Normally, I want to keep this blog politics free but recently an issue concerning political influence and free speech has popped up.
Take the example of Trump’s tweets and specifically those on companies be they drug companies or auto manufacturers. Drug companies are being accused of “getting away with murder” due to their high prices and auto manufacturers like Ford under the tweeting ire of the donald for being “anti-american” in having plants in mexico.
Some have suggested the President should not have a Twitter account at all but wouldn’t that be a restriction on an individual’s free speech? After all, he didn’t start the account officially as POTUS. But will the @real Donald Trump please stand up.Perhaps a solution would be to have 2 accounts. One for his office and one personal. But, how does one separate the person from the office? Given the influence of being the most powerful person in the world and his history of grandstanding shouldn’t we be inured to his rants on Twitter?
Looking at the effect he had had on share prices of companies perhaps we are not so jaded…yet. There is a great deal of uncertainty about his administration and a single tweet from him carries much more weight than a sentence of his from a traditional press briefing. What he says in a press release is important in aggregate but in this day and age of sound bits it is far easier to go with a tweet that came from him personally.
As a former President said “the business of America is business” so perhaps we should echo Calvin Coolidge’s enthusiasm when trying to determine if freedom to unduly affect the fortunes of companies should be exercised by Trump particularily if we isolate those tweets as personal and therefore not be subject to constraints of the highest office. Also, thanks to his posts, one could see the opportunity in for example buying shares of an otherwise sound pharceutical he bashed. Nothing is forever and opportunuties are often created around these sorts of scenarios.