Marion and Fluffy (hi, faithful readers!),
I am once again assailed by people carrying on about Donald Trump…
Readers may recall that our American friend, Gilmore, called the election successfully to date, for free for BCF readers, whereas lots of fancy suits charged big bucks to call it wrong. Let’s think about that next time we are tempted to pay big bucks to fancy suits.
Maybe Gilmore’s a genius. Or maybe he just realized a few things that Donald Trump also realized—but apparently, very few other people in the entire political process on their side of the aisle in the United States realized.
Marion, because you will continue to be assailed at the library checkout desk by people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, I am offering some notes about what you might mention to patrons, that is, to the few who are not simply spazzing out, in need of a pillow, a glass of water, and/or 9-11.
1. People say the internet changes everything. That is true, but the significance of deep-seated changes is often obscured by the froth. Trump realized that the traditional media are essentially dead as an important social force.
Sure, we can read the Toronto Star if we want (it is cheaper per lb. than the cat litter delivered to my door). But on the train in 2016, everyone is on wi-fi, reading whatever they want from anywhere in the world.
That was not true in 1976! When Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post brought down Nixon in the early ‘70s, people had to care what the Post’s editors thought. They were gatekeepers of news. Trump kicked the Posties off his campaign plane recently and they have been screaming about censorship ever since.
But the reality is, anyone can come to your library branch and use the internet for free to find out any public information about Trump, including from his ex-wives and enemies. That’s not censorship.
The Post is Jeff Bezos’s hobby now. Soon, a toy.
(If your library patron is history-minded, you might point out that something similar happened in the 15th century, with the advent of the printing press. Suddenly, all kinds of people who could read, maybe even write, could get information. Reforms and revolutions got harder and harder to put off or circumvent. The internet will have many similar effects, but only discerning people can see the big picture now.)
So, if Trump is such a bozo, why was he the only GOP candidate to clearly grasp that fact? And is there something especially smart about the folk who did not get the big picture?
2. Trump says rude things. Yes he does, but why does he get away with it? See 1. above. He grasps that most people who are at all likely to vote for him are not interested in enforcing legacy media rules for political correctness (in part because the voters don’t depend on those media). Obama, you may recall, checked them out for giving Trump hundreds of millions of dollars in free publicity—as Trump knew they would—and it only increased his popularity.
At times, the legacy media sound to me like a dumped girlfriend, shouting “Pig! Swine! Racist! Hitler! Abuser! Misogynist!” at a guy who has packed and is driving away.
Aw Sweets, tell your therapist. He’s gone, okay? Better get used to that part.
(Marion, you might mention to your more intelligent patrons that the average age of the population has increased. More people can sense this kind of issue than would have done decades ago. We can have conversations based on the expectation of more life experience among our conversation partners.)
No, Trump shouldn’t talk that way! But it is between him and the voter now, without the dumped-girlfriend version wedged in between.
I dunno what to make of Trump. I certainly don’t intend to give the guy rentfree space in my head for the rest of the year. But you may be able to gently confront patrons with the question: Why are the people who consistently called it all wrong supposed to be more wise and virtuous?
See also: Trying to understand the Trump candidacy Part 1
Trying to understand the Trump candidacy Part 2
Trying to understand the Trump candidacy https://www.blazingcatfur.ca/2016/04/08/trying-to-understand-the-trump-candidacy-part-3/
Donald Trump, downtown, n’ me Part I
See also: Donald Trump, downtown, n’ me, Part II
Part III Could the be a Canadian Donald Trump?