Why I Followed Trump On Twitter

You need to understand the enemy to overthrow him.

For a long time I’ve battled with the thought of even hearing someone who’s a clear racist, sexist, extreme elitist and a compulsive liar.

He’s not “one of the people” and he’s made it clear he never wants to be, even if his whole brand is about togetherness in a newly Great America. The only great thing after Trump will be the depression that will certainly outlast him.

It enrages me to hear people defend him and he’s not even my president.

We can’t deny that intelligent people all around the world with strong values, successful careers and loving families are supporting Trump.

The question ‘Why’ never becomes easier to answer.

But I had a thought. How could I begin to understand them — the blind followers — without even hearing directly from the man that’s causing so much division?

So I followed Trump on Twitter.

What I found didn’t bring me hate or agitation, but it surprised me. It showed me an equally possible reality made up of many different sources. While I knew that what I was seeing wasn’t the truth, suddenly it became more challenging to answer ‘Why not’ — the question was no longer aimed at the supporters, but towards the validity of the so-called truth.

That’s the thing, the more you’re exposed to fake news, the more you start to question the truth.

For me it was a matter of hours, but for some people it’s years of perfectly disguised and dangerously manipulative lies.

Here’s what Trump will have you believe if you pay little attention to external sources, those not affiliated to or funded by his campaigns, and a quick fact check on what’s actually true.

Trump portrays that he has the Black vote, yet he described the BLM movement as ‘toxic propaganda’.

When you look at Trump’s latest tweets, you’ll see a variety of age differences, nationalities, races and genders among his supporters. You’ll notice the same at his rallies, the distinctive groups carefully positioned with posters behind him. If you didn’t know better, you’d believe that he is an accepting and open-minded leader.

In their testimonials, Janelle and Kelvin — all business, no family values to see here — strongly support Trump with the premise of ensuring better economic conditions for their business to boom.

True: Trump cares about the economy, especially when it benefits the wealthy.

The more I look at Janelle and Kevin, the more I have one thought in mind. Have we officially entered our own Westworld in the real world? It’s not out of the question at this point in time.

But the real issue, of course, is that lives are not equal to Trump and he’s anything but interested to hear from those who seek a more unified America.

False: Trump understands the concerns voiced during the continuous Black Lives Matter protests and is willing to listen.

If you believe that Trump will change his stand on protecting ‘the residents’, which automatically implies that protesters are the ‘outsiders’, then you’re about to witness more violence on the streets, some of it on his orders to attack in the name of restoring the peace that rewards the white privilege.

Trump connects with people on the basis of religion, yet he won’t condemn sexual predators.

The conservatives have long voiced their thoughts on abortion and removing the freedom of choice to decide what to do with your own body as a woman. As a political strategy, it seems to be working great for him — many voters are hooked like fish to bait.

But Trump couldn’t care less about women’s bodies, unless he was reaching for them. The same could be said about their voices, unless, of course, they are working for his campaigns.

False: Trump is not trying to manipulate the vote of religious people by constantly bringing up the Bible.

While the Bible is Trump’s favourite book, he doesn’t have a favourite verse.

There is more to being a good Christian than supporting pro life and saying how much you love religion.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Yet Trump, albeit privately, admitted to making an attempt to sleep with a married woman. And that’s just one story.

True: Trump has ties to sexual predators like Jeffrey Epstein and has been accused of harassment and sexual assault by multiple women.

Trump implies that he cares about the truth, yet he is the ultimate fake news spreader.

If there’s one thing that Trump is truly passionate about, it’s ratings. And the ratings simply can’t lie.

Fake news is not to be tolerated, but it is a viable lesson for everyone out there who will just about believe anything the media — or any Twitter update for that matter — says. That’s why it’s important to pick your sources with great care. Trust the folks at Fox News, for example, for they know all about ratings and… well, that’s about it.

True: Trump calls news ‘fake’ when they don’t match his agenda.

Disinformation starts from the top. This recent Harvard study shows that Trump’s tweets were actually some of the biggest drivers of false information.

