Class Warfare Blog

February 13, 2017

… Missing the Point … Still

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have been viewing (John Oliver!) and reading (Andrew Sullivan and several others) recently about President Trump’s lies and lack of connection with reality. All seem puzzled, shocked, agog. I suggest that we shouldn’t be puzzled and that we are missing the point … still.

Yes, it is important that national policy shouldn’t be built upon lies, so lies do have to be countered, but how that can be done effectively is a problem.

There is no mystery where Mr. Trump’s strategy regarding “The Truth™” comes from. It comes from Fox News. Fox (sic) News rode a strategy of “lie and when called out on it double down” to riches and The Donald™ pays attention to wealth creating strategies, even if he isn’t particularly good at following them. BTW, he is not just making these things up. He seems to be plucking them out of the “alternative media” which his supporters are also doing, strengthening the connection he has with them, confirming what they are told by the likes of Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh.

If we spend all of our time debunking Trump’s lies, we are giving him what he wants (Hint: attention) and not paying attention to what counts even more, which is what is going on behind the scenes.

For example, do you remember the issue in North Carolina in which Duke Energy was poorly maintaining coal waste “ponds” (they became ponds because they didn’t properly control water entering and leaving their waste dumps) and that very toxic waste was flowing into North Carolina streams and rivers … to the point that whole communities couldn’t drink or bathe in municipal water? Do you remember that? Do you also remember the Obama administration severely limiting the dumping of coal waste into streams?

If you do, did you notice that Congress just killed that regulation, so that it is now back to what it was before (perfectly okay for a bit of runoff to poison local watersheds)? This puts North Carolinian lives at stake, so I consider this important. And I do not remember a promise to poison North Carolinians being prominent in the campaign, so I suspect this action has to do with money and political favors.

Donald Trump is the gesturing hand the magician uses to distract you from what his other hand is doing. I recommend you reduce what you read and say about Mr. Trump to only official actions taken by The Current Administration. Do not … do not forward any of his Tweets. Do not quote him. Do not mention his name. For example, when “he” claimed that the murder rate is higher than it has ever been, just mention off hand that the per capita crime rate has been falling for centuries and the current murder rate is similar to that of the 1960’s and half what it was in the 1980s. (Real information has its “ups and downs” but the crime trend line is downward, ever downward.) When referring to actions taken, refer to the actual actor: Congress, The Current Administration, etc. Even if the President signs a bill, he does not author them, maneuver them through Congress, etc.

Pay attention to the waving hand and you will miss what is important.

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8 Comments »

  1. Your point is well-made and I agree with most of it. However, we (your blog readers) are but a small minority (no offense intended related to your audience size), whereas the (fake) news will continue to focus on tRump’s antics and it’s quite apparent they have much more influence than any of us. Suggested solution?

    Comment by Nan — February 13, 2017 @ 11:43 am | Reply

    • To quote Arlo Guthrie, “blah, blah, blah, if three people do it, well then it is a movement.” A rock thrown in a pond has ripples that run in every direction. Talk up the idea. Share it with friends. Send links, etc.

      It seems that the politically active groups I am “linked” to only see these actions as an opportunity to raise funds. I understand their difficulties but a little fucking leadership would help.

      On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 11:43 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  2. I disagree with your solution, Steve. Very strongly disagree.

    The time to ignore Trump was when he announced he was running and all the ludicrous lies he spouted supposedly to gain more free advertising. .The mass media fell all over themselves for this tactic and boosted the man’s street cred to say what many people thought.

    But once he obtained office, the opposite is necessary; every distortion and lie he spouts must vigorously and comprehensively shown to be untrue. This requires hard work and tenacity but – eventually – people will begin to realize just how dangerous it is to entrust confidence in beliefs that do not comport with or respect reality.

