Monday, October 16, 2017

Tomorrow's News

Let me write tomorrow’s news for you:

President Donald Trump will send off some really offensive tweet or comment, which is demeaning to the office of the presidency and is an embarrassment to America.

Meanwhile, things of actual historical importance will happen, many of which would torque off the people upset at Trump’s tweets, if they had only been paying attention.

I don’t know if Trump planned this as a strategy. But I’ll bet he’s noticed that it sorta works.

I rejoice whenever I see liberals distracted by Trump's continuing, unchanging, publicity flaws, because I know they are wasting their energy drumming up outrage.  Many of them likely do it because their media jobs or fund-raising efforts depend on constant outrage, but it's a long-term loser.

I despair whenever I see non-Trumpster conservatives get distracted by these things. I get it that they believe they have to demonstrate their a) we-have-standards-dammit cred (as if repetition will ever convince those who aren't listening) or b) this-isn't-real-conservatism cred. You're right, it isn't, but it's got some overlap, it's what you've got, and you are wasting an opportunity by posing.  Many Trump supporters are indeed being unreasonable and insulting, basically acting like the worst of liberals in their brittleness, humorlessness, and intellectual laziness. I read the same comments sections you do. Yes, they refuse to read NRO because some of those writers dare to criticise Trump, and some of them don't even like him and say so! Quelle horreur! They are like that. And no, I don't think they can be rationally dissuaded from that position, no more than SJW's.

So what.

How are we going to get from Point A to Point B?  Ask yourself that every time your fingers touch a keyboard.


RichardJohnson said...

Trump won the endorsement of newspapers that had about 3% of circulation. That is unprecedented. That tells us that Trump supporters haven't been listening to the media for quite some time. Which is why it is no surprise the latest trumpet of Trump outrage does nothing more than preach to the already converted progressives.

A recent example of some Trump supporters "basically acting like the worst of liberals" comes from Whittier College, Richard Nixon's alma mater.Trump supporters shout down liberal speakers. As there are a lot more left-wing than right-wing speakers on college campuses, there are ample targets for such behavior. Will such Trumpista misbehavior prompt college administrators to finally crack down on all who disrupt speeches? Or will we instead see a Weimar-like collapse, which had street-fighting between brown-shirts and red-shirts?

james said...

With a stage magician, you try to watch the hands, not listen to the patter.

I'm not saying Trump is managing misdirection, but some of what's happening suggests that he actually does listen to advice sometimes.

Sam L. said...

Trump's tweets are his flash-bang grenades to distract and focus attention elsewhere while he gets stuff done.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ james. Good analogy

GraniteDad said...

I get the point, but I’m not convinced that there’s a waste in pushing back and calling out when he does bad things. I’m not sure that’s quite what you’re saying, but I guess I just worry that we all end up keeping our mouth shut in order to get a few things that we like. The Benedict Option seems better every day.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I think the risk of America keeping its mouth shut about Trump is small.

Christopher B said...

I don't think Trump is having any more good days or bad days than any other President, nor is he doing any more (or fewer) bad or good things.

Christopher B said...

Related though - it's been seventeen years since we had turnover to a Presidential administration that the MSM reported on critically. I think we've all but forgotten what that looks like, plus we're dealing with the addition of the social media echo chamber since then. Remember the missing W's? The arsenic standards rollback? It was pretty much the outrage of the week until 9-11.

GraniteDad said...

Christopher B, I think that's a fair take. I also wonder if it feels worse because of the rise of social media. I never watched much news or read the newspaper. But now I can see the latest crisis ready to hand in my apps.

It also doesn't help that Trump keeps sending incendiary tweets out. When it was Bush or Obama misspeaking at an event, I'd think "Well I'd make those same mistakes if I was out there talking in front of crowds all the time" and cut him some slack. When Trump sends a dumb tweet, I think "Even I'm smart enough not to do that." So the frustration builds there.

I know there's a school of thought that Trump's playing master chess with these tweets in order to accomplish real change while people are distracted, but it sure doesn't look that way to me. But I guess we'll have to see what things look like in 2020 to have a better grasp.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I don't think it's 3-D chess. I think it's trial-and-error, and even at that it's largely only semi-conscious. But he's not stupid, even if he's buffoonish. Trial and error is the basic strategy of mankind. It has been known to work, given time. And in terms of regulation rollback and judicial nominations, he is likely better than any of the respectable Republicans would have been.

He is taking a very different foreign policy line than has been used by any president since... I don't even know. Teddy Roosevelt? Jackson? I fear every night that he has guessed wrong and his instinct is the worst possible guide. But I don't actually know that, and everyone else's plans haven't worked that well either, have they?

Jonathan said...

It's trial and error and he is a fast learner. Also, and despite his obvious temperamental flaws, he seems to be a competent executive who appoints high-quality people and doesn't micromanage. He is a breath of fresh air as compared to recent presidents, particularly Obama. That the media are constantly flogging hostile contrived stories about him probably helps him with his supporters.

I don't particularly like Oprah because she seems to be a soft-left control freak who doesn't handle disagreement well, but I've been wondering if she might actually be a decent president. She has obvious executive talent and couldn't help but be better than recent Democratic candidates.

Christopher B said...

Jonathan .. good point about who Trump has selected for his administration. I certainly wish he would handle them better but he hasn't been afraid to pick people with records of accomplishment. Very much unlike Obama who pretty clearly wanted to ensure he'd feel like the smartest guy in the room.