It got me thinking, what if Trump isn't actually avoiding journalists? What if social media is the actual way that Trump intends to connect with the public, like, forever? And if that is true then it is fair to say that he's not really "avoiding" the media -- after all, the TV networks and newspapers are all free to report on his tweets and You Tube videos right? He's just not directly relying on them to dispense himself.
Who needs the traditional networks when you can broadcast yourself?
I think we are experiencing an interesting change in the relationship between politicians and the traditional press with Trump leading the way. Trump so far has been quite content and clearly effective at producing authentic communication between himself and the public on Twitter.
And when I say authentic I mean authentic. Many politicians are using social media to get their messages out but most of those I know of rely on posi-spin miniaturized "press release" formats. Carefully crafted communication that is contorted smoothly to avoid offending or making the office holder somehow vulnerable.
Trump's tweets, however ill-advised, are like one-on-one declarations. If imperfect in original form, they can be corrected in a follow up. The impulsive nature of his Twitter posts make it feel like he's talking to you directly.
As near as I can tell Trump can sail the next four years without ever having to meet a journalist in person. I suspect there is a bevy of reasons this is not a good idea for him or anyone of high public office to take advantage of, but it would be interesting for him to try by lark so that we could see how effective it is and to find out what some of the bad reasons actually wind up being. Maybe they aren't so bad whatever they are.
I am still compelled to tail my posts on Trump with a reminder I did not vote for him over his threats to repeal Obamacare, and because I did not like a certain faction of his followers. But I do appreciate his embrace of social media and his dare to self-manage his outward presence in a way that leaves the "old press" on the sidelines.
I just got asked in Facebook if I'm happy with our new president. My response is a great summary response for this platform.
My straightforward answer is no, we could have had a better kinder change agent. But, I am not opposed to giving him a chance, or, at least, acknowledging that he has clear appeal and that those to whom he appeals voted legitimately. It's difficult for me to "protest" as long as what brought us here is the same system that I would have counted on to keep him away.
Whether we acknowledge it or not the previous "establishment" was in fact working on the very same problems and mitigating the trappings of perfect execution (cost, political push back, international considerations). Trump will face and have to contend with the same constraints and somehow be a genius, or perhaps phenomenally reckless, at overcoming them just as much.
Ultimately his term in office will be the judge.
Right now I'm looking to harvest his time in office for anything positive that aligns with my worldview. Just this morning I tweeted out to my "rail" Twitter accounts about the hope his promise to focus on infrastructure could mean the advancement of high speed rail and local projects for instance. I have also always liked his rhetoric about rescuing good people and families from the danger of inner city living with a "law and order" stance. If that happens, that's good too.
I, we, will just have to grit our teeth and hope that the elimination of "abstract value principles" which Trump and very few of his followers take as serious business or perhaps don't have the capacity to appreciate, from all policy development, does not wind back the intellectual and military strength of the nation far enough to incur permanent damage. If he runs away unchecked, a real possibility, he will either directly or indirectly put us all on the path of nuclear war. I think we can bear just about anything else and call it a fair outcome of a democratic process, but if we're flattened or flatten others capciriously because it's cheaper than getting along, it could be said looking back on this entry that I was too pragmatic.
Just because Donald Trump intends to keep facets, properties, of Obamacare, does not mean that he is not going to repeal it.
Why Am I Defending Trump?
I was not in favor of a Trump President as my long running Twitter account and online commentary will show, but I am as opposed to and increasingly charged to counter, mainstream media message streaming which usually takes the form of headlines that turn into solid narratives. Messaging like that is intended to anger people and one presumes to make sure that emotionalized people click or otherwise tune in. Many also presume that there is an underlying political motive to affect outcomes or drive agendas.
Is this headline fair to anyone, Trump supporter or not?
What's really true then?
When you read past the headline what Trump is really saying is that Obamacare currently factors out "pre-existing conditions" as a basis for denying coverage and allows people to stay on their parent's insurance until they are 26. As such, when he and the Republicans repeal it, they want to replace it with a machine with the same attributes.
See? All that is in contrast to the way the media presents it which sounds more like, by Trump's way, Obamacare as defined by those elements will stay, while some parts are changed.
That's clearly not what Trump is thinking. People can agree or disagree with the prospects of the overhaul as a whole, but making it sound like Trump is backing off one of his flagship commitments just pisses off a lot of conservatives and Trump supporters, and thus promotes the ongoing division that the MSM loves.
Republicans are still Obama's bitches on health care
That grist being gristend what Trump and the Republicans are doing is completely fine by my book. And better, it still lauds Obama as a great leader with respect to health care reform. Had Obama and the Democrats not invented Obamacare and managed to get it implemented, we'd not be having any discussion at all about pre-existing conditions. Had the Republicans been in charge when this all came to be they'd still be sitting on their status quo asses completely content with the unjust health system exactly as it was.
Some Trump supporters are open in a belief that Trump is less than ideal morally or perhaps even temperamentally for the usual presidential role, but that he is an effective cannonball against the establishment that was long needed. They believe (and correctly I suspect) that blowing things up politically and living in and rebuilding from the resulting debri field is somehow better than more of the entrenched Clinton/Bush World which had apparently come to stall prosperity to any wide basis at the individual worker level.
So it is with Obamacare. Obamacare may have (and I stipulate may have) been just as bad as everyone seems to be concluding it is as a whole. But Obama at least led to actionable change and settlement that now has Republicans, and whatever Trump supporters are, at work extending the reformation of health care - not still sitting around on their asses. It would be great to believe that Obama actually solved money-driven health policies completely, but if we have to reduce him to the same "cannonballer" that so many are happy to base the entire office of the presidency on with Trump, then, well, that works. Obama and the Democrats are to be heralded for a job well done.
