Get the Story Moving

4 mins read
Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

A few days ago, I said it wasn’t a coincidence that Trump tweeted “liberate!” and then a few hours later, “liberate” protests appeared.

Turns out that the protests were staged and financed by the same folks that made up the Charlottesville crowd. The problem for Trump was that the ploy didn’t work. Trump lost a lot of support in Michigan and elsewhere.

Notice the last line: “So there’s a big push to get a new story moving.”

In other words, “Well, that didn’t work. Let’s try something else.”

It’s cynical. It’s manipulative. It’s the Trump administration.

The other part that’s pure Trump is that the protests were staged. Fake. Not real. Manufactured. Brought to you from the “fake” successful businessman who governs by bringing you new spectacle each day.

I tweeted this:

We can’t stop the Firehose of Outrageousness, but we can put on raincoats so that the tactics don’t work, and it all rolls off.

Raincoats keep us from feeding the Outrage Cycle and wearing ourselves out. We stay focused on getting absentee ballots.

When we’re spinning with outrage we are more likely to give up and conclude that “it’s no use.” Professor Snyder explains it as a way of looking at time: Outrage keeps us in the present and causes us to lose sight of the fact that there IS a future.

Then, exactly 12 hours later, right on schedule, Trump tweeted this:

There it was. We knew it was coming. Calculated to excite his base and enrage his critics.

Someone worried that his next attempt to distract would involve the military, but a military operation isn’t Trump’s style. He’s a coward. Wars cause property damage and that terrifies him.The last thing he wants is to get into a war with another country and have someone attack his properties. He also doesn’t want a bomb falling anywhere near him.

Consider what keeping a story like this in the news will do for him:

  • He accomplishes something he wants to do: Close the borders
  • It will fire up his base
  • It will annoy his critics
  • It isn’t a real crisis. It’s entirely manufactured, so he won’t have to worry that it will get out of hand
  • There’s no actual danger to him.
  • The tweet makes no logical sense. (Who is the “invisible enemy”? The virus?) The tweet will make perfect sense to admirers of Alex Jones. Everyone else will spend hours explaining the 10 things wrong with the idea.
  • We will be talking about this and not his abysmal handling of Covid-19

Over the past few weeks, he’s been losing support. This appears calculated to build it back up.

He’d much rather have the national conversation be about this.

Precisely. Trump is a little confused. He’s thinking “America is FIRST so people want to come.” But we’re first in deaths and first in an incompetent government unable to contain a virus.

We should protect immigrants! Send them to a country with competent leadership!

[View as a Twitter thread]

Originally posted at Musing About Law, Books, and Politics.
Re-posted with permission.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Teri has written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. She is currently working on a book on disinformation to be published by Macmillan Publishers. Her political commentary has appeared on the NBC Think Blog and Her articles and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Slate Magazine, and Scope Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. For twelve years she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings. She believes with the ACLU that when the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. She also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies. Teri lives with her family on the beautiful central coast in California.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

The Forward Five – Tuesday, 4/21/20

Next Story

Indivisible FL-13 Weekly Email Newsletter April 20, 2020

Latest from Op-Ed

%d bloggers like this: