Candidate Donald Trump was fun to watch, but President-Elect Trump may be even more interesting. A friend that studies communications agrees: in about 10 years, we’ll talk about the near-constant media “elevator shot” and how Trump revolutionized presidential communications with social media.
But for now, the political and pundit classes are still confused, unable to break out of their cycle of hysterics and insults. Meanwhile, Trump continues to change American politics.
Trump’s seemingly off-the-cuff and thoughtless tweets are no small part of this fascinating display of political skill. With 140 characters or fewer, Trump plants seeds of thought necessary to restore republican government.
Trump’s Tweets Keep Opponents Off-Balance
The most obvious tactical gain afforded by Trump’s tweets is that he keeps his political opponents off-balance.
Hampered by bias and pride, politicians and pundits foment another tired cycle of dismay with every passing comment. As others have pointed out, they are hysterical. They are neither willing or able to consider whether they may have been wrong about Trump. The talking heads assume every new comment from Trump is just a hateful, thoughtless tantrum by a man with tiny hands and a pea brain.
What is more, Trump’s comments are like nails on a chalkboard—they screech against the previously dominant political speech codes. The media used to control the message. Now, they do not. Trump’s words drive the media insane because he says them on Twitter, and because his words are so foreign to their liberal sensibilities.
Trump Maintains Control of the Fight
One might understand this best in terms of John Boyd’s famous OODA Loop. Used by military tacticians, the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act loop describes the cycle in which opponents operate during a fight. Whoever can cycle more quickly gains the initiative and controls the fight. Whoever cycles more slowly remains off-balance, constantly having to re-observe and re-orient to circumstances dictated by the enemy.
The media cycles more slowly. Trump retains initiative by constantly feeding their hysteria and confusion with a steady diet of controversial tweets. Each new tweet grabs their attention and they restart the process. Like clockwork, every 24 to 48 hours, just as the hysteria is winding down, Trump releases a new comment to spool the media back up. And all the while Trump is moving on.
With their heads spinning, Trump’s opponents cannot see what they themselves are doing. The media cannot avoid talking about Trump all of the time, and each tweet drives a wedge between them and the American people.
Trump Tweets What Many Americans Think
Instead of considering Trump’s words and sentiment, pundits and politicians delight in what they see as his stupidity and rashness. They heap scorn on his foolish ideas. As others at the Federalist have argued, the media cannot hide its “condescension and unnecessary bias.” The problem for them? Trump’s ideas are shared by millions, if not most, of Americans.
For instance, when Trump remarked that millions of people likely voted illegally in the election, the media scolded him. They said his comments “had no basis in reality” and were “baseless,” as if people care about proof in a tweet.
Shockingly, “fact-checking” Trump’s claim failed to uncover the clip of President Obamaappearing to assure illegal immigrants that they are safe to vote because ICE would not be able to find them if they did. Desperate to protect the Democratic voting bloc and tactics, the left has determined that everyone should agree there is no need for voter ID laws. But 4 out of 5 people disagree, indicating that people actually think it is too easy to vote illegally. Whether or not there is hard evidence that people voted illegally in this election, Trump’s comments are not unreasonable to most Americans.
In another instance, Trump said people should not be able to burn the flag without facing consequences. The pundits were shocked and the political class almost called for revolution. In this case they recognized what most Americans agree, but still could not help but scorn on the idea. They said it was nothing but a bone thrown to Trump’s racist, stupid base.
Obama drags us into a war without the consent of congress or the senate and he gets a Peace Prize But the peace prize was also given tow infamous terrorists Yasir(Thats my Baby)Arafat and Nelson Mandela and their both down there with Castro,Hitler,Stalin and Mao and they cant wait to get Robert Mugabe down there as well
If you consider constantly generating mindless distractions that divert the public’s attention away from matters of genuine importance to be brilliant, then I suppose it’s a brilliant strategy.
It’s also the classic strategy of a street hustler’s shell game.
I wonder how long it will take people to notice he’s been given devil horns? We should probably brace ourselves for the Twitter response.
(Just kidding, of course. They’re probably meant to be fox ears.)
@Greg: His tweets are only mindless to those who never read his book and those who have no ability to reason. Guess that includes you.
Of coarse Trump’s attacks on the media is brilliant. The first rule of thumb for any tyrant is to stifle, distort, and blame the media. Twitter has been a useful avenue for him.
But Trump isn’t your usual tyrant. Unless he utilizes some type of vetting or has some think tank keep him on a Twitter leash (as worked successful during the last days of his campaign), his undisciplined thin skin and vindictive bulling nature as well as profound dishonesty on every level will ultimately be his downfall.
@Ajay42302: Actually if you were more literate, you would have read his book and understand the misdirection and strategies he uses.