Does Trump Deserve To Be “Given A Chance”?
Michael Tracey

I think some context is missing. Who is the essay addressed to? E.g. Democrats in the Senate are clearly giving Trump a chance by approving his appointees, as you point out.

Is the target the media? Here, I’m not sure what to say, since I don’t really pay attention to mainstream media. I skim the headlines and it’s all a trainwreck, but that’s been the norm throughout the course of this election. I don’t see a big change in coverage from the campaign to now. Lots of focus on trivialities such as “offensive” violations of norms, and not much focus on things people view as important. If the media is your target, it would help to explain this more clearly. To me, it seems the media has become a lot more like Twitter, but this is the culmination of a long term secular trend with economic drivers that are not strictly political in nature. The election itself may have been a watershed event, in the sense that outrage-journalism conquered access-journalism, but it has been in the making for a while now, and is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s a permanent change.

Is the target the public as a whole? People in the rest of the country are, in my opinion, waiting to see what will happen. A minority is nervous about losing their health care. A minority is triumphant. Trump is disliked by a majority, but life goes on pretty much as before.

If the essay is addressed to social media, well, Obama wasn’t treated too kindly there in 2009 either. Lots of talk about birth certificates, Islamofascists, stealing guns, etc. Moreover, social media is where people express outrage and vent. It would be a unfair to ask the left to stop posting attack memes and expressing outrage on social media. This is the only way to be heard, and to connect with like minded people. If you are in a big physical crowd, you have to shout to be heard. Asking people in a crowd to be quiet is to be blind to the context. If you are in an information crowd, then you need to be outrageous. Or very funny, which takes talent. Simple balanced statements of “Let’s wait and see” are not going to get retweets. Now when people spend so much of their lives online, and some event happens that causes them to want more connection, they will amp up the vocal outrage. The logic of the medium demands it.

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