dorsey introduced to the world and by doing so become its best advertiser.

Sometime after Mr Trump won the US presidency in a victory that left many wondering where the good old world was heading, a friend from New York stated rather eloquently that it was going to soon turn into a bad new world — one which many could see coming, but had chosen to shut their minds to.

The newly installed world’s most powerful leader hadn’t really started his tirades on Twitter by then; he was only beginning to learn the power of this communication tool that he would eventually put to very good use.

Mr Trump, the friend went on to say, would challenge everything that the good old world had to offer – ethics, civility, decency, equality, stability and most of all the status quo of an era that in his view had done no good to America and Americans.

History will begin with him, and he will ensure that it is he — and no one else — who takes the credit for the changes he was about to bring about to the ways the world’s most powerful nation ran, I was told over a long conversation interrupted only by sips of some awesome whiskey.

Mr Trump — despite his shortcomings and lack of political knowledge — would control the narrative thanks to his penchant of jabbing his fingers on the phone to tweet his what was once considered his silly world view late at night after a burger meal in reaction to television news he didn’t agree with.

Indeed, as Mr Trump prepares to contest his second term as the US president, it is clear how he has used Twitter to hugely impact both domestic and foreign policy — forcing many of his opponents, followers and some of the world’s biggest leaders running scared.

Imagine waking up to a tweet from Trump that just changed the course of global trade? Or the fate of a global corporation? Or one spooked that the leader of a neighbouring country? Or, for that matter, one that announced a meeting with the leader of a country the American establishment had bashed around as enemy number one for more than half a century – North Korea.

As a communication tool, Twitter could claim to be the most influential and impactful — allowing world leaders to send out crisp, concise messages that have the ability to change the course of the world, sometimes permanently.

The trade spat with China that Trump triggered through Twitter is a good example.  Gone are the days when subtle, confusing  and sensible messages were sent out of the White House through official leaks or briefings. This president is more direct and he really believes that he alone can make America great again. So be it!

In fact Mr Trump has used Twitter to slam Twitter too. On a day he was to meet Mr Dorsey, he railed against Twitter calling the company “very discriminatory” and said it did not treat him well as a Republican.

He also accused Twitter of playing political games and worried about a supposed non-conservative bias on the platform. The challenge probably works well for Dorsey, as it positions his company as one that is open to hearing from the worst of its critics.

As I said earlier, Mr Trump is possibly the best ambassador for Twitter. The tweeting blue bird that has taken over our lives may or may not be proud of that association, but we could well argue that a lot of its power, visibility and relevance emerges from the fingers of the current U.S. president.

And for those who fear Mr Trump’s so-called inconsistencies and unpredictability, there is hard lesson ahead. If he can do what he doing, there are others who are there to follow — if not already keeping pace.

In fact, there would be very few world leaders who are not on Twitter – reaching to their constituencies and stakeholders directly with messages that leave the middlemen and traditional media dumbfounded and very worried.

The good old world has finally turned into bad new world, one that many are still grappling to come to terms with. All thanks to Mr Trump and Mr Dorsey’s Twitter!

 

 

Parched Before The Arriving Rains


This May should also be remembered for its cornucopia of outlandish riches — $900 billion in China’s save-the-world-from-poverty investment, a $350 billion envelope to President Trump to help Muslims defeat each other, and a $250 billion Indian plan to turn its traders into manufacturers of sophisticated weapons.

Read Here – Dawn

The True History Of Fake News


In the long history of misinformation, the current outbreak of fake news has already secured a special place, with the president’s personal adviser, Kellyanne Conway, going so far as to invent a Kentucky massacre in order to defend a ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries. But the concoction of alternative facts is hardly rare, and the equivalent of today’s poisonous, bite-size texts and tweets can be found in most periods of history, going back to the ancients.

Read Here – The New York Review of Books

I Say, Damn It, Where Are The Beds?


‘Of course he shot the fucking elephant.’ The sharpness of Sonia Orwell’s defence of the authenticity of the event on which her late husband based one of his most famous essays tells its own story. Without the experiences enjoyed or endured by Eric Blair, Etonian, colonial enforcer, schoolteacher, down-and-out, grocer, infantryman, there would have been no George Orwell, writer.

Read Here – London Review of Books

Donald Trump And His Known Knowns


People all around seem rather agitated with the start of a new regime in the United States. And yes, I am using the word regime, which the Western media usually uses for rogue and unpredictable governments for only one reason: the new administration in Washington is unpredictable and can indeed go rogue, or so some Americans would want you to believe.

Donald Trump, the new president, has ignited passions in a manner unseen in recent memory – upsetting not only hordes of Americans, but also intelligent folks around the world who seem to widely believe that he might be the ultimate disaster to hit all of us.

However, it is not the end of the world, Not yet.

Let’s be fair to Trump and the process of democracy that brought him to power. Those who are complaining are Americans who either did not vote for him or many like us who are citizens of other countries and, therefore, ineligible to vote in U.S. elections. Both these constituencies have no reason to crib, so let’s hear what Trump is saying. There is a fair chance that if he is making sense to some, he might start making sense to all.

Lets also understand that Trump, who has never held a government office or been in military, will click very differently than many of his predecessors who were active in politics or military before they assumed the high office.

Since Trump is essentially a businessman, an unabashed profiteer and a salesman (who has done well to create his own brand across many countries), for him world affairs, global diplomacy and international trade will always be about negotiations and deals – both of which he is good at.

Should we complain about a man – whatever his past may be (and Trump’s not exactly without in-your-face blemishes) – just because he is different from his predecessors and doesn’t conform to our “global” definition of a politician or a president?

Eventually what matters to Trump and those who voted for him is whether he delivers what he promised to. There is no problem with his “America First” for Americans. If the rest of the world has a problem with it, it is not Trump’s problem and the 45th U.S. president seems to know it well – at least for the time being.

China, Europe and even Indian IT companies can fret because Trump’s policies can hit their businesses in the United States; for Trump what matters is looking after his country’s interests – whether they be jobs, infrastructure or Islamic radicals. As president of his country he is first answerable to and responsible for the people of his country. In short, national interest will drive him just as it did his predecessors.

We may not appreciate his front-foot statements and awful tweets, his name-calling and his orange hair or even lack of political and diplomatic etiquettes. What, however, we do need to remember is the world will have to deal with President Trump at least for the next four years.

Governments and businesses will have to, therefore, quickly learn to deal with his idiosyncrasies, his unpredictability, his awful spokespeople, his son-in-law who Trump says will resolve the issues in the Middle East and his purported closeness to Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Americans will also have to deal with a man who doesn’t’ fit the role; the very reason he got elected and one who will do everything to undo whatever his predecessor Barack Obama did.

In the weeks and months ahead all of us have to get used to a new narrative from Washington. We have to get used to dealing with a penny-pinching, hard-bargaining businessman who will keep his interests (or should we say America’s interests) high on his list of things to do.

And that brings me to what former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s once-considered-gobbledygook theory of the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. I’d put Trump in the first category. We do know him, and we also know what he will do — not very different than what he has been saying he would. What we still don’t probably have the foggiest idea about is that whether he is going to be around for four years or eight.

Good luck, everybody!

RS