If you weren’t a Trump supporter 12 months ago, it’s unlikely that recent events in the country have swayed your opinion.
America’s tumultuous election season was peppered with various public figures denouncing the then-candidate, terming him a racist and a homophobe while questioning his ability to lead the nation. Yet here we are in 2017: Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States, and the insults are still flying.
It’s foolish to underestimate the power of social media, but it can only reach its full potential when connected to real-world events. Tweeting at the President of the United States to call him a “moron” accomplishes nothing more than a few likes and retweets; essentially, it’s the politically correct equivalent of disparaging remarks often hurled at Barack and Michelle Obama. But when people with the platform to do so provide tangible methods of resistance, the impact is much stronger.
When DeAndre Harris’ beating in Charlottesville was caught on camera, writer/activist Shaun King converted his Twitter account into a crowdsourced manhunt for the responsible attackers. It didn’t take long for names to attach themselves to the faces, leading to multiple arrests as King’s work provided law enforcement with the only evidence they had thus far.
That’s how social media activism needs to work; as long as it confines itself to the internet, the world won’t see the tangible change people hope for when they hurl their derogatory tweets. If you’re unhappy with Trump’s response to the Las Vegas massacre, firing low-level insults for his description of the shooter won’t convince him or anyone else that we need stricter gun control.
The theoretical line in the sand was drawn a long time ago. It will take more than blanket insults to change anyone’s opinion. Not only do these insults serve little to no purpose, but by now they’ve been worn out to the point where they’re hardly worth more than a brief pause while scrolling through the timeline.
If you still feel compelled to joke about Trump’s ineptitude in the Oval Office, least come up with an original joke.