Trump hopes for the Hollywood ending

trump-press-conferenceHollywood tells all kind of stories. One of the staples of the “Hollywood ending” is when the main character delivers a speech that changes the course of events of the tale. It’s the Aesop’s Fables morality moment where we all come to the same collective understanding that whatever had been happening up to that point was wrong. At the conclusion of the speech, nearly everyone has their road-to-Damascus conversion, admitting the error of their ways and vowing to make a change for the better.

Those moments make for some of the best stories, because we want to believe if the characters in the story can make a change for the best, we all can. Unfortunately, for many, art does not reflect reality.

trump-quote-on-mediaDuring his first press conference since the inauguration, Donald Trump verbally castigated the vast majority of the national press corps and the mainstream media for their creation of fake news. He called them out, right to their faces, vacillating between charismatic humor and stern scolding. He told them how disappointed he and fellow Americans are with their tone and willful obfuscation of the truth. He acknowledged that he will make mistakes and would expect the reporting to be bad; conversely, he said when he does something well, he would expect the media to report something good. Instead, as he noted, the press will take something good and make it sound bad and then take something bad and make it sound worse. He called that fake news.

Then, in a surprising moment of both sincerity and clarity, President Trump stated, “I want to see an honest press. I started off today by saying it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. The public doesn’t believe you people any more.” Had this been a Hollywood movie, the violins would have swelled and we would have been shown a montage of faces all coming to the realization they have been wrong. They would have turned to each other with reflective expressions, before standing and applauding the president for reminding them of who they are. What would follow, after a slow fade, would be a voice-over from one or more reporters, reading from their latest pieces, apologizing to their readers/listeners/viewers for abdicating their duties as dispassionate reporters of facts. They would beg for forgiveness, hoping to convey their sincere change of heart over how they had lost their way.

Sadly, this isn’t a Hollywood movie. The reporters, who would likely gush over a similar scene on the silver screen, were completely oblivious to the message. The hurt feelings and bruised egos were on display across the dial following the press conference. All they cared about was playing out the infantile schoolyard game of, “Oh, yeah, well I think you’re a big, stupid, poo-poo head!”

Am not. Are too!

Beyond the content discussed in President Trumps presser, what he told the media about their role and responsibility was a bulls-eye. The Founding Fathers understood the need to have a free and unfettered press to keep government honest. They toiled for months to craft the Constitution, built on the concept of three separate but co-equal branches of government. These three estates — Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches — were designed to have a specific set of checks and balances to ensure no branch could overrule the other.

But, in face of major concerns from several states about the need for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties, James Madison went to work on drafting the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, as they are now known, lists specific prohibitions on governmental power, with the first protecting, among others, the freedom of the press. Many misinterpret this to mean, the press must publish whatever someone wants heard. This is absurd. There is no “right” to be heard. What the amendment secures is the protection of the press to be free from harm or imprisonment for saying/printing material that might be unfavorable to the government. None of the amendments are there to give people privileges; they are there to declare unalienable rights, which cannot be infringed upon by any part of the government.

As it relates to the press, the framers of our Constitution recognized, even with checks and balances in place, politicians could collude together to avoid following those enumerated rules for how our government should function. By granting the press immunity from government prosecution, they created, in effect, a fourth estate, which exists outside of government. They reasoned, when politicians might be tempted to act outside of the bounds of the Constitution, the press would shed light on those actions and the American public would be informed. Knowing the press is free from government persecution, the members of each branch of government would feel the weight of the all-seeing-eye of providence pressing down on them, helping to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Unfortunately, we have been witness to the slow erosion of the line separating the press and government. It’s become more important to curry favor and keep getting the invites to the social events, rather than being objective with the facts. News is no longer reported. It’s crafted. It’s honed. Impressions can be made by leaving certain facts out while embellishing others. The purveyors of news have, for the most part, become mouthpieces for the sides they like. When members of the press choose the party they like over the party they do not, it is impossible to expect an objective reporting of facts. For all intents and purposes, the majority of the national press corps and the mainstream media has morphed into a propaganda wing for “their” side — the majority of which leans Left.

