"Did the Trumps really mean to accomplish all this? Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter, as long as we obsess over trying to figure it out. This is the desired effect — the mindfuck — of propaganda pranksterism."

"It doesn’t even matter if he consciously realizes any of this at all. Whether the result of strategy or intuition, it works."

This is a brilliant piece, Doug, one that will contribute another to the glut of media sense-making pieces that continue to build and prop up the 45th and his GOP enablers, supplicants, and soldiers.

Not that I'm suggesting you have any intention of doing that work; your article's narrative, however, functions to glorify an idiot and those he's empowered, even if you don't mean to do that. It doesn't matter what your intention was here--the ideas function to puff up and bolster the myth-making around a tyrant.

The 45th's power is partially stolen from the conventions of media (the conventions of government are the other part). Writing a narrative with interesting characters and a plot with twists and turns is a conventional media approach, right? To get clicks and claps and reads.

In this story, the GOP and the 45th's family drive: they have brilliantly employed postmodern propaganda to hijack a democracy and steal everyone's power. Parenthetically, you change that narrative (i.e., the quotes above), but the damage is already done: you've elevated the nonsense of idiots, supplicants, and soldiers with your sophisticated sense-making tools.

(It's not just you, obviously--there's a trend of misplaced sense-making tools being used to make "sense" out of nonsense. It started during the 45th's campaign and hasn't stopped. There is hope, though--some journalists and media ppl are beginning to understand how their storytelling is contributing to the problem.)

That work, alongside projections of your own competency and intelligence onto the idiot, supplicants, and soldiers further enlarges the scope of the 45th's myth. And further entrenches the belief that there is nothing we can do about the authoritarian practices now becoming the norm in the U.S.

Let's not create work that further empowers the chief power-stealer, even if it only functions to do that without intent.

Written by

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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