For many Republicans, the one reservation they have about President Donald Trump is his tendency to go off script, and occassionally off the rails — particularly on Twitter.
Back in 2016, this was how the billionaire real estate mogul turned politician made a name for himself. Every one of his political rivals had a nickname — a trend that continues to this day. The Republican primary debates became primetime reality television, where many viewers tuned in just to see what Trump would do next. In 2019, viewers have noticed that the Democratic primary debates are far less exciting.
Since becoming president, Trump hasn’t changed this approach too much. In the midst of a back-and-forth between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trump dropped a bomb on the internet by suggesting that the league of progressive congresswomen grabbing headlines all the time should “go back” to the countries from which they have a heritage. The racial tone of the tweet changed the news cycle overnight — and just like that, AOC and her unpopular far-left allies became the face of the Democratic Party. Not long after, Trump’s approval rating rose to an all-time high.
At this point, we really have to ask — is all of this on purpose? Is there a keen political strategy behind all the “trolling” Trump does? The answer may be more complicated than we think, but there’s little doubt that Trump is a master of commanding where the news cycle goes, for better or for worse.
Here’s Michael Knowles and Ben Shapiro discussing what sort of value political behavior like this may have.