Happy Fourth of July (or Independence Day, for my fellow Americans, whichever you prefer)! In addition to celebrating the country’s freedom and all the great things it’s done, today’s the day where we Americans often meme about the humor and oddities of ‘Murrica, so I thought this post appropriate. I have a post on one of our badass Founding Fathers in the pipeline but unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish it in time. So let’s do something more fun and less serious (as well as less time-consuming) instead.
After President Trump’s tweet about Mika and Joe which sent the media into a meltdown last week, he upped the ante even more with one that sent the fake news into a complete and fiery tailspin.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Scott Adams had the best response to the tweet and to the volcanic eruption that followed it.
I feel bad for the half of the country with no sense of humor. They are missing quite a show. https://t.co/Ey1K5dikYD
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) July 2, 2017
So I won’t even go into the hysterics about “violent rhetoric against the media,” especially when the same fake news media has been excusing and in some cases sponsoring leftist violence for months.
Instead, I’ll talk about why Donald Trump tweets. The fake news certainly wants him off Twitter. And you also hear the pundits (who are 99 times out of 100 the same idiots that said Trump couldn’t win) saying over and over again that “Donald Trump’s tweets distract from his agenda.”
OK, but who are his tweets distracting? This is a question that never gets asked, let alone answered.
People can only pay attention to one thing at a time. If you don’t want to take my word for it, how about the most influential social psychologist of the last 30 years, the “godfather of influence,” Robert Cialdini?
In the English language, we are said to “pay” attention, which plainly implies that the process extracts a cost. Research on cognitive functioning shows us the form of the fee: when attention is paid to something, the price is attention lost to something else. Indeed, because the human mind appears able to hold only one thing in conscious awareness at a time, the toll is a momentary loss of focused attention to everything else. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to experience – genuinely experience – two things at once? I know, for example, that if I start looking intently for a highway exit while listening to a CD in my car, I’ll stop hearing the music, and, if I am listening intently to the music, I’ll often miss my exit.
In this regard, my car’s CD player is structured to work like my brain, allowing me but a single track of music at a time. That’s for good reason, as it would be folly to play more than one simultaneously. I’d just hear noise. So it is with human cognition. Even though there are always multiple “tracks” of information available, we consciously select only the one we want to register at that moment. Any other arrangement would leave us overloaded and unable to react to distinct aspects of the mongrelized input.
So, keeping this part of Pre-Suasion in mind, what’s the purpose of Donald Trump and his tweeting?
By tweeting, Donald Trump draws attention. Necessarily, by drawing such attention, the news cycle can’t really focus on anything else.
The fake news is going to shriek hysterics and hyperbole about Donald Trump no matter what he does, tweeting or no tweeting. He could stop tweeting, save kittens from trees, and cure cancer and they’d still find a way to make him the bad guy. Witness the fake news responding to his recent tweet about being happy to lend a helping hand, if possible, with experimental treatment to an otherwise terminally ill British baby.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
So instead of shrieking about deranged Russian conspiracies or how the healthcare bill is going to kill millions of people and do the work of Putin (even though it still sucks), it’s better to have the fake news put themselves at the center of the story and shriek hysterically about a silly meme stemming from Trump’s appearance at WrestleMania 23 ten years ago.
In the meantime, Kate’s Law can pass without rabid mobs hallucinating “racism” everywhere, the healthcare negotiations can continue without as much well-poisoning, the halt on people coming from dangerous countries can go into effect with minimal bitching, etc.
In other words, recently it’s been that the tweets have been distracting the media from Trump’s agenda, not the president himself.
Sure, there have been some backfirings, such as the appointment of Mueller, but even the tweets about Comey eventually led to the revelations in early June that almost entirely collapsed what hope was left among those shrieking “muh Russia” every five seconds before that.
Donald Trump’s tweets don’t just allow him to bypass the fake news media, they distract the latter from his agenda, and most people don’t care about their prattling anyway. His tweets are trolling and often odd, but they’re also funny and will go down in lore as a humorous (or, to some people, dark), relic of Americana.
And if you enjoy Trump’s tweets and want to make the fake news butthurt yourself, read Stumped. It’s all there in chapters 4, 5, and 7.