Tuesday, January 31, 2017

“How can I really F* this up?”: Ten ways for anti-trumpers to divert attention from the trainwreck that is the Trump presidency....

As the President continues to rocket down his path of self destruction, many of people are wondering:
  • “How can I help divert attention from this train wreck?”
  • “What can I personally do to piss off people enough so that they’ll vote for Trump again in four years anyway?”
  • “How can i snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?”
  • ... in short ...“How can I really F* this up?”

Fortunately, we are all about helping people. With that in mind, we came up with ten suggestions for how an anti-trumper could really, royally F* this up..

1. Wetting your pants 15 times a day... We get it - wetting your pants over Trump's every utterance is what you do. That whole snowflake needing a safe space thing is an unfair characterization of your totally rational reaction every single time Trump or one of his henchman sneezes.That said, if you are continuously gnashing your teeth and rending your garments, you become part of the background noise - nobody hears you any more. So think hard before pressing ‘send’ on that 25th hysterical social media post before lunch or 18th gratuitous nazi reference before dinner.

2. Breaking windows, or worse yet, glorifying or justifying or excusing knuckleheads who break windows. Fear tends to trump tolerance (no pun intended). Americans tend to have a healthy fear of a rampaging mob. You want to talk about micro-aggressions and triggers? Violence and property damage are macro aggressions - they tend to turn tolerance on its head, making Americans tolerant of cops breaking heads and of governments ignoring civil liberties. The women's march was highly effective not only because it included a lot of women who weren't among the usual suspects but also because they managed to have a protest featuring clever signs rather than broken windows.

3. Boycotting LL Bean or Uber because some executive speaks up or doesn't speak up. Yes, the troglodytes try it too, e.g. Starbucks, but progressives tend to be the bigger offenders. Attempting to sabotage someone's livelihood to try to cow them into silence is petty and unseemly, especially when it is a personal rather than corporate viewpoint being expressed. So many Americans are glorying in their newfound ability to criticize the president without being called a racist...they will not react well to unsportsmanlike conduct in the political arena.

4. Not STFU'ng  occasionally. I may be repeating myself, but when your opponent is feverishly digging himself into a hole, the worst thing you can do is interrupt him. Full stop.

5. Demonizing your opposition and attempting to browbeat them into intellectual submission. Let's face it, that approach hasn't worked real well since the Spanish Inquisition. Believe it or not,  someone may have a dramatically different frame of reference or a legitimate reason for disagreeing with you. Figuring out what that framework or reason is might be the difference between actually communicating and merely talking to yourself. Shrilly. Dismissively. Incessantly. And really annoyingly.

6. Refusing to cop to accusations of selective outrage and inconsistency. Hey, it was easy to let Obama get away with murder because he was your guy, plus he had that whole hope and change thing going on and he was exceptionally good with a teleprompter. The Republicans did it with Bush too. You're guilty. Everybody knows it. So try a mea culpa. Everybody likes a sinner (look at Bill Clinton); people aren't quite as enamored with someone who offers up moral rectitude as an alternate fact. (look at Bill's wife). At least pretend to admit you were wrong, feign contrition, and move on.

7. Forgetting to relentlessly humanize the issues. Face it - Trump will always win when the conversation takes place on a macro level - who doesn't want to make America great again? Who doesn't want to save jobs? Who doesn't want secure borders? Who doesn't want to stop listening to whiny liberals? Oops - sorry - I got ahead of myself there. .. As long as the conversation is abstract, you will lose. Put real faces on the impacts, and Americans will suddenly be less enthusiastic about deporting a teen to a country she hasn't seen since infancy, or stranding a doctor with a green card in administrative hell, or leaving a refugee toddler to drown on a beach.

8. Attacking the supporters, not the man. I know this is counter-intuitive because it worked so well for Romney (“the 47%”) and Hillary (“basket of deplorables”), but please trust me on this one. Your issue is with the man, not with those obviously racist, knuckle-dragging, misinformed, inbred, alt-right anti-science misogynists from flyover states who, oh yeah, kicked your candidate's ass and shook your left-wing echo chamber so hard that you almost spilled your non-fat decaf soy latte on the upholstery of your Volvo while NPR droned in the background - hell, they shook it so hard that even the New York Times had to interrupt its navel gazing long enough to begrudgingly take note.

9. Attacking the man, not the policies. Actually, your issue is with the actions, not the man. Everybody knows that being president, or even being human, is a tough job. On top of that, lots of folks are looking forward to him doing a lot of good and necessary things in between the stupid stuff. Attack the man and you will automatically evoke a level of sympathy and tribalism. Attack the actions and you don't trigger the same protective impulse. There is a reason why "bless his heart" is every southern woman's most effective and vicious put down.

10. Being played. Fact: Trump is better at his game than you will ever be. Fight him head to head and you will lose. Let him control the narrative and you will lose. Overreact and you will lose. Under-react and you will lose. Fortunately Trump’s Achilles heel is similarly ‘yuuge,’ obvious and unprotected by his exceptionally thin skin. Victory in the battle will turn on who will be the player and who will be played.