First off, let me just say that I'm not bashing any of the presidents I will mention below. Nor am I anti-Republican (or pro- for that matter). As a "foreigner", I have no skin in this game and I do not seek to judge my US cousins or their elected leaders. So with that disclaimer in place...
I was thinking about the exploitation of new forms of media by presidential candidates in the US and the resulting victories by unusual candidates. The three examples I have in mind are Calvin Coolidge (Radio), Ronald Reagan (Television) and Donald Trump (Social Media). I know that (especially for TV) they weren't the first to make use of the medium but they were the first to really focus messaging pretty much their entire campaign through it. I couldn't find a useful example for the impact of combining telegram and newspapers on the elections of the day.
Anyway, a few questions sprung to mind.
- Is it coincidence that all three are Republicans? Or are Republicans just naturally in a better place to seize on new media (note the lower case)?
- Is it coincidence that all three of the examples I give have been highly unorthodox presidents? By which I mean not just the style of governing (too early to assess Trump, anyway) but also by background.
- Is the US political machinery (Senate, Congress, civil service) still robust enough to deal with this unorthodoxy?