There is nothing wrong with writing opinion pieces, but that is not the role of the press. I do not classify myself as a “reporter” or a “journalist.” I am not just giving a chronology of events as they occurred. I do look at the facts, then I filter them through knowledge and experience. Once I have had a chance to digest the context, I provide my own thoughts and ideas, tempered with logic and reason, on the news of the day. Like a skilled debater, I am trying to convince my audience, through explanation and illustration, that my point-of-view is solid and above reproach.

This is the problem with the mainstream media. Too many have become covert op-ed writers, not interested in just laying out facts, but instead, creating a narrative, disguised as news, meant to sway the audience. The moment a journalist moves in that direction, they have willfully abdicated their role as reporters of the truth.

It’s not too late to hope for the Hollywood ending. But, as long as the press corps believes their role is to shape the news rather than report on it, they will continue to be manipulated into defending their egos when their machinations are revealed. The more the press loses their mind over the actions of Donald Trump, the less the public will believe anything they have to say.

President Trump challenged them to provide the truth to the American public. If it were a movie, that’s all it would take.

Will protest fatigue begin to show?

funny-rally-signs-21

It’s just now coming up on 13 days; not yet two full weeks since the inauguration. I believe there have been protests, rallies and protest-rallies each and every day, with no sign of slowing. There is a subset of our country that seems to have decided it’s better (easier?) to stop going to work, ignore responsibilities to house and home and become a career protester.

Hey, hey, ho, ho…so and so has got to go!

What do we want? <blank> When do we want it? Now.

I am writing this specifically for my friends on the Left. I’m worried about you. There is a problem when you continuously dilute your agenda by deciding everything must be protested. You could eventually succumb to the psychological condition known as compassion fatigue. As defined, compassion fatigue is a condition identified by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among individuals who deal with heightened emotions. From soldiers in combat, to first-responders, to doctors in emergency rooms and more, when exposed to intense situations over and over, eventually, as a way to cope, you will begin to stop caring. Similar to the boy-who-cried-wolf scenario, at some point, no one will care about what you have to say.

In addition to the gradual loss of apathy for the interest or cause, there are other problems that may manifest themselves. Some side effects of compassion fatigue include feelings of hopelessness, losing the ability to experience joy, a loss of a sense of humor, constant stress and anxiety, sleeplessness and a shift toward negativity.

unhappyprotesterSome say the voices of the regressive-Left are already experiencing these symptoms today. Many have already lost their sense of humor. Everything is mind-numbingly serious. There are those intent on looking for micro-aggressions everywhere, while demanding safe-spaces in which to hide. Some see misogyny, bigotry and xenophobia all around. Even last night on the campus of Berkeley, riots broke out because the tolerant voices of the Left would not tolerate to have Milo Yiannopoulos as a guest speaker. Why? Because he is not lock-step in line with the groupthink of the Left. The constant genuflections within the church of political correctness is leading toward a mass psychosis.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you felt joy? Hopefulness? When was the last time you felt positive about yourself? Your community? Your country? The knee-jerk reaction to decide anyone wearing the jersey of the “other” team must be opposed, shouted down, protested, fought and oppressed is a prescription for eventual self-destruction rather than victory.

Let’s pull back and I’ll try to explain this in a different way. We’ve all had relationships go bad. Whether dumped or divorced, we all know what it feels like to be emotionally hurt by someone we loved. However, over time, most will put that chapter behind us and move on to new adventures. That’s the healthy path. But, occasionally, the bitterness of the breakup will drive some to obsess over their ex, wondering nonstop who they are with or what they are doing? They complain incessantly about what they’ve learned, their words dripping with revulsion and anger. It becomes uncomfortable when they are out in groups. They cannot allow themselves to be happy because of their obsession over the one who hurt them and, by way of extension, like the Dementors of Harry Potter, can suck the joy out of everyone else in the room.

Let me ask you, in that situation, who is actually hurting? Who is really suffering? Is the ex somehow affected by the vitriol of their former love? Or is it the one who cannot figure out how to look for some semblance of acceptance and peace?