If you remember another important study from three MIT scholars in 2018, fake stories spread faster the truth on Twitter.

False: The president of a country is always the most reliable source of information.

Unfortunately, we live in a world with amazing technological advancements that could connect us faster than ever before. However, this technology in the hands of the wrong people could lead to unimaginable division due to selfish gains — and we’re already seeing the first examples of power abuse, fuelled by social media.

Trump offers to look after the health of Americans, but he’s not opposed to first destroying it.

True leaders bring the nation together, but not during a worldwide pandemic, and if so — not without any social distance protocols in place. But hey, back in February this was merely a ‘Chinese’ virus that stood no chance against the great leader of the USA.

When Trump did, in fact, get the highly contagious COVID-19 — turns out it is a real virus — he alerted his people in about 72 hours of learning the news, while continuing to mingle with people and spreading the virus further in the White House and beyond.

False: The virus was simply a political hoax invented by the democrats.

“So far we have lost nobody to coronavirus in the United States.” Remember those words. They were not merely words of ignorance, they were words of arrogance that resulted in many preventable deaths.

True: COVID-19 is a deadly virus, but protection (e.g. wearing masks and social distance) minimises exposure and the spread of the virus.

7 months later, there are more than 200,000 deaths and the number is rising every single day, all because Trump wanted to prove he was right.

The media is not upset because you are walking around with COVID-19, putting even more people at risk, Mr President — the people are upset because they know more people are doomed to die due to the public display of ignorance & arrogance from the current government.

Are you a fan or a follower?

The difference between the words ‘fan’ and ‘follower’ is fundamental here.

Fan: someone who admires and supports a person, sport, sports team, etc.

Fans are traditionally people you’d address in the context of sports or the arts. They help celebrities to get rich and elevate their status.

Followers, on the other hand, participate in movements, guided by a strong set of values that bring them together with a common purpose — to be part of something greater than them.

Follower: someone who supports, admires, or believes in a particular person, group, or idea

So while celebrities have fans, leaders have followers.

But how does the president views his supporters?

Once a celebrity, always a celebrity? We all know that old habits die hard.

Using fans to get rich and elevate your status fits perfectly Trump’s profile. Let’s face it, the man is using Twitter to shout his ideas that sometime don’t even make it to full sentences. Does that remind of something? Like when you go to a gig to see your favourite performer and you’re just so excited to be part of the performance that he or she could be shouting the most random things & you’d still be ecstatic to be part of the experience.

But at the end of the day, while the performers will head home with your money, they won’t make decisions that ban you from a list of countries just because you’re a foreigner. They won’t tell women what to do with their bodies, especially in the cases where they were molested, raped or simply not ready to have a child.

Performers won’t even endanger your health just for the sake of keeping the stadium full, but the 45th President of America will.

Trump will only ever see you as his fan.

I have never seen, even among the most ruthless of rulers, a president so obsessed with his vanity, his image, his fanbase.

When so much of his campaigns resolve around the word ‘great’, it’s easy to imagine how your brain might connect the two in the same sentence. That is probably what makes him the greatest conman in America right now. The right usage of marketing messages.

Trump will have you believe he’s the greatest president, but all that he is, in fact, is the greatest deceiver.

There is an audience that supports Trump beyond any factual references that will go and vote for him when the time comes. How do you communicate to those who support Trump with no regards of the facts (COVID deaths, lack of BLM support, no universal health rights), since their agenda fits the agenda of their president. Economical gains by avoiding taxes. The creation of jobs without ever intending to eliminate poverty, so that the great division between the rich decision maker and the ‘fans’ remains intact.

Well if money is all you care about, sooner or later you’ll have it. Go and vote for Trump again. But every choice has a consequence. This time it’s your life that’s on the line. By the time you read this, I’ll most definitely have clicked ‘Unfollow’.

Cinephile, writer, philosopher, and a big time (Haruki Murakami) book lover. Check out my column https://medium.com/the-innovation/women-talking/home 💃

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