Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Way It Is Now: The Rules Really HAVE Changed!

Here we go again.
We're facing yet another uproar about presidential tweets.
Yes, the tweets are unprecedented.
Yes, they can be very hard-hitting.
Yes, they can and do take on a personal tone at times.
But, no -- they aren't particularly surprising and it's long since past time when people (and that includes the liberal mainstream media) should have stopped squawking and crying about them.

President Donald J. Trump is who he is.
People were drawn to him precisely because of what they perceived him to be the real deal -- an authentic person who is exactly who and what he appears to be. If you cut him, he bleeds. If you bash him needlessly, deliberately, relentlessly, he'll bash back.
This is clear now. And for many, it's just fine.
You see, people were tried of plastic, blow-dried candidates and leaders. They were also tired of the chicanery and outright lies that went along with traditional, synthetic politicians. They had enough phoniness from people who pretended to be nice but were often nothing more then back-stabbers.
People wanted a strong, bold change. They wanted someone who was in no way tied to the old power-structure or the old way of doing things. They specifically sought out a direct, real-life, vivid personality in their new leader.

And, get this: Since this is what people sought -- especially the people who are Trump's core constituency -- they don't want him to change. Do you understand this? Do you get it?
They don't want him to change because if he changes, that will signal to them that he's giving in to the entrenched establishment. And they don't want this to happen because the minute he does that they fear he will begin to lose and the establishment will begin to win. You can't show weakness; you can't let them see you sweat.
So, yes -- they want President Trump to continue to be a fighter; they want him to answer his critics promptly and in kind; they want him to punch back; they want him to be unpredictable so that it will keep his opponents off guard. And, they don't mind if he appears to be obnoxious now and then. They're mostly okay with that.

So, this is a new kind of presidency with a different kind of constituency -- a group of loyalists who are drawn as much to Trump's sometimes raw personality as they are to his brash, populist agenda. It's a largely visceral movement for a loud, raucous, in-your-face age. And in many ways, the man and the moment have met.

The consequences of all this are nothing short of revolutionary in that the usual rules (the rules that made the powerful feel so secure and so comfortable) just don't apply anymore. For example, the rule used to be: Don't take on the mass media because you simply can't win in a battle with people who buy ink by the barrel. The rule used to apply because those people always got the last word and, while they would pretend to be fair and objective, they'd eventually cut your throat. But, nobody's buying the "fair and objective" nonsense anymore (partly because Trump blew the media's cover) and the media don't get the last word anymore because there's always more for their detractors to say on social media. Yes, the power has shifted. The Internet is a gargantuan, fully-mobilized equalizer and nobody has mastered its use like President Trump.

So it's time for the Big Babies in the media to stop crying, grow up and face the new realities.
The game is no longer necessarily rigged in their favor because the cards can't be marked, covered or even counted anymore.
If there are any smart, savvy, responsible people left in Big Media, they'd do what the most durable, successful corporations do when faced with such significant shifts -- they'd hone in, buckle up, peel off all extraneous (and destructive) trappings and get back to their core business. That would be a good step in the right direction!

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