Tag Archives: Twitter

President Trump Needs to Pick His Social Media Battles

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On Friday, January 20. 2017, Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

There is much that is unique about the Trump presidency even before considering any policies, programs, or laws which may be enacted.

Trump is the very first U.S. President who does not have any prior American military or governmental service on his resume. He has spent decades managing his family business well, growing it into one of the largest and most successful private institutions in the land.

Also, as we found out in the Republican primaries, President Trump has an affinity for social media. In particular, the President made use of his private Twitter account to take his message directly to the voters during the primaries.

After emerging victorious from a large, qualified field of candidates, Trump continued engaging his millions of followers on Twitter during the General Election campaign.

His upset defeat of the Democratic candidate, former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was fueled partially by his social media engagement with voters.

Trump used Twitter to take his message directly to the people.
In doing so, he bypassed the traditional candidate reliance on the established mass media in television, radio, and print. Much of that media was clearly pro-Clinton, anti-Trump, or both throughout the campaign.

By the use of social media, Trump was able to transmit his message in his words. In this way there could be no misinterpretation or failure to highlight the points which he felt were of greatest import.

Trump also was able to specifically point out media errors, or what appeared at times to be intentional attempts to undermine his candidacy.

In his use of social media, the now-President Trump found a valuable tool. He was the first presidential candidate to truly embrace the medium and use it to his advantage. And he did so in often colorful style and language that is a hallmark of the man.

Upon his swearing-in, the President took over the official Twitter handle of the office @POTUS (President of the United States), while also continuing use of his private @realDonaldTrump account.

In the 3-4 days since taking the Oval Office, the President has utilized both accounts regularly. A clear pattern is beginning to emerge.

When using the “POTUS” handle, the President is clearly more reserved. He uses pictures of events and chooses his wording carefully.

When switching over to his “Donald Trump” account, however, the old bluster is still present. He has criticized protest marchers and celebrities who opposed his administration. He also commented on television ratings of his Inauguration festivities and address.

I understand why the President chooses to use social media. He genuinely feels, and I happen to agree with him, that much of the former “mainstream media” (MSM) is dishonest. They are genuinely “in the bag” for liberal causes and the Democratic party here in the United States.

Trump obviously intends to “act presidential” within the confines of the POTUS account, while continuing to lambaste his critics and detractors with his private account. All of this is being done in an effort to set, or keep, the record straight.

I just think that the President needs to pick his battles better. He does not need to comment on every issue that arises. He needs to understand that he won the election, he has the office and the power, and he has tens of millions of Americans standing behind him.

None of his supporters cares what some celebrity such as Madonna has to say about anyone or anything. None care at all if there were more bodies who stood outside watching a Barrack Obama Inauguration speech eight years ago than watched President Trump deliver his. None of us cares in the least if a bunch of liberals donned pink cat-ear hats and marched through city streets.

The President does not need to concern himself with how many people are attending events or watching on television. He is going to get plenty of viewership and coverage just by virtue of his office, as well as due to his celebrity status.

The office itself comes with many perks, one of which is a Press Secretary. The administration appears to be in good hands in that regard, if the performance of Sean Spicer in today’s initial White House press briefing was any indication.

Let Spicer deal with issues involving the media. The country has so many more important things for the President to be concerned about. Sure, once in awhile put out something on social media of a personal nature. But leave the tit-for-tat stuff to underlings.

Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Tens of millions of Americans voted for him, and support him right now based on the promises that he made in running for that office.

I want him to get up out of the mud pit within social media where he has been battling his opponents. Perhaps he needed to be down fighting in that pit for a time. But that time has passed.

Lenten Sacrifice

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy Christian season covering approximately six weeks until Easter.

During the Lenten season, Christians traditionally prepare for Easter through a process of increased prayer, penance, and sacrifice.

Of course, we are all supposed to be praying regularly, asking repentance and making atonement for our sins, and finding ways to sacrifice some part of our own blessings in the form of charity all during the year.

Lent is a good time to both get yourself back on track if you have let some of that spiritual responsibility slip, and also a good time to strengthen your commitment to areas of your life that perhaps need more attention.

To meet these increased spiritual goals during Lent, Christians often make what amount in the secular world to New Year resolution-type promises of change. Only these are promises to God from themselves. The promises can involve saying a daily rosary, returning to Church and the sacraments, and giving up something of importance to them.

That last part, the giving up of something important, is known as a Lenten sacrifice. Remember, the whole point is to prepare for the events of Good Friday and then Easter, when Jesus Christ sacrificed his own life for your sins. Keeping that much sacrifice in mind, how tough is your own?