    What Trump is doing is using his faith in certain issues to impose his views on reality by public policy using public money and implemented through public political power of his office. Using faith-based beliefs to ‘inform’ one’s opinion is a guaranteed method to not only fool one’s self but to amplify problems being addressed with the wrong solutions… solutions that very often address a fictional problem based on an individual’s faith that the problem is real, that the issue is understood. This foolishness needs exposure… constant and unrelenting exposure so that those who share Trump’s alternate reality beliefs can be held equivalently accountable for not caring enough about what really is true but caring far too much about what they believe is true. This disconnect between what is believed to be true and what is true has to be experienced to be an effective teaching tool. And that’s what Trump is going to impose on all of us whether we ignore him or not. And this is why we need to be able to link delusional thinking founded on faith-based beliefs to have very real effects with very real harm imposed on very real people.

    Staying silent on the cause of this disconnect – in this case, Trump’s belief that his beliefs are true – serves only those who continue to think that faith-based beliefs are equivalent in truth value to what’s true in reality – to evidence-adduced beliefs derived from reality and then tested by it for accuracy. The great breakthrough – like in psychiatric treatment for delusional thinking – occurs when the patient decides to empower reality to arbitrate the beliefs the patient has about it and pay attention to the results. Without that constant and unrelenting testing neither the patient nor Trump will ever have cause to question the method being employed to the dysfunction caused by it.

    Comment by tildeb — February 13, 2017 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

    • I am not saying “stay silent” I am saying while you complain/campaign/whatever you direct your ire at the real actors: Congress, presidential aides, kingmakers, etc. Respond to every little lie out of Trump’s mouth is a full time job … for a fricking army. And it reinforces Trump’s standing in his community as a truth teller.

      Fior example, with regard to the Repubs eliminating the environmental regulation that Duke Energy not dump heavy-metal laced col toxins in North Carolina streams, I would direct my complaint as “Congress Wants Duke Energy to Go Back to Poisoning NC Waterways!” Bring the issues, not the personalities, home to those who are affected. If we spend all of our time on who had the more correct estimate of the crowds at the inauguration, we will be missing the stuff that really affects people deeply.

      I do not recommend being quiet. Shout to the treetops, just make sure it is directed at the correct person. (Trump is not bright enough or interested enough to come up with these ideas on his own. This is why he watches cable news all of the time … so he can tell people what he thinks, well not that they are his thoughts, but good enough. If he were detached from TVs for a week, he wouldn’t have an idea in his head. He doesn’t read. He can’t sit still for an hour to be briefed. John Oliver is actually putting fake commercials on morning TV (with real facts inserted) so that Trump might actually learn something.

      On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 12:46 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  3. From what I understand, the regulation you’re talking about has only been affected just months ago, which is why Congress has been able to repeal it (they can, apparently, repeal any regulation finalized within 60 business days.)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/03/the-obscure-law-allowing-congress-to-undo-obama-regulations-on-guns-and-coal-in-a-matter-of-days/
    So, basically, if the EPA under Obama’s administration didn’t spend 7.5 years sitting on their hands on this regulation (they say they “worked on this”, but 7.5 years? This isn’t a space program, you know), this regulation would have been much harder to repeal.

    Comment by List of X — February 13, 2017 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

    • Yep. I will not paint the previous administration as “good,” merely corrupt. This one is corrupt and ignorant and dangerous.

      On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

      • But this is why I can’t muster the outrage at the Republicans in this instance. The EPA was in no rush to do its job, and it allowed the Republicans to do what we all knew they would try to do at the first chance they got.

        Comment by List of X — February 13, 2017 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

        • I am not in a political outrage. The fact that the Repubs had an easy mechanism to do this is one thing. The fact that they are casually putting North Carolinians at risk for a dodgy energy company (which buys and sells politicians) is the key point. It is also good leverage, politically. It is a big gap between “GOP Cuts Government Regulation” to “GOP Okays Deadly Pollutants in NC Waterways”

          On Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:16 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 13, 2017 @ 1:21 pm | Reply


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