Will former President Trump’s second impeachment continue to divide the country?
On the eve of the historic second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, the hashtag #SaveAmerica began to develop, even though it is unlikely to result in a conviction. It is just the latest example of how divided the country remains after the controversial elections in 2020.
The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln), the American political action committee founded in late 2019 by former and current “Never Trump” Republicans, was among the groups promoting the hashtag on Monday, calling on GOP lawmakers to engage and condemn the former president who started the uprising that led to the rupture of the Capitol building on January 6th. The tweet included images of the riot as well as the damage that was done to the building.
The sentiment was quickly shared by the Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition), who retweeted the post.
Many on social media responded calling on the Senate to condemn former President Trump. At least some users on social media called up the LincolnProject for a quick judgment. Among those was @ JTodd_Ps143, who tweeted, “What kind of court will rule the verdict before the trial begins? Listen to the evidence and vote to represent the American people. #SaveAmerica”
Save the debate
What’s especially notable about former President Trump’s second impeachment – aside from being the first president to be charged twice – is that the volume on social media has increased so much, largely due to the Lincoln Project , but can also be traced back to liberal groups.
“I think it’s important to be aware of the barriers between online communication and audiences,” said Pund-IT technology analyst Charles King.
“These exist to a certain extent in other media and media. However, they can be played more effectively online than, for example, on television or radio, where central gatekeepers dictate who or what news is presented.”
The problem, however, is that the hashtag #SaveAmercia doesn’t get straight to the point of the message – unlike #ConvictTrump, which never actually tended to trend in the same way.
“In the case of #SaveAmerica, the hashtag that could attract people who may not be familiar with the Lincoln Project and who are indifferent or even hostile to the intentions of the group,” added King. “Many of these people will likely turn away when they see what the group is up to, but others may be intrigued enough to stay here and learn more. That’s how dialogues begin.”
Additionally, you could see #SaveAmerica trying to be less biased. It is not so much “anti-Trump” as it could be viewed as “pro-America”, but it is still unlikely to close a divide.
“On one level, #SaveAmerica is a riff over similar online efforts in the past, such as the KeepAmericaGreat.com domain, which was bought to remove supporters of re-election of the former president,” said King. “But it’s also a more subtle game aimed at anyone concerned about the state and future of the United States. You could say that #SaveAmerica is just another example of the online echo chamber, but I would argue that the Lincoln Project hopes it can add voices to its choir. “