Each year, I also try to make a Lenten sacrifice. I’ve usually had success in the past, but this year I am going a little more ambitious. I am personally building a number of elements into my Lenten sacrifice. Maybe one or more will inspire you as well.

First, I am actually simply going to continue a spiritual exercise which I began all the way back in November. At some point in mid-November of 2013, I began to say a full rosary each day. Somehow, I have been able to keep it up every day. I have found lately that there were a couple times where I almost just let it go. Lent will be a good time to increase my commitment to it.

Next, I am going to commit to going to Church more often. My own local St. Christopher’s Roman Catholic parish will be offering Mass on a nightly basis. I will be going a few times. I am also volunteering more in my role as a church Lector to do the readings at Mass during this period.

Also during Lent, I am going to make sure that I participate in appropriate sacraments more often. Most specifically, going to Confession, doing Penance, and sincerely attempting to stay away from the occasion of sin. I’m planning on making a Confession now, at the start of Lent, and again closer to Easter.

These things should go a long way towards meeting my goals of increased prayer and penance during Lent, and your own adoption of any would help you do the same. So now, on to the sacrifice part. What am I “giving up for Lent” this year?

First, we’ll start with the treats/goodies category. I will be giving up all cakes, cookies, pies, candy, ice cream, and other similar desserts and treats. Only exception will be for breath mints, which some might consider as “candy”, but which I slot into their own special category as someone who has a lot of dealings with the public.

Next, a bit tougher one thanks to specific circumstances. I will be giving up soda as well. However, I am giving myself a “special dispensation” on St. Patty’s Day weekend to allow for drinking soda at events surrounding that upcoming celebration. Better that than imbibe in too many “adult beverages”, especially when driving. Outside St. Patty’s weekend, no soda either.

Not just a “don’t do that” period, Lent is a time to “do”, to take action where it may be needed. I am going to begin seriously getting back into a regular physical workout routine. Starting with daily walking, and then building up to more as the Lenten season advances and I get in better physical conditioning.

And then I added on a new one this year, limiting my use of personal social media, particularly by refraining from Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media during the Lenten season with two exceptions only.

Those two social media exceptions will be this blog, where I will actually attempt to write MORE, something that I have been trying to get myself to do anyway. And also my professional Twitter account @PPDMattVeasey, where I have an expected responsibility to participate for my employer.

I have also undertaken a couple of more personal restrictions for Lent, and we’ll just keep those between me and the Lord at this point. Oh, and all of my fellow Catholics should remember to refrain from eating meat today, Ash Wednesday, and every Friday through Good Friday. Also, today and each Friday you should limit yourself to one full, large meal.

I think that if I can successfully accomplish all of that, it adds up to a solid, legitimate personal Lenten observance. Prayer, penance, and sacrifice all built into the plan. So, there’s my plan for Lent – what’s yours?

Brothers in Christ

In the Old Testament, the Book of Proverbs 27:17 reads: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

In the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew 18:20 quotes Jesus Christ as teaching: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

We modern men can be funny creatures. There are many who consider themselves to be men of faith, yet find themselves trapped by fear or embarrassment when faced with the challenge of publicly professing that faith, especially among other men.

In a world that is rapidly deteriorating all around us in matters of faith, spirituality, religion, and morality, we no longer have the choice to seek comfort in private prayer. We must come together, publicly, and call this world to order in the name of Jesus Christ.

There are many ways that you can individually participate in this calling. First, of course, you can simply go to Mass. Attending a service at Church on a regular basis establishes a personal and community base. It is only a minimum, but it is a must.

God commanded us all to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”, and we must set that time aside to publicly visit His house in the company of our family, friends, and neighbors.

Next, seek opportunities to expand your public prayer life within your community. Your own church community will likely have such opportunities. That is always a great place to start.

A few years ago, I began to serve my local parish as a Lector, and it has been greatly rewarding. I always feel that I am helping spread his Word by using the gifts that God gave me in this manner. You have gifts to use as well.

There are numerous groups on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites specifically established for men to join together and praise the Lord publicly, drawing strength and encouragement from one another. One has it’s own ‘hashtag’ of #BIC, standing for “Brothers In Christ”, and joins together posts mostly by men supporting the faith.

Finally, continue your private prayer. It is of vital importance as well. If you have never done so, consider learning to pray the rosary. I took up the practice of daily rosary prayer about a month ago. It takes only about 20 minutes to complete, and there are numerous resources in print, online, and even in apps, to teach and guide you.

We are all “Brothers In Christ”, as Matthew again quotes our Lord: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

We need one another to magnify our prayer, and to stand stronger during these days of great challenge. The forces of darkness and despair grow daily. We must emerge from our prayer closets and begin to shine our light in the world, in the name of Jesus Christ.