The Bigly Narrative
There was once a man who rose to power by ditching political correctness and began blaming immigrants, other races/religions, and corrupt leaders for their economic troubles. He started in smallish beer halls, eventually filling larger venues. When he officially took control in 1933, his Nazi party controlled around 3% of the media (mostly newspapers and radio). Didn’t take long for that to change, because he worked really hard at it. After all, to have full authoritarian control — to go full auto on the free press — you need to control the narrative and the flow of information. So, his regime very efficiently and swiftly delegitimized and forced nearly every media company out. Some high ranking members of his regime started buying up “distressed” media companies. And voila! Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party had the most powerful weapon they could ever have — control over the narrative.
What’s insanely ironic, is that right around this same time 8+ years ago, some long winded neoconservative was inversely applying the Nazi party analogy to warn his friends/family on Facebook of the slippery slope we were apparently on with that new fascist, Muslim President Obama. Ironic because, whether you agreed with his policies or not, he never came close to being an Authoritarian/Fascist dictator, taking over the media to control the narrative. Sure, one can easily argue that the Corporate-run media in our Country is mostly funded by left-leaning cartels who were quite friendly to him. But Obama didn’t set out to leverage them to take away everyone’s guns, or consolidate trust ONLY in the narrative of the Executive Branch. The American media apparatus wasn’t (and still isn’t) motivated by an eventual strategy of ethnic cleansing. Rather, they just want to sell advertising space to their corp pals who make cleansers. And pills to help you poop or calm your anxiety, clothes to make you feel more attractive, and toys for your kids that will be thrown away in a month. The capitalist circle of life that begins and ends with Wall Street.
It would be absurd to simply proclaim that the regime now in control in this Democracy is analogous, in every way, to the Third Reich. Certainly not in every way…just in too many ways (relative to their obvious desire to control the narrative). Just yesterday, Stephen Bannon, Trumps main squeeze, said “the press need to keep their mouths shut.” Yeah, that happened in America. Did I mention it happened — yesterday? Literally, on day ONE, this new president was obsessed with the debate over the size of the crowds at his coronation. He personally summoned the head of the National Park Service to call him. And while standing in a memorial hall at the CIA, continued his obsession with how his momentous occasion was being perceived. Even outright lying and making up the numbers, that in the end, really have nothing to do with a poor working family in Kentucky, and everything to do with his desire to control the narrative. Sure — the American media have lost a tremendous amount of credibility all on their own. The exposure of their collusion with the DNC and the Hillary camp to put a decidedly untrusted corporatist in a decidedly pitchfork populist, anti-establishment race not only validated decades of distrust from the right, but destroyed what little trust the more independent progressives had. Trump understands media and how to perpetuate a narrative, in an almost diabolical way. It’s really all he has. But his timing is impeccable. In the absence of trust in a free press, he can very easily fill that void with HIS narrative. And as history has taught us, he who controls the narrative, controls everything. Just as the Nazis took over distressed media outlets, it would not be a stretch for this new American regime to continue their obvious strategy of crippling existing media empires and build upon their own. Mark my words — at some point, a network that will make Fox News look like Mister Rogers will emerge. And it will be the closest thing to State run media as what we currently see in North Korea.
The cabinet Trump has assembled is the wealthiest and most connected to American plutocracy and the global Oligarchy that the world has ever seen. Read that sentence again. A far cry from the swamp draining that will be a mere gesture, as symbolic as Trump licensing his name to real skyscraper developers. Which is disappointing to me personally, as I tend to agree that Washington D.C. is infested with corrupt neoliberal and neoconservative corporatists on both sides of the aisle. Once drained, it will be paved in Goldman-Sachs gold and filled with the tears of the millions Trump’s new Treasury Secretary sold scam mortgages to then later foreclosed on (it will be mildly chlorinated, so when Trump goes skinny dipping the water won’t turn too orange). Things that, in aggregate, protect consumers and their children, will be rolled back. Some federal regulations are dumb, over-reaching instruments that do more harm than good. But the intended wave of roll backs on USDA regs, EPA regs, CAFE standards, defunding of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), his anti-vaccine stance, rollback of healthcare — all of those things — will eventually kill more Americans on US soil than ISIS or criminal immigrants could ever dream of. That’s not an opinion. That’s just data and the law of averages. Point is, quantitative evidence has no place in the Trump narrative. Another irony here is how much Trump supporters call those of us resisting his presidency “snowflakes.” As if we’re the emotionally irrational ones. Well, TrumpTrain riders and MAGA makers, I got news for you: Trump’s insatiable appetite to control the narrative is 100% driven by YOUR emotions. And I’m not casting some high-minded, limousine liberal, elitist blame on you. I’ve said it before — I get why you’re mad. I read “Hillbilly Elegy” cover-to-cover and filled the margins with copious notes. I get how middle America was left behind. I get why Hillary represented all the distrust and neoliberal corruption. But so many of you are in a much deeper spell than the lefty-ist liberals were with Obama. You’re scaring the rest of us a little bit. Because you’re believing the “alternative facts.” Make you a deal — I read “Hillbilly Elegy” — you go read “1984” by George Orwell. Because things are getting a little dystopian around here and doesn’t seem like you’re seeing it.
There was once a man who rose to power by ditching political correctness and began blaming immigrants, other races/religions, and corrupt leaders for their economic troubles. He started on a hit reality show called The Apprentice. The ratings we’re bigly.