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Trump, Pikes and Politics: Media Misses The Mark

The media has made much in the last day or two about the allegation that Trump warned Republican Senators, who serve as the jury in the impeachment trial, that if they did not vote to acquit him, their heads would ‘be on a pike’. Like the elitist snowflakes they are, the media clutched their pearls and moaned about the outrage of it all. President Bad Man used naughty words again! Such a scandal!

Pipe down you increasingly irrelevant relics of a bygone era! In no conceivable way were Trump’s words a real, physical threat! To interpret his words as anything other than a metaphor for ending the political careers of those Senators who did not vote to acquit him is to be intentionally ignorant on partisan grounds! There is no reason or excuse for this. People talk in metaphor and analogy all the time, and for you not to see that borders on the ridiculous.

Hidden Message: How to Play Politics

Trump is, whether the media chooses to acknowledge it or not, playing hard and smart politics. He is immensely popular with the Republican base, and he is using that to his political advantage. If he supports a primary challenger to a sitting Senator, the incumbent would, in all likelihood, be turfed out. Trump’s popularity with the GOP base is such that if he so much as tweeted about a Senator who dared to vote their conscience rather than serving him, they would not be long for this political world. This is what Trump meant when he said that their heads would be on pikes. They went against an extremely popular President, a politically dangerous thing in a democracy. The fact that it is Orange Man doing this (and his motives – to save his own skin) is irrelevant: it is still hardball politics and smart politics. The President is counting on these shameless political hacks valuing their poxy political careers over following the much-idolised Constitution.

Watch and Learn: The Lesson for the Democrats

There is a lesson in this for the Democrats. A popular President can use his popularity to achieve political goals. Now Trump is using it for self-serving political ends, but the principle still stands. A President who is popular with the base can use this to convince Congresspeople and Senators to fall in line. Consider Medicare4All, for some reason a contentious issue. The so-called Blue Dog Democrats (Blue politicians from Red States) were the votes that turned Obamacare into the right-wing trash it ended up being. What Obama should have done, and what I encourage America’s Dad Bernard Sanders to do if he wins, was say

Nice political career you got there – shame if anything were to happen to it. I am immensely popular with the base. You were elected as a Democrat. Start voting like one. If you do not support my agenda, I will go to your state (or district) during the midterms and campaign for a primary challenger against you. How about that?

This is how you play politics. This is how you use the political capital that comes with popularity fresh off an election. You hit your opponents where it hurts by threatening their political careers and all the perks that go with them. This need not only apply to corporate Democrats. Many Republican voters support Dad’s agenda too even if their corporate streetwalker politicians do not. Presidential support for a Democratic primary challenger to an incumbent Republican politician could also work.

Advice to Dad: Observe and Take Notes

Senator Sanders, I encourage you to play hard politics like this if you are elected. As a life-long independent you are not beholden to either member of the corrupt duopoly, even if you must temporarily assume the label of one of them to run. Your independence works in your favour, Sir. You are able to play hard politics against both sides, strong-arming these corrupt corporate sellouts to do the bidding of the people if they will not do so voluntarily.

Now, such an approach to politics would, of course, generate no end of pearl-clutching outrage as the media reared up to defend the corporate structure. The solution is to attack them too if necessary. You are anti-corruption, Sir. It extends to the media as well. The symbiosis that characterises the relationship between politicians and the media is something you can use to your advantage. You (would) have the Bully Pulpit – use it. YouTube, Twitter and other non-traditional media can be, as Trump made them, your forum to communicate with the electorate directly. Legacy media is just that: a brat who insists on sitting at the adults’ table because their family has been around for a long time. Unearned, privileged access to the halls of power by virtue of their sheer awesomeness. That is what legacy means, certainly in the academic world (consider a Harvard Legacy with terrible grades but who gets in because their father went there), and the media is no different.

Conclusion: Pikes, Politics and the Way Forward

The outrage of the media is fuel for the fire of a popular President. This is partly how Trump came to power originally. The media was so outraged at everything he did and he played them like a fiddle. Trump exposed how broken the media truly was. Granted it was in a ridiculous way with that clunker Fake News, best understood as anything unfavourable to him, but it worked.