This is what’s happening to a segment of the population since the election of Donald Trump. Many are acting like the jilted lover and now that they have been left behind, they are focusing their hurt and anger on the one they believe scorned them. They are trolling nonstop, looking to criticize every word, phrase or action, regardless of facts, logic or reason. They prefer to make themselves feel better by hurting others, while spreading lies, misinformation and partisan rhetoric.

You cannot remove darkness with more darkness. You cannot remove anger by getting angrier. Said another way, by the great civil right’s leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It’s not easy to do, but, as with most things, it has to begin with you. No one else can do it for you.

This is not to say you must roll over and accept everything. On the contrary, the framers of our Constitution were keen to protect the right of citizens to gather and speak openly. However, if you have set yourself up that when the President says the sky is blue, you cross your arms, stamp your feet and shake your head, are you really accomplishing anything? To willfully disagree with everything means you are no longer protesting — you are throwing a tantrum. And, as most toddlers learn, throwing a tantrum uses a lot of energy and rarely achieves anything other than dreary fatigue. It is more productive and healthier to learn to pick your battles and pay heed to the old adage, you are likely to attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Is it really about 5 million illegal votes cast?

mustshowidtovote

Well, now he’s done it!

First spokesperson Sean Spicer brought up a comment in a White House presser about a concern over voter fraud and the press corps jumped on it. At one point, Spicer revealed that President Trump felt it could have been 3 million illegal votes cast in the last Presidential election. Then it turned into 5 million. All of a sudden, the press pushed him to provide evidence and asked if the President was going to launch an investigation. He stammered and shuffled his feet and said something to the effect that there were more pressing issues for the President to face in his first days in office.

An incredulous press pushed, stating that if there were millions of illegal votes cast, it would be one of the biggest stories in the nation’s history. Though the mainstream media is never short on hyperbole, they did have a point and Sean Spicer could only reiterate that President Trump was focused on other things.

trumptweetonvoterfraudWell…we didn’t even go 24 hours before a tweet was issued from President Donald Trump. He tweeted out that he would be asking for a major investigation into voter fraud, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those trumptweetonvoterfraud2registered to vote who
are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures. (I put that last in italics for my own emphasis and to draw your attention to it. Keep those words in the back of your mind for a moment.)

Enter the next news cycle with talking heads and news media outlets jumping into the discussion, almost all in a negative way. Local news outlets in my state of Georgia ran it as a lead story, having interviewed the Secretary of State and others who assured citizens that incidents of any allegations of voter fraud are so minuscule, they barely warrant a mention. We were assured that the handful of incidents reported were all taken seriously and found to be, with the exception of 5 or 6 cases, non-existent.

It’s all much ado about nothing! So why would Trump be saying something so stupid?

Because Donald Trump does not seem to do anything on a whim — or if he does, he has an amazing, unconscious ability to pick the word, phrase or action that contains far more depth and meaning than what appears on the surface. Listening to each news cycle tout that the state of Georgia has almost no voter fraud made me realize, this was President Trump’s point. Why? Because the state of Georgia has one of the toughest voter photo ID laws in the country. It has been challenged and every time, those arguments are shot down by the supreme court.

But, Georgia is one of only 16 states that require a photo ID to cast a ballot. An additional 15 states accept non-photo ID, but there is a lot of discussion over how valid that option really is in preventing fraud. 38% of states, or the remaining 19, require no ID whatsoever, including the huge population (and electoral) centers of California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania — all of them democrat since Ronald Regan until Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016.  And the 19 states (plus D.C.) that do not require any form of voter identification at all accounts for 228 electoral votes. That puts you just 42 electoral votes shy of what is needed to win the presidency.

voteridsbystate

There are only 8 states with strict photo ID laws, followed by 8 states with non-strict photo ID laws to create the 16 states who look for a picture ID. There are 3 states that are considered to have strict non-photo voter ID laws. The remaining 12 states have non-strict, non-photo ID laws.

The message is clear. Whether or not there is wide-spread (in the millions) of illegal votes being cast in the country is secondary to the agenda I believe Donald Trump is trying to pursue — strict photo ID laws in all 50 states. All it will take is for a statistically significant number of irregularities to present themselves, especially in the no ID required states as compared to the strict photo ID states, and that’s all it will take to tip the balance.

