Thursday, November 30, 2017

Making sense of the tweets

Trump tweets to show he is a fighter.   He picks his enemies.  He hates what his team hates.


Sometimes the little things make the big things understandable.  It isn't about true or false.  It is about tribal loyalty.

Amid the big news happening in the world--a North Korean rocket test which strongly suggests they could bomb any city in the world at will, plus a tax plan that eliminates the inheritance tax and reduces corporate income taxes--there were tweets.

There was the big tweet distraction.  The tweets that got most notice were Trump's re-tweets of some videos of Muslim violence.  They were mischaracterized by the British right winger who published them and Trump re-published them. The White House justified the re-tweets, saying that although they were described inaccurately, they show Americans are justified in being fearful of Muslims.

Trump: "Unsolved mystery."
The big message is simple: Trump doesn't like Muslims and neither do a lot of Americans.

Then there was the little tweet distraction, the one that confirms that what this is really about is tribal loyalty.  Trump celebrated once more about the resignation of Matt Lauer from the Today Show, then added that NBC should fire Joe Scarborough and brought up a conspiracy rumor from two decades ago, implying that then-congressman Scarborough was complicit in the murder of a staff person.

This is so strange and from out of nowhere.  The accusation caught the mainstream media and even the Hollywood tabloids by surprise.  It was bizarre.  It gives insight into Trump's methods, rather in the way that a "Freudian slip" offers insight into a person's true thinking.


Trump fights to win.

Trump's rejects the constraints of the rules of honesty, consistency, decorum. The premise he communicates is that the system is rigged, therefore he need not play by dishonest rules. He is a fighter who will lie, cheat, finagle, or use any mean at his disposal to win for his team.  His team wants him to win.  The fact that he risks criticism and embarrassment with the outside world--the enemies--is what they like about him.  

He will do anything. That isn't bad.  Its good.  Say Joe Scarborough is a murderer?  Why not?  He is the enemy.

Donald Trump demonstrates he is standing by his friends and attacks enemies, in this case the morning competition to Fox and Friends early mornings on the Fox network.  Fox viewers are constantly reminded that they are the good guys, under assault by the full weight of anti Christian, anti-American, elitist, fake news enemies.  Joe and Mika are the competition.

Trump is sending up signals of tribal loyalty. The fact that Trump will lie and look silly on their behalf is why they like him.

1 comment:

  1. One of the most humorous uses of understatement I can recall is:

    "He [Trump] will do anything. ... Say Joe Scarborough is a murderer? Why not? He is the enemy."

    Lines like that keep me glued to your blog.

    ReplyDelete

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