The Impact of the Social Media Bully Pulpit

Following President Trump’s comments on NFL players choosing to take the knee or stand during the playing of the national anthem, much of the the 24-hour news cycle covered the back-and-forth between the President’s tweets, influential athletes, and surrounding social media firestorm.

At the same time, the catastrophe in Puerto Rico, tensions with North Korea, and a litany of other major issues were pushed out of sight.

If aliens arrived this week after intercepting TV broadcasts, they could be forgiven for debating whether to stand or kneel when they first met the strangely argumentative people inhabiting Planet Earth. That’s how thoroughly the back-and-forth between President Trump and professional athletes dominated the news cycle.

CSPC Senior Vice President, Director of Policy Dan Mahaffee weighed in on this distraction with an op-ed in The Hill with an eye towards history’s lessons of how the President uses new tools and technology in media.

These statements, in an era defined by identity politics on both sides of the aisle, further politicize American life and distract from the need to address significant national challenges where neither party holds a monopoly on the solutions.

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