That is the favorite phrase we seem to read whenever the media is about to attack some Republican for some treachery or perceived misdeed. They have been appearing repeatedly in articles when there is a need for a quote of a Republican questioning, disagreeing, criticizing, decrying, denouncing or in some other way disgracing President Trump or those in his administration. Often the article will then point out how President Donald Trump is not a normative Republican or has often contributed to Democrat candidates or some other action which apparently should disqualify him from support by the entirety of the Republican Party. Such articles often then explain that obviously President Trump running for President as a Republican, a false Republican, but a Republican just the same, must be opposed by the Democrats and their final conclusion is always that President Trump must be opposed by everybody because he has forsaken both parties and is a disruptive influence on American politics. What these articles appear to have missed is that the recent political season has been a revolt against politics as usual. The first, and until Trump, the biggest and most obvious sign was the Brexit vote. The European Union was campaigning against any move by the British to leave their ranks and Prime Minister Cameron even went so far as to threaten to resign should the BREXIT vote remove Britain from the European Union. Well, the people were, according to almost every poll, predicted to vote to remain by a small margin and the result was more definitive than predicted but was in favor of leaving. The British are taking a long and winding approach to leaving presumably in order to allow time for reconsideration which is not likely coming. The good news is that Cameron did resign as threatened, or promised depending on your viewpoint, and the British have a Prime Minister who presumably has their confidence as she is in favor of withdrawing from the European Union even if slowly. Then there were rumors of the European right wing parties gaining strength, especially the nationalist parties, and that it was expected that the German elections would replace Chancellor Angela Merkel who was likely to lose and then that French President François Hollande announced he would not seek reelection. Donald Trump winning as President of the United States was just the crowning exclamation point on the dearth of the liberal west which just a few years earlier with the reelection of President Obama was looking as if they would rule for the foreseeable future.
Then the media was all over the prediction by Senator Chuck Schumer, the great spokesperson of the Democrat left, where he prognosticated the divorce between the Republican Party, or at least those Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and President Trump. His claim was that in four months there would be a splitting between true Republicans and Trump because of his ignoring protocols and not giving them adequate measure in his appointments and his populace stances which they cannot agree with and would rub roughly making them chafe and itch so badly that they would have to disassociate from Trump to remain pure. You have to understand that the media will quote anybody claiming that Donald Trump is making enemies anywhere and with anyone, any group, any political faction or any people holding purist views. They seek anger from any quarter and will attack any crack with crowbars of skepticism trying desperately to turn the slightest crack into a chasm if there is even the remotest of possibilities it will alienate Trump from voters. You see, Donald Trump must be brought low for he is a scoundrel who has bested the media in the game of words. They are used to having all the words coming from them and that their words win in the end and that there be no way around their words. Then there came Trump and the Twitterverse where Tweets are louder than all that the media’s words can carry. His reaching the public directly and telling them exactly what he means and what they should believe about him in 140 characters or less. The media cannot fight Donald Trump even in the Twitterverse because they have never mastered brevity as their trade is wordiness and Trump has mastered cutting to the chase and directly to the chase. The media attacks with lengthy diatribes and Trump replies with 140 characters or less and they have no answer for these tweets. The people get the essence of Trump and the media is powerless to dilute his wisdom, his tweets.
