The outlines of Trump’s online propaganda operation become clearer by the day. Sometimes the Insult Comedian will lose his shit and tweet without thinking. Other times, he will use his favorite social media platform as a way to distract attention from his latest scandal or terrible personnel choices. Along with the Hamilton tirade, the flag burning tweet falls into the latter category:
Trump wanted people to stop talking about the lease of his Washington DC hotel, the NYT article about the inevitable conflicts of interest caused by his empire, and the appointment of wingnut Congressman Tom Price to head HHS. I may start calling the department Health and Inhuman Services now that Price has been nominated. He not only favors repealing the ACA, he’s a rabid frothing at the mouth Medicare privatizer. I don’t recall the TP ticket running to phase out Medicare. Their elderly supporters are in for a rude awakening. It’s not exactly unexpected: Trump is the rudest man in America, after all.
If Trump’s plan was to change the subject from health care policy-an important but somewhat dry topic-to flag burning, it worked. It’s much easier to discuss threats against flag burners than to delve into the details of Medicare. It’s also the nature of the twitter beast: instant analysis of superficial topics is the bread and butter of the Tweeter Tube.
I am not advocating that we stop paying attention to Trump’s twitter addiction, far from it. Instead, I believe that we should take a deep breath and think our responses through. Not everything requires a response within 3 minutes. We can take up to 20 or 30 whole minutes, which will let us prioritize the effluvia tweeted out in the middle of the night from Trump Tower. Here’s one rule of thumb: if Trump tweets something irrelevant out-of-the-blue, there’s a good chance it’s a distraction. That’s the flag burning tweet in a wingnut shell.
Twitter is the perfect medium for the Insult Comedian. It’s full of ignoramuses with short attention spans who personalize, and feel obliged to comment on, everything. Sound familiar?Twitter is Trump to a T. Any time Trump feels unloved or persecuted, a tweet storm ensues. Some have said that his people should call twitter’s people and pull the plug on the mad tweeter. I prefer to know what my enemy is up to. I just think we need to try harder to discern what is important and what is a diversion. Both the twitteratti and the MSM have failed miserably at that so far. It’s what happens when you’re a conclusion jumper. I hate them almost as much as close talkers, y’all.
We’re navigating uncharted, shark infested waters. The electoral college winner is a mentally unstable showman with a short attention span. Twitter will play a depressingly important role in how this fake populist deals with the populace.
Michael F came up with the I Claudius style featured image for a post called If Caligula Means Little Boots as opposed to, say, little hands. The term “bread and circuses” was coined by the delinquent Roman wag Juvenal during the reign of Augustus; the man who finished off the Roman Republic. Unlike Trump, Augustus was a competent, intelligent man. The Insult Comedian is more reminiscent of that imperial pussy grabber, Tiberius who tried and failed to fill his stepfather’s strappy sandals. But Tiberius *was* able to provide bread and circuses for the masses. All the Insult Comedian/Sideshow Barker is likely to provide is tweets and circuses.
The next time anyone falls for one of Trump’s diversions, you could do worse than ponder the following question posed by Pete Townshend, Why Did I Fall For That?
Repeat after me: tweets and circuses. Why did I fall for that?