Stick to the Story

Trump has been a master of diversion. It is how he avoided losing the nomination and the electoral college in the face of numerous statements that would have eliminated greater men. As President, he is using the same device by tweeting or raising a new distraction whenever he seems to be losing ground.

In contrast,while Trump reacts to every (imagined or real) slight, he does tend to stay on message when it comes to his opponents — fitting every possible misstep into whatever theme (usually a single word) he has selected for that person.

We see this almost every day and we (and particularly the media) take the bait and react to his latest lie, conflict, mistake and drop our focus on what came before. The latest example is his lie about Sweden. It is obvious that he misheard a piece on FoxNews and talked about what happened “last night” in his listing of countries that had suffered major terrorist events. Remembering that he is our President and privy to briefings that would scare the rest of us. Thus, Sweden became concerned. Rather than acknowledging his mistake, several hours later the best he could come up with was admitting he had seen a piece on Fox News which, of course, had nothing to do with anything about “last night” other than airing then. This all was the gist of the news cycle for about a day — and then on to the next piece of news without continuing focus on the waste of time and energy that Trump’s mistake has caused — similar to the waste from the inept executive order on immigration.

We should be computing the cost of these obvious mistakes as we tabulate the costs we are bearing for the selfishness of this billionaire charging tax payers to protect his family, which chooses, at our expense, not to live together; that flies separately, at our expense, for his golf outings every weekend, etc, etc. And, we all get mad about each of these.

Instead of getting excited about each of these oh so numerous transgressions, the loyal opposition needs to concentrate on a narrative or two — and always fit any new statements or actions into these few themes. I vote for these two: he and his administration are inept (the apprentice President); and he cares more about his fortune and his fellow billionaires than he does about the country, and, particularly, the middle class. These two themes consolidate most of the things he has done or said.

Whatever he does or say next, my hope is that his opponents will always connect it to a broader theme because, as Trump has shown us, in this day and age the narrative is what controls how we feel and vote, not the latest morsel of news which his supporters immediately fit into their story line about a strong business man not afraid to speak his mind and fire people. Trump, so far, loses on the facts just about every day, but keeps winning because he has been telling the story about himself and his opponents.