3 Keys To Managing President Trump

We keep hearing about how Trump is “Not Normal”. That’s true, but it’s not where we should be focusing our energies. Shouting that repeatedly into the echo chamber is a sort of paralysis. What we need to do now is focus on ways to manage Donald Trump, and handle his not normal presidency. The most direct bit of action I suggest is subscribing to a newspaper, physically or on-line. I subscribed to the Washington Post, but there are hundreds of options across the United States, and even abroad. They all need our support, and we need them. The outlets below are all anti-Trump to some degree, or at least will spend time trying to see beyond Trump’s tweets to what he’s actually doing to our government.

“Right-Wing” Marketing Segment:

The Wall Street Journal

The National Review

Reason Magazine

“Left-Wing” Marketing Segment:

The Washington Post

I don’t consider myself to be part of the “Left-Wing” marketing segment, but I subscribed to the Washington Post because they fought Donald Trump in the past election a lot more effectively than the Democratic Party did.

The New York Times

The Guardian

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Video Transcript below…

[“Not Normal!” Flip-out Montage]

I’m afraid I have to disagree. This is normal. This is what we’re doing for the next four to 8 years. We’ve had a month now of quivering in outrage. It’s time to figure out how to move forward. In order to do that, I’ve come up with three keys to managing President Trump.

Ignore his Tweets

This may surprise you, but tweets do not have the force of law. Every time you expend energy on some outrageous bullshit that Trump has posted you’re falling into his trap.

I know this tactic well. For five years I lived in Turkey, where the president used this strategy repeatedly. Erdogan doesn’t tweet, but he has a habit of announcing outrageous new policies whenever he wants to hide something. Those outrageous policies rarely make it into law, but the country gets distracted. On January 20th Donald Trump’s strategic use of his twitter account will probably go into overdrive. A Trump government will have even more to cover up than a Trump candidacy.

Don’t let him get away with it. Don’t flip out about what Trump wants you to flip out about, flip out about the crazy things he actually does.

2. Buy a Newspaper subscription

We’re all busy people. Occasionally Trump will tweet something that’s legitimately important. We need somebody to tell us what that is. And that’s where newspapers come in. They don’t do a perfect job, but they do better than most other forms of media. TV is all about ratings and aesthetics. Click and advertising driven on-line media is great at whining and preaching to the choir. We need a better solution, but until we have one, the old-line newspapers are the only institutions left with a serious ability to investigate and surface information about the world we live in. They are absolutely essential to surviving the Trump era, and they are dying. The day after the election, I bought a subscription to the Washington Post. It’s only ten bucks a month, but that does more for them than thousands of ad impressions. Support a paper, any paper. They need our money. And we need them.

3. Don’t remind him of his bad ideas.

Donald Trump ran on a lot of outrageous, frightening promises. He’s already backing down on most of them. That’s a good thing. The folks these promises appealed to have very little power, and Trump can get away with ignoring them. Now that he’s won, the chances are high that he will revert to what he’s been doing for most of his life, desperately working for the approval of New York elites. We should applaud Trump’s slow morph into a standard Republican politician. Even if that’s not your cup of tea, it’s better than the crap he was spinning on the campaign trail. Let’s let him do that. It’s amusing to play gotcha on this stuff, and call him out as a liar, but I don’t think it’s helpful. Forcing Trump to remember his crazy promises is actually counter-productive. So let these ideas fade into the past. It’s a new era, and we need to deal with it strategically.

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