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Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States by the people of the United States, and will be the first Republican president to occupy the White House in the modern social media age.
Sure, when President George W. Bush was in office, MySpace was around and Facebook was in its earliest stages, but a Republican has not yet been president of the United States with the current popularity of Twitter, Facebook, and social media culture in general.
I’m a white, evangelical Christian, so on the surface, you probably think I have many more Trump-supporting friends than Clinton-supporting friends, but you would be wrong. On social media, I try to keep a balanced feed of Republican and Democrat voices so I have a solid grasp on what each camp is saying about any given issue.
I don’t like the echo chambers social media creates for us, so I try to keep my feed ideologically diverse.
Largely, in the last eight years of the Democratic presidency of President Barack Obama, my Republican friends have been on the offensive on social media. My Republican friends largely talk about how the country is in a rough shape because of policies supported by President Obama with which they disagree. See Obamacare, the Iran deal, bailouts, and more.
Paradoxically, Republicans have also been able to play the “victim” role of sorts throughout the last eight years, posting to social media about ways in which the president is oppressing the American people. See Obamacare, illegal immigration, Muslim refugees, etc.
Republicans have not yet had the difficult task of defending a Republican president on social media.
Change is not easy. Roe v. Wade will not be overturned overnight and religious liberty will not be protected simply because a Republican occupies the White House.
However much or little influence President Obama has had on policies that run counter to traditional Republican values, he has long been the proxy that has received the attack of Republicans on social media.
Now that the Republicans have a president in the White House, how will they respond on social media to laws and Supreme Court decisions that do not go their way? In the past, it has been easy to pin this “oppression” on President Obama. Now, Republicans will have to find someone else to blame so as not to muddy the name of their president.
Further, as ISIS inevitably continues to exist, as illegal immigrants continue to make it into the country, and other problems persist, how will the Republicans defend their president from attacks and claims that he is not fixing the problems he promised to fix?
Republicans will continue to control Congress, so they won’t be able to bear the blame either.
Republicans—a group of people who have only ever played the victim and attacker on social media—have all of the tools to make the changes they desperately want to make.
If and when a Republican government is not able to deliver on all of the promises it has made, how will Republicans react having to be on the defensive on social media for the first time?
Time will tell. But, regardless, it will be fascinating to see how quickly Republicans think the country is in great shape, and how quickly Democrats think the country is doomed.