So, keep running the headlines in Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana and Vermont about how insignificant the instance of voter fraud is. Thanks to Jill Stein’s attempts at forcing a recount, we already know there were some serious irregularities in many of the voting precincts in Wayne County, Michigan. Before the recount was halted, 37% of those precincts tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books. Who knows what the final numbers would have been if the recount had been allowed to continue? And Michigan is one of the non-strict photo ID law states. Imagine what may lurk in the 19 states with absolutely no voter ID requirements whatsoever?

Will we find 3-5 million illegal votes? Who knows? But, if there is enough of a discrepancy in those states with weak to no voter ID laws, well, as President Trump tweeted, there will be a push to strengthen up voting procedures.

He may have the mainstream media fixed on the wild allegation thrown out by both Sean Spicer and him, but there is something bigger at play than a number. Maybe we should all be paying a little more attention to what he continues to reveal in his tweets. He seems to be keeping his word on a lot of what he’s been saying over the last 18 months.

 

Shared from fellow blogger, Aussieconservative

Before being elected, Donald Trump made a point of his capacity to work extremely long hours, and has previously stated he only requires 2-4 hours of sleep per night. This unshakable passion for life, appears to have influenced the Trump Presidency, with the new President already delivering on key campaign promises, signing off on 3 key executive orders. […]

via Donald Trump off to a good start — aussieconservativeblog

First there was Twitter and then came Spicer

spicer-and-trumpWhen I wrote a few weeks back that I believe then President-elect Trump was intentionally using Twitter to take up all of the oxygen in the 24 hour news cycle, I had no idea others would also jump on that same thought-train. Even after pointing out this strategy, I knew the mainstream media and opponents to President Trump would not take it to heart. They are so programmed to attack and flood social media with the latest controversial hashtag, they cannot help themselves. Like the tweet a Time’s reporter in the White House press pool falsely put out, stating that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. The fire storm over that #fakenews tweet ran rampant for hours before the truth came to light — the reporter was wrong. The bust had never been moved, but the narrative in the minds of so many in the mainstream media is that Trump is a racist, so it made sense to them he would do something so insensitive. Even though forced to apologize, the damage was already done. That lie lived up to the old saying about making it halfway around the world before the truth got its pants on.

The media and forces opposed to Donald Trump live in a constant heightened state, waiting to pounce on the slightest piece of negativity with which to run. Instead of following even the most basic rules of journalistic ethics, to question sources, vet information and look for corroborating details, they want to be first to hit the airwaves and the internet. And if you don’t think Donald Trump doesn’t know this, you are a bigger fool than you think he is.

So, I have no problem at all pointing out that his strategy of using Twitter to put out tweets designed to tweak the media is only the beginning. Enter White House spokesperson, Sean Spicer. Prior to taking office, Trump only had the power of social media. Now he’s got the bully pulpit as well and he’s not afraid to use it.

In the very first press conference, while the media began foaming at the mouth with the phrase, “alternative facts” and a discussion over numbers watching/attending the inauguration, President Trump went to work, signing an executive order to begin reducing the burden Obamacare has been putting on families. In the two following pressers, Sean Spicer scolded the media for their #fakenews tweet about the MLK bust and then, introduced the idea that millions of illegals may have voted in the election. While the media has been going rabid, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, imposed a federal hiring freeze and reinstated the “Mexico City policy” on defunding international abortion-related services. He also signed orders to fast-track the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Add to these orders the confirmation of some of Trump’s cabinet members, including Marine General James Mattis (who spent his first day authorizing 31 bombings on ISIS positions) and new CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Expected to make it through are just about every other nominee, thanks to rules the Democrats, under the leadership of Harry Reid, put in place during the prior administration.

While we all sit back and roll our eyes or get angry at the posts on social media regarding #illegalvoting, there just isn’t enough air left to cover anything else of substance taking place. This is not the fault of anything other than a complicit media more interested in a sexy “gotcha” sound bite instead of doing their jobs. President Trump is aware of this, and as long as they let him, he will continue to use both Twitter and Spicer to keep the media chasing his laser pointer light like a herd of cats.