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The Trump Ban
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Capture of BBS teaser about Canada accepting refugees.

Looks like the rest of the civilized world will have to take up the slack while America stumbles through its two-year flirtation with the Dark Ages. I say two years because that's the soonest Trump can be voted out of power during the mid-terms.


Leave Trump Alone On Tweeting
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I am not a Trump voter or any clear supporter of him. But I am also not invested heavily in "Trump Won Anger" and really hold no objection in what is basically a third party independent candidate moving ahead and doing his job until he screws it up, which all indicators are that he will.

No, it isn't tidy to be in a mess before one begins to hate full-on throttle, but we have a system and it has spoken. I can't be angry at he or a system that put him into place when it's the same one I counted on to not if he had lost.

So, for the time being he is a colorful distraction in politics that maybe will shut right-wingers up for a while and drain talk radio of angry listeners (though note, the strategy of talk radio in response is to turn "liberalism" into a sustained threat, justifying their voice despite "owning everything" in Washington now).

Capture of tweet reply to Donald Trump tweet.

This kind of rapport is great!

Where he is most colorful of course is in his tweeting, which I support. I support it because Twitter came to be a monumental communication instrument in this new digital age that fixes the problem of authentic and initimate contact in real-time between leaders and the people.

You can argue it is not "presidential" for a president to be that close to the people but that borders on arguing that people should not have individual personalities and perspectives. Or if they do, some should share them while others should not. That to me is the very antithesis of the free Internet. Boring, rotten, happy, pithy - whatever, a voice counts, as does its right to take advantage of new technology to disseminate itself. If certain people are uncomfortable, and in Trump's case I'm assuming "certain people" are the established media who he is able to bypass with all kinds of social media today, they don't have to tune in.

This philosophy can be controversial. Do I believe terrorists should have unfettered access to our youth and vulnerable for recruitment purposes? No, but, I would question just where the actual problem lies in a chain that starts with a terrorist with a Twitter account in Yemen, and ends with Johnny blowing himself up for Allah in Idaho. Because we can't create a system with good education and mental health systems means we have to make communication the enemy?

Trump has a right to tweet and should continue doing so. His tweets are unnerving and perhaps a window to his soul, but his actual merit as president will be judged in his policies and outcomes. Leave the concept of tweeting and by extension free authentic communication to the republic alone.


Smart Trump Opposition
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It's not that I disagree with liberal objectives, and certainly not worldviews. However, I find that I cannot join in on imprecise criticism.

Imprecise criticism is dangerous to anyone's cause because it reduces traction and gives fodder to the opposition who senses and interprets it to mean the argument as a whole is wrong. A good example is discussing immigration issues. Countless political commentary pieces, politician speeches, and even the news headlines themselves, use the one-word term "immigrants" when they really mean "illegal immigrants".

Trump is another example. It's probable, even if he "fixes" the economy, that he will be destructive in other, larger ways, if only due to his lack of government and political experience. He himself is one issue but the people he has stocked around him are like a sitting coalition of every nutty right wing commentator picked from the comments section of a news site. This probably isn't going to end well even as we happily sit mesmerized by money moving again.

Yet we can only reasonably criticize outcomes, all other factors being what they are. There is today's unemployment rate, number of people insured, today's crime rate, today's commitment of troops to policy wars, and so on, all of which currently read well. When these dials tank, if they tank, then will be time for real criticism. Conservatives tend to "re-factor" the argument rather than abide by the simple reality that Trump must maintain Obama's high standard of progress to be considered successful, following him.

There are things along the way that despite those metrics will also be credible points of criticism. Getting behind or failing to stop policies that facilitate the conversion of the open web to cable-TV-like, for example. Staging us for unnecessary wars, or sinking the standard of reason and principle so low that every adversarial nation will smile with friendship as they sink their knives in. Witness the Trump/Russia "alliance against America" as one example. But all of these are only hints, not yet materializations, of a declined US by Trump's hands. Criticizing by emotion is never as handy as criticizing by data. Give the policies and the man a chance to actually fail before muddying up the water with hyperbole, and be precise with any and all arguments that apply now and (most certainly) then.


What if Trump Isn't Actually Avoiding The Media?
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Capture of NBC News front page featuring article about Trump avoiding the media.

If he talks to the people directly why does he need to talk to journalists?

As depicted above an NBC news page opens with the report that Donald Trump is "still avoiding journalists" after Trump released a Thanksgiving Day video, right past them, on You Tube.

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.


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