NB: This post was published in a previous blog and imported into this one. Please forgive any formatting issues.
A great example of how social media has changed politics is taking place in America with the battle over how Obama’s healthcare policies are to be changed under the new administration.
President-elect Donald Trump is setting the stage for a potential clash with his fellow Republicans when it comes to the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Many of his pronouncements in interviews and on Twitter are at odds with long-held Republican orthodoxy on health care.
I’ve written before about how political parties have never being more vulnerable to being hijacked or bypassed by insurgent politicians. The potential conflict between Donald Trump and Republican members of Congress over how Obama care is dealt with, is both an example and extension of this.
As I wrote in the post,
media disintermediation does not just apply to the relationship between politicians and the mainstream media. It also applies to the relationship between politicians and their parties.
When formulating changes to healthcare, Trump seems to be on a different path to his party. He is however, uniquely positioned to get his way, using the same tactics that he used to win the Republican nomination.
Key Concepts: Gatekeeping & Disintermediation
Using social media, Trump can directly speak to those who voted for him (and anyone sympathetic to his views), bypassing not only the mainstream media but also his own party. An interview with a traditional news outlet, such as the one where Trump stated he wants ‘insurance for everybody’ in the Obamacare replacement plan, only serves as an agenda-setting tool.
Subsequent to this, using social media, Trump is able to campaign for his specific plan against all opponents, including those within his own party. He can do this because he is not reliant on the party infrastructure or the media to connect with voters.