Trump on Twitter & the Federal Shutdown

Trump uses Twitter to spread his rhetoric. As the following visualizations demonstrate, he has created a significant network.

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The above is a visualization of tweets mentioning Trump.

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The above visualization is a network of who replies to whom related to Trump

Today, the US federal services have been shutdown because the Senate failed to pass a budget to fund the federal government.

I thought it would be interesting to look at one of Trump’s tweets, which he wrote when it became apparent that there would be no last minute deal with the Democrats.

Capture

As can be seen, Trump has a huge following on Twitter. This message was resent over 25,000 times and over 49,000 people wrote a comment to this massage, therefore, it can be seen that when he uses Twitter, his texts are widely published and are read by a large audience, although when reading the comments, it is quickly understood that many of those readers are opposed to his policies and ideology.

Firstly, ‘not looking good’, a note of pessimism as the US government is about to go into lock down, even though the Republicans have a majority in both houses. However, the two political parties were not able to come to a compromise over the Federal budget.

What are the consequences of this? According to Trump, there will be two major consequences: the military will suffer, and security will be jeopardized on the US/Mexico border. (It’s interesting the the northern border is not mentioned, not are ports or airports, just the southern border.)

“our great Military’

The military, which is capitalized for emphasis, is described as great, thereby clearly demonstrating his stance towards the armed forces. The military is constructed as our  military. By doing so, the military is assigned to a social group. If you have an affinity with the armed forces, then you may be considered a member of this social in-group, if not, them you you be part of the out-group, one of them, an outsider.

‘Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border’

The Federal shutdown is going to threat the way of lives of the American people as safety and security is now going to be at risk, the topoi of threat and danger is used. It’s interesting that this threat is going to take place on the southern border, which is described as dangerous, and not elsewhere. Why is this border deemed as dangerous? This appears to be a continuation of the anti-immigration/racist rhetoric which has been prevalent throughout the presidency, immigrants from Mexico, Central America and Latin America are constructed as a danger and a threat to American society. Therefore, the Federal shutdown is another opportunity to expound an anti-immigration ideology. If the border is described as being very dangerous, then this also implies further implies that those on the other side of the border, the non-Americans, are also very dangerous. (In conversations earlier in the week, Trump used the ‘shithole’ to describe certain countries, but seemed quite open to Norwegian immigrants, thus appearing to support a white-European immigration in favor of non-white immigrants, who are implied to be a danger. 

The text continues by stating that it is the fault of the Democrats that a compromise was not reached. According to Trump, this was done to divert attention away from the successes of the current administration in regard to the tax cuts and the improvement of the economy. These are both contentious claims; it was widely understood that the tax cuts benefited the wealthy, and the upward direction of the economy had began before this president took office. Regardless of the opinions of the tax cuts, or the health of the economy, the idea that the Democrats would attempt to close Federal services to prevent Trump from receiving applause appears to be, how could I put it ….. fake news!

 

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