This isn’t normal – even for Populist bigots

A reminder from Jonathan Bernstein

❝ More often than not, I write about Donald Trump as if he were a normal president. It effectively explains why Trump has been such a weak president, as well as it shows the dangers of that weakness. However, he is not at all a normal president, and it’s worth stopping and pointing it out at the start of a new year.

❝ Trump remains an autocrat in style, and most likely — by his own account — in deeds, if he were able to do what he liked…U.S. presidents up to this point have, whatever their temptations or even their actions, attested to the democratic values embedded in the Constitution and the practices of the republic. Trump rarely does that…

It’s also a significant problem how, and how often, Trump strays from the truth. Trump doesn’t lie like a politician; he lies like the proverbial used-car dealer…Trump…simply makes up his own facts. Constantly. Blatantly. He did it from Day 1, where he insisted despite all evidence that the crowd for his inauguration was larger than that of Barack Obama. And he’s gone on from there.

Decent, literate, editorial view. Something the average Trump chump won’t comprehend in the least.

“Cut the damned strings!”

❝ …According to a graphic, created by retired UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and linguistics George Lakoff, which outlines four ways that the president uses his tweets to control the news cycle. First up? What Lakoff calls “preemptive framing”: getting your version of the story out first. Next is good old-fashioned diversion–changing the topic by, for instance, calling Meryl Streep overrated. Then there’s deflection, best described by Trump’s continued derision of the New York Times and CNN as “fake news,” particularly when either news organization reports anything negative about him. And the last way is the “trial balloon,” which Trump deployed spectacularly this week.

❝ Lakoff writes on Twitter, “Each tweet gets his message retweeted so he dominates social media. Reporters, social media influencers, and many others fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Every time…They may think they’re negating or undermining him, but that’s not how human brains work. As a cognitive scientist, I can tell you: Repeating his messages only helps him.”…

And maybe don’t retweet him. “Think of Trump as a puppeteer, his tweets as the strings, and anyone who retweets/shares him as the puppet,” he writes. “Cut the damn strings!”

Would you retweet Chuckie?