Trump on plane Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

De duistere kunst van de tweet van Donald Trump

CAMBRIDGE – De critici van president Donald Trump hebben consequent zijn politieke communicatieve vaardigheden onderschat, misschien omdat hij zo anders is dan voorgangers als Franklin D. Roosevelt en Ronald Reagan. Zowel FDR als Reagan stonden immers bekend als great communicators.

Hoewel grote delen van de Amerikaanse bevolking hen haatten, richtten FDR en Reagan zich tot het Amerikaanse volk als geheel en probeerden ze het centrum aan te spreken. Trump heeft vooral de minderheid aangesproken die hem heeft gekozen. Zijn inaugurele toespraak klonk als een campagnetoespraak; en na zijn aantreden heeft een reeks onware beweringen en provocatieve executive orderszijn geloofwaardigheid bij het centrum ondermijnd maar bij zijn basis juist versterkt.

De communicatieve vaardigheden van Trump werden getraind in de wereld van de reality-tv, waar buitenissige en provocatieve uitspraken het publiek onderhouden en de kijkcijfers omhoog krikken. Hij heeft die aanpak gebruikt tijdens de Republikeinse voorverkiezingen, om de aandacht op zich te vestigen in een drukbezet veld met zeventien kandidaten. Volgens één schatting ontving Trump het equivalent van $2 mrd aan gratis televisiereclame, waarmee hij de $100 mln aan betaalde reclame van zijn Republikeinse rivaal Jeb Bush ruimschoots overtrof.

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