Or Was It?
So Donald Trump lost it yet again and said something horrible, and the media jumped all over him. But the strange thing is that what Trump said is correct. The alt-right and white supremacists are far past being complete idiots and a long way towards what most decent people would call evil. But the opposition who showed up that night in Virginia came armed, armoured and ready for battle. It takes two to cause a fight, and they had every intention of doing just that. The fact that someone on their side was the one that got killed is immaterial. They helped cause a fight in which she was killed. Ergo, they hold their share of the responsibility for her death. A similar confrontation happened in Vancouver this weekend, and there were about three arrests, period. Which is how it should go down. But in some constituencies there is too much hatred on both sides and too much dependence on violence to solve problems.
This fact has been driven home more recently, with video splashed all over the Internet of a self-righteous leftist mob pulling down another Confederate statue and kicking it once it was down. How mature and peaceful.
But that’s not the main point. Many times over the centuries people have said the wrong thing and defended themselves because it was factually true. The bullies know this, and play on it all the time.
The fact is, there are things the President of the United States should not say, no matter how true they are. If he had any brains he would realize that his remarks will be taken out of context and interpreted as support for the groups who caused the trouble. Which they were; note the thank-you tweets posted immediately by the alt-right leaders.
But did Trump know his words would be interpreted that way? Of course.
- Trump wants to be jumped on by the media. It fits with his image as the rebel against the establishment
- Trump loves to be in conflict with the media. He is a reality TV scriptwriter, and he needs a new conflict for this week’s show to keep his ratings up. He is a reality TV star, who needs the boost from what he does on the show to keep the audience focused away from his real-life problems. In his case, the hash he is making of running the White House and, by extension, the country.
- Trump knows many of his fans tend towards the views of the supremacists and the alt-right. He is firming up his support.
- Note his defence, that George Washington was a slave owner. This fits right in with Trumps contention that all the powers that be are corrupt, (see? All the way back to the beginning!) and he is the only one who can save America from their grasp.
Did It Work?
Well, the moment Trump turned his back on last week’s spat, his fellow-bad-actor Kim Jong-un saw his share of global media attention slipping away and changed his tune in order to bring his ratings back up. Trump talks big and Kim backs down. An international win.
The media gave Trump another huge chunk of free airtime. A financial win.
If you watch Trump in a media briefing, he loves every minute, because he is in control. He can take what questions he wants and shut down whoever he wants, because his attention is what they really want, and he can walk out whenever he wants, and he really doesn’t care what they think of him. So he had all sorts of fun. A personal win.
And finally, he was able, once again, to bolster his reputation worldwide as a loose cannon that no one can control. The most satisfying win of all.
So, much as I hate to admit it, Trump managed that whole situation to his own advantage, and all the little puppets played their roles to perfection. You have to admire a master strategist at his work. He thumbs his nose at the liberal media, and they jump to do his bidding.
And there is a lesson all the ‘good’ people need to take away from this. One of the skills of bullies is to outrage their victims and tempt them into attacking first. Then, having once again proved that the world is a violent place and their own violence is thus a legitimate reaction, they shout, “He started it!” and wade in.
If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. If you allow yourself to be sucked into the battle, you are no better than the goons. The high road is the only one to take, no matter how difficult.
Leftist politicians must realize that they are dealing with frightened, angry people, and those people are in that state because of the unilateral actions of liberal politicians, forcing through liberal reforms faster than a large segment of the population are ready for.
Let’s stop following the opposition’s game plan and play to our own strengths. We need a whole lot less, “I won the election, now I can do what I want,” and a whole lot more de-escalation, empathy, and education. After all, isn’t that what bleeding-heart liberals are supposed to be good at?
Photo credit CNN 2017-08-12 <http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/us/charlottesville-white-nationalists-rally/index.html>