Mind Trick

Controlling the narrative1

I would never accuse Donald Trump of being a smart man.  He’s petulant, impulsive, lacking in foresight and self awareness, and has the temperament of a toddler.  And while I would never accuse him of understanding people on a grand level, he does know how to make people talk about the things he wants them to talk about.  Controlling the narrative is a very real skill that Donald Trump possesses.  It’s not entirely the media’s fault that they tend to get played by Trump.  I mean, the man is the President, what he says is by all accounts the “News”, but the media seems ready and willing to continue running in whatever direction Trump points, and Trump is well aware of that.  In what has been a catastrophic week of domestic terrorism that Trump and the GOP can credibly be accused of helping incite, it was in Trump’s best interest to get people to talk about something else in the week running up to the midterm elections, and by openly threatening use Presidential powers to attempt to illegally threaten to quash the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship, he effectively changed the conversation. It’s like the Jedi Mind Trick, except gross and sad.

Call For Unity

appeal to civility1

So, Wednesday was a pretty scary example of what can happen when partisanship overwhelms discourse.  So what we know is that philanthropist (and provably NOT Nazi sympathizer) George Soros had a bomb delivered to him on Monday.  The Secret Service intercepted and reported bombs also being sent to the Clintons and the Obamas on Wednesday.  On the same day, CNN offices were evacuated because they received a bomb package and an envelope with “white powder.”  Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris and Andrew Cuomo may have also been targeted, but at this point not confirmed. Now, there is so much we don’t know.  We don’t know who the senders were, what their connection to one another is, assuming there is one.  What I feel we can assume at this point was that this was a concerted effort to silence, terrorize or harm people who are democrats or seen as democrat sympathizers (CNN is after all the media that Trump has branded “the Enemy of the people”).  And because this has been seen as an attack on the left, the presumption by many is that this was perpetrated by Republican or Trump supporters.  Whether that’s true remains to be seen, but it’s noteworthy that members of the GOP are being quick to call for civility and reasonable discourse in the wake of this event.  The is that they can distance themselves from this idea that they helped create an atmosphere where their supporters may have felt comfortable doing this kind of thing. The easy and obvious example of this is Ted Cruz, who last night, was rabble rousing his rally crowd by suggesting he’d lock up Hillary Clinton and Beto O’Rourke together.  Hours later, he is telling people that we all need to get along, and that he respects people across the isle even though he may disagree with them.  Which…I mean that’s crap.  And while Ted Cruz is one of the easier people to mock in this regard, he’s by no means the only Republican who are now walking back troubling rhetoric that demonizes the left so blatantly.  Partisanship has run amok in the worst way, and I’m afraid this might only be the start of something more malevolent.