Politics has changed and Trump along with the Internet has changed it and never again will campaigns be won by cumbersome political machines and large campaigns. Brevity has become the new watchword and that 140 characters or less limit is the initial cause with short attention spans being the final touch. Campaigns will be held just as much on YouTube as every in person appearance can also be shared with the world in real time and then returned to be viewed again and again. Donald Trump has taken politics out of the hands of the political machines and eventually this revolution could bring down the large political parties. This was the idea of a candidate back during the 2000 elections whose campaign literature and all was on the Web, the Internet, where his supporters had hoped it might catch and go viral, a phrase not even born at that time, or in its infancy. This campaign did benefit from these postings as it gained the campaign the support of a group which was already Internet savvy, the gun rights groups which found his pro-gun stance to their liking and came out solidly behind him. Unfortunately that proved not to quite be sufficient in a rather liberal area but it did give hope that perhaps there would be a future where the Internet would trump, pardon the pun, the regular media and the rest of the structured political monopolies. That day has arrived and this genie will not be put back in its box. This new paradigm scares the likes of Senator McCain, Senator Schumer, the media and the leadership of both parties. Their regular power structure has been toppled by a campaign which utilized the media as their public awareness source having the media carry their water and do their advertising for them while straightening any wrongful reporting or damaging news reports and editorials by going directly to their base online and stating that their positions and responses to accusations and rumors would be made on Twitter, YouTube or their web address. People got used to seeking information refuting news stories, or at least clarifying them, by following Donald Trump on Twitter or finding his actual campaign appearances recorded on YouTube or, as a last resort, going to his web site to find answers.
Where will the media go without political campaigns every four years depending on them carrying their water when there is a firehose called Twitter and a garden hose for a slower and more detailed watering of the public on YouTube and other locations on the Internet? That is a good question and with the way they are currently acting, that question becomes all the more pressing. The torrents of “Fake News” stories are not doing the media any favors. When the people now trust the President more than the media covering him and the President remains trending on Twitter, then this will only trend worse and worse for the media. With every story told about President Trump which he denies and then gives his version in one, two, three or so 140 characters Tweets basically asking, “Who are you going to believe, Donald Trump or the lying media?” Unfortunately for the media the majority of the citizenry, according to a poll, believe Donald Trump over the White House Press Corps, which kind of answers the previous question. The media, if it knows what is good for them and their future, should start speaking straightly and honestly even if the news is not to their liking. With every story which results in the media being shown to have told another set of lies, their credibility sinks lower and further from any ability for redemption. When people have direct access to the seats of power, the actual leaders and their real statements, the media faces a real problem. They no longer filter the information the people receive as the leaders and politicians and the people have direct access to the real stories in the words with which they were spoken. They have little actual choice but to give the truth or face obsolescence as they spiral into irrelevance. Imagine a world with no New York Times, no Wall Street Journal, no Washington Post, no CNN, no Fox News and the remainders of the mainstream media have collapsed into a pool of lies of their own making. In some way it is really a shame that it had to be Donald Trump who brought about this change and gave the media their comeuppance. But then it was always going to take somebody famous, flamboyant and somewhat irregular to bring about such change, so, in a way it needed to be somebody exactly like Donald Trump.
We have to face it that there are very few people in this world anything like Donald Trump. He brags like few others. Where he may not be as wealthy as he claims, he sure can play the part even if he has his doubters. He has the brashness to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Now he is deconstructing the myth of the inviolate media whose words are as pure unvarnished truth as he proves they are more often than not painted tapestries telling fanciful tales and yarns of myth and magic. He has challenged the evening anchors to a war of words and abbreviations and proving that his 140 characters or less are greater than their hour of comic coverage. This will be a battle of the ages and it will be amusing to witness. There is one warning we would like to impart to President Donald Trump. Whatever you do remember that it was the people who made you and should you believe too highly in yourself, they will remind you that you are very little without them and that the last thing they will accept from you is anything short of the truth. Do not for a moment believe that you are smarter or more wise than the people as their collective wisdom and ability to smell a yarn is far greater than any single person’s ability to get away with misleading them or concealing the truth from them. The people will always find out the liar in the end and they will more oft than not do it before the liar gets out of town. Tell them the truth and they will forgive the mistake and even the slightest of misconceptions, but lie and they will roast you like you can never know. Recovery from their anger is impossible and once deceived they will not be won back to your side for they are a mean mistress whose scorn will destroy the strongest of leaders. Keep the people at your side and nothing can stand against you, not even political parties because all political power arises from the people, or at least that is the theory. Trust the people if you ever hope for them to trust you. And if you could, be nicer to the media, please. OK, just kidding.
Beyond the Cusp