Early on I thought Trump might win. Not that I wanted him to since he had chosen to align himself with the Republicans whose target was Obamacare if they ran things; and I like Obamacare. Obamacare was one of the few reasons I was voting for Hillary aside from Trump's penchant to attract people with the kind of personality and world view I do not like.
Back when he was runninig in the primaries I posted this to Facebook:
...Most people think that if Trump makes it to the general election he won't win but I disagree. At that point the net of people drawn to his edgy charisma will triple with a good segment of normally disenfranchised slave-waging voters electing him just for the drama. Living in a nation Trump destroys (even if it thrives economically) will be every bit as interesting as one he betters. People, particularly the brown shirts Trump's ideology was specifically developed for, love bullies, while others, who have absolutely no investment in the status quo, will follow equal suit. Between the input of these voters combined with those of establishment republicans who will figure "at least he's a conservative", he could beat Hillary
By election night I'd forgotten my own first sentiments, having gotten caught up in the momentum as depicted by the now obviously woeful polling data that put Hillary consistently ahead, save for the oddball poll or two. Like everyone else I was floored by how the actual election played out.
What I've come to understand about the collapse of the web is that web users never existed in the first place. They "existed" insofar as they did only because for a time the web as hosted by a person's personal computer was the only instrument to connect electronically. Nobody wanted to be a publisher. It's just that once they were there, they did publish.
Using CB radio of the 70s as an analogy, people wanted a new way to communicate while on the road or just for the wild fun of it. CB radio was the one instrument that allowed for that so when people discovered it they amassed themselves on the open airwaves by the millions. As a side effect everyone became a broadcaster yet nobody actually wanted to broadcast, they only wanted to communicate. When cell phones came along CB radio use plummeted. Nobody hung on to being a broadcaster because "broadcasting was just so cool" or something.
People did enjoy putting up home pages, having their own domains, their own art and presentations, their own sense of hyperlink power, and their own place of expression, but this was all incidental. The computer with an Internet connection was mainly about getting work done. While a few stayed behind, like yours truly, to continue enjoying that power, most happily ceded it all when mobile apps and Facebook allowed for the more efficient and focused functionality of the online things they really needed to do.
Otherwise, nobody was in love with being a powerful far-reaching publisher. Nobody cared or thought much about who owned or controlled their online content whether it was themselves or some guy called Zuck.
If Facebook allows for easier interaction between people or the posting of posts ... like this very one ... nobody cares that every interaction is monetized, or that, as a single system of place that everyone agrees on, it is easier to control and censor communication. Ask the average citizen in China if their own Facebook Firewall - the "Great Firewall of China", state run rather than privately run, bothers their day to day online activities and I'd gamble hardly.
It is no longer right to say that people forgot about the freedom of the open web. Rather, it is more absolute to say most people never appreciated it in the first place.
I've launched Buffcam. It's just a weathercam type thing of the Buffalo skyline. You can visit the page (presented in high definition Mumblecore HTML) to read more about and just enjoy it for whatever value.
What was kind of neat though was that not minutes after getting all the pieces working together a rainbow appeared, thus making a rainbow one of the first few images to come from the system.
There was a fire a few blocks up from us. From our fourth floor apartment window we had a pretty good view (though as you'll see in the first video not a very good live streaming view, the shooting flames don't come through at all!).
I've been dabbling in safe live streaming (such as that walk along the Buffalo trail) but this gave me an opportunity to try live streaming real breaking news. My camera was there before some of the fire trucks.
I alternated between Facebook's relatively new LIVE feature and Twitter's Periscope, trying to sort out which made the better sense in the event that someday in the future I'm not shooting the smoldering aftermath of a building fire but perhaps the landing of space aliens in the woods.
I don't want to get into a ramble here about which turned out to be better for the cause because I haven't processed the experience yet well enough to say. If you watch one of the Periscope versions linked to below (the second one I believe) I do some out loud thinking that might give you an idea of my impression at the time. Offhand I will observe that both applications allowed me to live stream instantly to the world within a minute. When I am through analyzing it I suspect the judgement will be based on things like post-shoot portability (how well can it be shared), findability, and other things like that. Mechanically, there just wasn't much difference.
This is actually a complicated social problem. It would be nice if we could tweak the system such that no full time worker, no matter the class of work, ever had to worry about a decent cabinet of healthy food, a car, and an apartment, all in a safe neighborhood. That idea is a little Bernie, but it's valid and just. As a national community the rest of us should be strong and moral enough to suck up whatever those costs are individually, as long as we are doing so collectively.
There is a blurb from a Walmart official in the linked article (and although the article pivots its point on the Walmart example, the enterprise itself is not evil, just an atypical example of the worst outcome of our national dynamics - people should be careful to read any "Walmart this or that" article with this in mind) tries to defend the company by pointing out that its workers are all given opportunity mixed with wages. But that's pretty magical and convenient thinking for Walmart. Can someone pay their bills or buy their stuff at Walmart with a wallet full of opportunity?
I make this rant every year since returning to the northeast from Florida.
I hate northern summers. Really do. Everybody in the north 'manages' their AC so that it comes on later or earlier in the day, or only after a certain temperature is hit, or maybe on some days but not others, particularly during a seasonal transition from spring to summer or summer to fall. Nobody does it properlylike in Florida where they keep the AC on all day long every day. You never know when you&qtre walking into a restaurant for a nice meal in Pennsylvania or New York in July if you&qtre walking into a sauna because the manager&qts whim that moment might be to coast through the slow shift without AC.
The net result is that northern summers are far more uncomfortable and sticky than Florida ones. It&qts an irony I can&qtt stand. Stay tuned next summer for an approximation of this rant.