Let’s practice minimizing the Trump infection
First, here’s what you need to do:
That’s the word from brain scientist George Lakoff.
Here’s why I’m joining in and I hope you will, too.
Did you know the president is about to step up his attack the free press using all the authority the American people have invested in his office?
If you didn’t, it’s because you may missed the significance of the “Awards” ceremony he’s plotting to attack the First Amendment (while he should be trying to keep the government open). Don’t feel bad. It probably just seemed like another distraction because your brain sees right through Trump bullshit into the unchecked power he craves.
The liberal brain is so sure that Trump’s antics are obvious and worthless that we think mocking his inanity deflates it. This is the exact thinking that made this man president.
Let’s try something new.
Think of the loser of the 2016 popular vote like chickenpox.
“People help chickenpox do its dirty work by scratching their itchy blisters, sneezing, or coughing, which spreads infected fluid to others,” the CDC warns.
Scratching feels so good, but we need to understand what we’re facing. America has a bad case of chickenpox and by scratching it, we may be spreading it.
The guy who is currently pretending to be president is a “super salesman, and has been for most of his life,” argue George Lakoff and Gil Durán.
He’s good at selling people shit they don’t need — like Donald Trump.
We can’t let our fear of complimenting this monster get in the way of recognizing that “Tweeter-in-chief” has a few unique talents like inheriting stuff, shamelessness and distraction.
Among those talents, distraction is his greatest advantage because our brains are uniquely susceptible to it. If you don’t think he’s good at distracting people, check out how many people still have Covfefe in their Twitter profiles or have adopted some play on “Stable Genius.” Or just watch the reaction to his next tweet. Or compare his ability to create stir around demanding a birth certificate we’ve already seen compared to our inability to get him to follow through on his essential promise to release his tax returns.
You don’t have to believe Trump knows what he wants to focus on next, to accept that he has a remarkable ability to get us talking about whatever he wants us to think about right now.
And by failing to recognize how we unwittingly abet him, we’re preparing to make the same mistakes all over again.
Think of this Wednesday as practice for the mental mode we need to adopt for the 2018 and 2020 elections. We can’t become preoccupied with swatting the flies on this guy’s bullshit and think we’re persuading anyone.
This a key battle because the left needs to stand up for the truth because it’s the key bulwark against the slide to tyranny.
Reporters are guardians of freedom. Their job is to pursue the truth. We may disagree with them sometimes. We may wish some of them would do a better job. But the press is a pillar of a free society. Democracy falls without it.
That’s why authoritarian leaders always attack the press. They seek to deny and distract from the truth, and this requires undermining those who tell it. Corrupt regimes always seek to replace truth with lies that increase and preserve their power. The Digital Age makes this easier than ever.
And by doing the right thing, we’re training for 2018 — the election that will establish key electoral maps for the next decade. We need to spend the next 10 months finding ways to make sure our messages are not drowned out by Trump’s desperate distractions.
Even Republican see that the sweet tea leaves are looking good for Democrats in November. But we need to remember what happened the last we underestimated the powers of a slimy salesman waging war on the truth.
The future of our democracy depends on it. So no pressure or anything.