Senator Sanders, you would be (and are) treated in the same way. Your response is to combat the endless barrage of nonsense by focusing on policy and not engaging them. To get around the endless propaganda and sensationalised crap, go to independent media. Do interviews with Secular Talk’s Kyle Kulinsky, TYT, Joe Rogan and others. Use your own platforms of Twitter and YouTube to break not only the media but the corrupt politicians also. Shame them with their votes. Tell their constituents about their Congresspeople’s votes against a popular agenda. You take their corruption and you break them with it! Put their political heads on the same pikes that Trump talked about and let the pathetic media rear up and defend the corrupt duopoly. Fighting against this approach will be the equivalent of fighting a fire with gasoline.

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11 comments

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  1. Pingback: Trump, Pikes and Politics: Media Misses The Mark #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  2. Matters Not

    Re:

    They went against an extremely popular President,

    Yes – if you use the Republican base as your benchmark but if you use other measures, then he’s the most unpopular President in US history. Think he’s the only President of recent times who have never had an overall positive rating.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/19/opinion/how-does-trump-stack-up-against-the-best-and-worst-presidents.html

    Always been a big fan of US Constitutional separation of powers doctrine (although through academic studies I learned that the powers of a US President were theoretically unlimited) but to see checks and balances fall apart so easily (and transparently) is mind bending.

    PS, methinks you give Trump much more credit than is due. In many, many ways, he’s as thick as a brick. Which of course says much about the US voting citizens.

  3. Dr Tim Jones

    Yes – and for the Republican Party and their politicians the opinion of the base is the benchmark. The party may increasingly look like a cult, but in a cult going against the leader has consequences. Trump has that popularity with the base, the very people who vote for Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and the rest of these simpletons. He may not be universally popular, but for those politicians he is popular with the people who matter. That’s what I was getting at

  4. New England Cocky

    Thank you Tim Jones for an excellent article bringing our thinking back to the mechanics of how to defeat fascist style self-serving governments in both the USA (United States of Apartheid) and Australia.

  5. Wam

    I have a small septic base -two American family friends and some Facebook friends who share american posts.
    These are 100% republican and trump seems not to have lost any support.
    Bernie has the millstone ‘socialist’ which, for septics, is even heavier than ‘woman’.
    I think democrats have given trump a chance to mistweet during the impeachment trial but it is a long way from the November vote.
    For me, barring a boobby style tweet, the second term is a no brainer.

  6. Kronomex

    I play World of Warcraft and have made some friends in the US, one of whom, as I found out much to my delight, is a rabid Trumpite (right down to the, “He’s there fighting for us and he’s one of us.” bullshit). While he’s in-game and you say anything even vaguely anti-Trump he goes into a foaming at mouth rage and leaves. The others in that circle of friends said not raise anything at all about The Donald which does not sit well with me. If the little princess can’t take any criticism about Trump then he should go and do something else.

  7. paul walter

    You see his stupid wall to keep the Mexicans out collapsed in a storm?

  8. Michael Taylor

    The argument put up by Trump’s lawyer at the impeachment trial can be summed up thus: What Trump did is OK as it’s in the country’s best interest to have him re-elected.

    Can you begin to imagine what he’ll try next if he gets away with this? (And he will, sadly. The GOP are pathetic).

    And to add to the ridiculous … a GOP Senator tweeted that if the Dems are adamant that Trump is guilty then why do they need to call witnesses?

    Sheesh.

  9. Wam

    Dear Kronomex,
    I answered and copped a spray about being a leftie C..t, asswipe, asshole and if I come to Australia I’ll punch….
    Violence is just under the surface and they are really fearful of greenies, Muslims, women who don’t defer to men and homosexuality.
    Funny that the people who criticize anything under the wing of politically correct are quick to want censorship of anything insulting to them. In this they are little different from our conservatives who give jokes easily against Aborigines or women or Muslims but can’t take any retorts or slashes at cristians, the flag or Australia Day.

  10. Lambchop Simnel

    MT it is true , how closely local kleptos trot the same alibi.

    Rofl though, incisive turn of phrase.
    Why am I laughing?

    I see temps sitting around 45 in the southeastern corner of OZ today btw..

    Wam, don’t fret, rejoice. It should be an uplifting contrast for your own brains against the genuinely unintelligent- you too, could be like that, given a decent lobotomy.

  11. Terence Mills

    The Republicans, stamped their feet, held their collective breath until they went blue in the face, refused to hear witnesses or to consider evidence.

    They will now find that he has no case to answer.

    They could only nail Al Capone on tax evasion !

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