“Modern Day Presidential:" Donald Trump and American Politics in the Age of Twitter


  • Devan Bissonette Walden University


Twitter, President Trump, social media, American politics, journalism


The increasing power of social media over American news and politics is difficult to ignore thanks to the visibility of President Trump’s tweets both on online and traditional media. This paper seeks to better understand the strategy behind Donald Trump’s use of Twitter both as a candidate and during his first year as president. Through a careful study of his tweets and their ability to take advantage of the specific user makeup on Twitter and the choice of mainstream media to often echo his tweets in their coverage, a consistent strategy emerges based on a combination of traditional advertising practice and radicalist discourse that continues to reshape the American political landscape today.

Author Biography

Devan Bissonette, Walden University

Dr. Devan Bissonette received his doctorate in 20th Century American Media History from Binghamton University in 2009. Previously he earned a Masters in Telecommunications from Michigan State University as well as a Bachelor’s in Political Science. His most recent publication, “The Promise and Perils of Asynchronous Learning: How Faculty, Students, and Administrators can Collaboratively Increase Retention and Satisfaction in the Online Classroom,” appeared in the Journal of Pedagogic Development in Fall 2017. Devan’s current research interests include the study of digital news narratives and the consequences of virtual discourse on the public. He has been teaching fully online since 2009, primarily in history, humanities, and film studies.


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Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017c, January 30). If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there! [Tweet\. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/826060143825666051

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017d, February 1). Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/826774668245946368

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017j, February 4). The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/827867311054974976

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Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017l, February 5). Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/828342202174668800

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017e, June 5). People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/871674214356484096

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Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017f, June 13). Well, as predicted, the 9th Circuit did it again - Ruled against the TRAVEL BAN at such a dangerous time in the history of our country. S.C. [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/874578159676665857

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Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2018a, January 16). We must have Security at our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER, and we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/953264081871495168

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