One of the two primary things I was looking forward to when my young, naive self voted for Obama in 2008, was transparency. It seemed that the Bush Administration operated with a lot of secrecy, and I believe it’s critical, if a free people are to remain free, for the people to know everything the government is up to. I don’t buy into “national defense” secrets, because I can’t imagine anything that would put us in danger if the government revealed it, and if we weren’t running around invading and bombing sovereign nations, then we wouldn’t have enemies. The more we fight, the more enemies we have, and so the more state secrets we need to be safe. The need for secrecy is one the government created by fighting unjust wars, and then used the hostility caused by those unjust wars to justify its need for secrecy.
Obama promised transparency. How easily we forget what “Change we can believe in” was promised to us, but it mostly dealt with the military adventurism. He was given a Nobel Peace Prize as a political ploy (I hope the Nobel people learned their lesson!), because he was supposed to bring peace. Peace wasn’t the only promise, though. The other was transparency, and neither of these promises were kept. They were broken in the most severe way: Obama launched more wars than Bush, and did nothing for transparency. Some misguided younger people think Obama betrayed us by not attacking Wall Street, and that was a problem, but it was never THE issue, even right after the recession.
Today we have a President who tweets directly to the American People. Of course, Twitter probably played a huge role in Trump’s success, and he tweeted frequently while campaigning, often speaking hastily and saying things that were… ill-advised.
A few years ago, I was shocked to find Congressman Justin Amash on Facebook, regularly communicating with the American People, explaining his positions, his votes, and the legislation. I wondered why all elected officials didn’t do it. When you think about it, it seems like it should actually be required, doesn’t it? These people have been elected to govern the country. The least they owe us are explanations for their decisions.
President Trump is the first President in American history to have a YouTube channel. They started it as Transition 2016, or something like that, with the intention of giving information directly to the American People, without the twisting and bias that all media outlets put on the news. I don’t know how that played out, because I haven’t followed it, but regardless it’s a noble effort.
Yes–a noble effort.
Regardless of Trump’s positions and where I stand in relation to him (I stand against him), this is one facet of his presidency that we should be universally cheering and applauding. We have the President of the United States giving us direct insight into his thoughts and policies, his positions, and his reasons for holding those positions.
I’m shocked that some people (in my experience, mostly liberals) think he should stop tweeting. Stop…? You think the President of the United States should stop giving us insight into his actions, policies, and reasons? We need more tweeting, not less.
I’d go further and say that every elected official should be required to make one Facebook post and one Twitter post (alternatively, one personal blog that goes to Twitter and Facebook) for every public policy decision they make. Why?
Because nothing our government does is inconsequential. And if the government does something inconsequential, they should have to explain why they bothered to do it. These are state employees. According to the rules of our republic, they are our employees, and we are owed explanations for their decisions.
If one of my employees made a decision that cost me money or changed how my business operates, I’m owed an explanation. My accountant can’t simply close three of my company credit cards without an explanation, even as I’ve authorized her to make such decisions. I’m owed an explanation regarding things my employees do that have an effect on me.
That doesn’t stop being true just because they work for the government. Every appointed and elected official who makes decisions that affect the American People should be required to communicate what, how, and why. We are owed nothing less.
And here we have the most powerful man in the world who has opted to do it of his own accord, blazing the path for others to follow. The President of the United States has an active Twitter account that he uses to communicate his policies directly to the American People.
That deserves applause, regardless of whether one agrees with the policies he’s espousing.
“Power to the people” surely begins with a President who communicates directly to the people. If you want a government for the people by the people, then the President tweeting is going to be a critical cog in that.
I don’t like Trump. I don’t like the government. I think a government “for the people, by the people” is a conceit and red herring. I want liberty, not a ruler. But we don’t have anarchy. We have a fascist state. And each step toward accountability and transparency are steps in the right direction.