How to Understand Trump in the Media: A Primer

For those who are trying to make sense of the current Trump political scandal (of which there will be literally thousands more over the next several years), please note the following:

I keep telling people to stop trying to make sense of what Trump says or does on TV and start paying attention to what happens _after_ he says something or does something on TV. There’s a reason he doesn’t make sense. It’s not because he’s crazy or dumb, it’s actually because he’s highly intelligent. The behavior he exhibits in the media is a carefully crafted media strategy. His media presence is designed to mislead and frustrate you so you don’t know what he’s really up to. This strategy is there to ensure that you will devote your attention to trying to solve a superficial logic problem at the expense of learning what’s going on behind the scenes. Think Oz the Great and Powerful behind the curtain. It’s the big flashy show he wants you to focus on, not the substance. This is a classic manipulation tactic and it works, even on people who think they are too smart to be fooled. Well, if he can fool the RNC, the CIA, Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, the major media networks, the Washington Post, and even his own contractor staff, he sure as hell can fool you.

Look at the evidence as well as the people who are working for him in terms of what their agendas are. Trump is a master manipulator who is playing the whole country, and the country is losing because it is trying in vain to fight him using the wrong playbook. As the old saying goes, you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. But most people aren’t even using a knife. They’re trying to go up against a nuke with some notebook paper. It doesn’t work.

Con artists rely on deception and distraction to achieve their aims. Start paying attention to the results of the antics and you have a way around it. Look for patterns in the results. The media antics are usually timed around other more important world events as a means to divert attention away from them. (Like the release of “#goldenshowers smack dab in the middle of Obama’s farewell speech. That was not an accident.)

Think of your worst, two-timing ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and/or the worst schoolyard bully of your childhood. How did they exert control over you and others? Probably by saying one thing and doing another, and then blaming you for not understanding what they were really up to. These same types hoard resources (in Trump’s case, media coverage) and then use divvying up access to those resources as a means to control people. Bullies are both large and small, but the psychology they use is universal.

This kind of power stays in place using a very simple method — — you remain controlled simply because you want to know _why_ they act this way. The reason why is ego — -bullies are trapped by it.

The way to deflate these actors is simply to not feed their ego by paying attention to their antics, but instead by walking away, and quietly building an organized, rational alliance against them. It eventually works, but it takes a long time. It also requires you to spend a great deal of time and discipline learning not to engage with them directly. That’s the hard part and where most people fail.

Patience, evidence, and reason. That is the key.

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