Morale

Back in the Bronze and Iron Ages an army won a battle based on the strategy and tactics of its general and the training and discipline of the troops.  But the wild card that could turn victory into a rout was morale.  Sometimes something ridiculous like a peal of thunder issuing from the wrong quadrant of the sky or a priest finding the wrong color entrails in a sacrifice would be enough to spook an entire army and snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

But this is the Information Age.  We’re too smart to be cowed by superstition or fooled by clumsy lies.  Yeah, right.

Nowadays morale is the business of the media.  They tell us who will win elections and who is on the right side of history and what is beyond the pale.  And morale can be the difference between someone going to vote or staying home.  So, morale is a real factor in human affairs but one that is difficult for the man on the street to measure or even discuss meaningfully.

Luckily, I’m not the man on the street.  I’m a pundit wannabe who has to package a bunch of zeroes and ones onto an electronic page to try and entertain my long-suffering readers.  So, I can talk till the cows come home and might even bump into the truth if I’m not careful.

Here are two questions:

  • What is it worth to the Right to have someone like Trump tell the world that the Emperor has no clothes?
  • What is the result when the Deep State and the Media fire point blank at Donald Trump for eighteen months without a single scratch and all he has to do is make a disparaging noise and say fake news?

The answers are:

  1. It’s worth everything.
  2. The result is that the Media is a spent force.

I’ll explain.  It’s been thirty years since Ronald Reagan left office.  That’s how long it’s been since a Republican won a fight with the Press.  Bush Senior, Bob Dole, W, McCain, Romney, JEB!, you name them.  They’ve all been nothing but cannon fodder.  They can’t fight and they won’t fight.  Having a fighter in the White House is worth more than having seventy seats in the Senate and three hundred seats in the House.  It can’t be overstated.  Every day we can hear and see the results of his run-ins with reporters and the startling statements he makes about politicians, business leaders and foreign leaders.  And every day he blows up some other sacred cow or boondoggle.  And the cumulative effect of this is all the Sacred Cows have been discredited.  The term fake news isn’t just a zinger.  It’s become the default opinion about anything the Media says.  Used Car Salesmen are considered more trustworthy.  As I said above, the value of this cannot be overstated.

And so, the Media is a toothless tiger.  They’ve become the subject of scorn and abuse.  And the multiple media victims of the #metoo campaign and the recent case of a reporter having an affair with a federal employee to obtain classified documents only reinforces the impression that a career in journalism is only one level above crack whore.

So, for the Right Wing, all of this is like a pardon from the Governor to a Death Row prisoner.  Even up to six months ago when the Press would breathlessly report the latest Stormy Daniels tidbit or Mueller leak, Republicans would run around in circles shouting that the sky was falling.  I think that is finally over.  Even the most gutless Republican has finally learned to ignore all of this junk, once and for all.

 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  It doesn’t even consider the morale boosts that come from a President who can with the stroke of a pen wipe out Coal and CO2 legislation in the EPA or pardon a rancher being harassed and imprisoned by activist judges.  And with Trump in the White House, even formerly unreliable Supreme Court judges suddenly hand down a string of right wing decisions.  And the President fills the federal courts with judges who won’t dismantle the culture in order to satisfy bizarre social justice whims.  And with his latest Supreme Court recommendation, he more than credibly fulfills the long hoped for but always frustrated dream of a reliably conservative Supreme Court willing to reverse the transparently unconstitutional decisions of the past on affirmative action, aberrant sexual behavior and first and second amendment violations.

And so, to rap this thing up, I am saying that in addition to all the things President Trump is doing to improve the country, one of the biggest benefits he provides is the boost to morale.  And this morale boost is just the thing that may get you through the tough battle when everything else is almost even.  If we ever get to the point where things are riding on the razor’s edge, high morale may be the thing that carries us over the finish line first.  Remember this the next time the naysayers say nay and the bell tollers toll doom.  It’s fake news all the way down.  Keep the faith baby.

Trump’s Version of the Drum Beat

If you think back to the days of the Iraq War you remember a daily media campaign of discouragement and delegitimization that was accurately described at the time as a drum beat.  Newscasters at CBS, CNN and other outlets kept up a daily count of casualties, atrocities and protests.  Any bad news, no matter how random was heaped on top of the war news and spun as further proof of the Bush incompetence.  When a hurricane hit New Orleans and flooding and loss of life occurred due to the incompetence of the Democrat mayor it was hammered at continuously as the racist agenda of George Bush.  Completely fabricated stories of bodies floating along main streets and violent acts of desperation were sprinkled in the daily news and pointed to as proof of the apocalypse engulfing America.

This drum beat was not the primary cause of the Democrat electoral success in 2006 and 2008 but it was the intensifier that made the victory so complete.  And it shows you that the media has a basic strategy for intensifying the effect of a news story.  And that it is effective.  At the time this was a source of great frustration for me.  The ploy was so obviously false and artificial that it offended my sense of logic.  After all, people weren’t that stupid and gullible.  They must have been able to see they were being manipulated.  Apparently, I was not the target for these messages and so I couldn’t understand their effect.  But grudgingly I learned their potency.

Donald Trump is a creature of the media.  He moves through it and thrives in it like a fish in water.  It’s his natural element.  And that is a good thing for our side.  He recognizes how media works.  He knows that the MSM will do the same thing to him that they did to Bush.  They will conflate the Mueller probe with school shootings with rises in gasoline prices with rain on the weekend.  They don’t care if there is any logic or connection.  They are looking to aggravate the population any way they can.

So, what will Donald trump do?  He’ll fight fire with fire.  He is doing a little bit of drum beating of his own.  Every day he has a tweet or two showing the dishonesty of the media and the effectiveness of his administration.  And every day there are several stories coming out of the Inspector General’s investigation of the Justice Department and the House investigation into the Russia probe.  And this goes on day after day after day.  And every few months an FBI bigwig is fired and then there is a flurry of news about the details of how that ties into the other investigations and how this will spawn other investigations, and on and on and on.  And for me this is annoying and boring and obviously, transparently contrived.  And it’s effective.

So that’s why I am both aggravated and satisfied with the current state of affairs.  The annoying nature of the Kabuki theater drives me insane.  But the knowledge that this is exactly what is needed to both stymie the MSM methodology and also build public opinion for the eventual killing stroke allows me to agree with the strategy.  But I wish I had a time machine.  I’d love to wake up tomorrow and see footage of Mueller getting the bum’s rush out the back door of the Justice Department and  James Comey giving testimony against Loretta Lynch to save his own hide.  But my flux capacitor is in the shop so I guess I’ll just enjoy the warm weather and read a few more tweets about Robert Mueller being very unfair.