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:
- It’s worth everything.
- 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.