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 Do not quote him.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.