What Would Teddy Tweet?
[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.]
Would 26th President (“walk softly and carry a big stick”) Teddy Roosevelt have tweeted?
Put it this way: I’m pretty sure that a guy who, after being shot in the chest, insisted on delivering a campaign speech for almost an hour before seeking medical attention would have availed himself of a medium that let him reach — instantly and directly — millions of people.**
So, yeah, I think Roosevelt would have taken to Twitter (and vice versa).
The real question is, “what would Teddy have tweeted?”
Themes: Anti-Trust, Food Safety, National Parks
Roosevelt’s targets would have been companies like monopolist Standard Oil — ala Goldman Sachs, the vampire squid of its day; the horrible, unsanitary conditions in Chicago’s meatpacking plants, exposed in Sinclair Lewis’ “The Jungle”; plus more positive themes, like the country’s munificent natural beauty, and the need to protect same with sweeping federal legislation.
In other words, the same subjects his speeches, legislation, and policy efforts focused on generally (all by a Republican, mind you).
So, kudos to Donald Trump for being the first — but certainly not last — political leader to recognize and exploit Twitter’s capacity to serve as a high-tech bully pulpit.
Here’s hoping that as President, he uses it to reform Wall Street, revamp health care, strengthen the economy, and yes, protect the environment (if Trump can see the light on waterboarding, there’s hope that he can see the
heat light on climate change).
You know, good stuff, vs. pursuing personal vendettas, score-settling, etc.
**Teddy’s daughter, Alice, famously said that her father “wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.”
See also, “2011 Man of the Year: Teddy Roosevelt.”