How social media is changing modern day politics

Politics was changed when the radio was introduced and was changed again when television was introduced. Today we're seeing another change in politics due to the use of social media. Similar to the way people say John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election against Richard Nixon because of Kennedy wearing makeup and appearing to have more confidence and vigor while on television, people may look back on the Clinton and Trump 2016 election and say that Trump won because he knew how to use social media to his advantage.

People often cite how Trump used the concept that any press (even bad press) is good and explain that this won him the election, but I disagree. During the campaign Donald Trump's outlandish comments were covered in detail by the news media. During this coverage, the media explained the problems with Trump's policies and at times even enlisted the help of experts in analyzing Trump's campaign and used them to explain why Trump would be a terrible president. However, the results of the election show that people obviously didn't listen to the warnings of the news media. They didn't listen because nowadays at least two-thirds of American adults get their news from social media.

During the 2016 election, Facebook and other social media sites were flooded with information about Donald Trump. Some of the information was good and some of the information was bad, but something that is obvious is that Trump's campaign greatly benefited from Trump's name, image, brand, or whatever you want to call it spreading across social media like wildfire. The fire was so intense that it drowned out what little social media presence Hilary Clinton had.

While Donald Trump was tweeting nearly all of the time, Hilary Clinton was making appearances on news stations, running campaign ads, and holding rallies. These things done by Hilary Clinton were also done by Trump's campaign. However, Trump had a social media presence that was much bigger than Clinton's. Hilary Clinton and her staff worked hard during the campaign but they should have put more energy into their social media presence.

Trump knows the importance of social media. And while the Russian government may have helped Trump with his large social media presence, I think nearly anyone would acknowledge that Trump knows that tweeting is a quick, easy, and cheap way to gather votes and political momentum. During the 2016 election, Clinton was certainly Nixon and Trump, although he doesn't have Kennedy's political prowess or intelligence, was certainly the John F. Kennedy of the 2016 election. Social media was Trump's makeup and he wore it well.

Featured Image Source: Coyne Research