When the Wall Street Journal gets sick enough of Donald Trump to tell its readers to vote for the ‘other guy,’ you know that a line has just been crossed. But this is what the WSJ Editorial Board did yesterday in an editorial which castigated Trump for saying that anyone who gives a donation to ‘birdbrain’ Haley will not be allowed to support the MAGA campaign.
Now, this is a rather interesting comment from Trump for two reasons. First, he’s saying that the MAGA movement or whatever you want to call it has a membership, as if it’s some kind of organized political party, organization, or group. Second, he’s pretending to impose a purity test on his supporters, as if anyone except the WSJ Editorial Board could take such a demand seriously.
Much as I can’t stand the bastard, I have to give Trump credit for understanding what it takes to keep his name in the public eye. What the entire Fake News political media still isn’t able to figure out is that Trump couldn’t give one goddamn as to whether anything he says is true or makes any sense at all.
What Trump does understand is that he gets an enormous amount of publicity for free, and the more he says something that makes no sense or cannot be believed, and the more he spices it up with some profanity or some insults or insulting nicknames like Birdbrain, the more his name appears in the digital universe, which is what politics in the digital age is all about.
Think about this, okay? The economy expanded more than 3% in the final quarter of last year and the S&P hit an all-time high. What got more coverage in the media? Those remarkable economic numbers or Trump not being able to tell the difference between Haley and Pelosi in some campaign speech?
In fact, the Fake News still thinks that the economy’s a mess. If I had a nickel for every person in New Hampshire who was interviewed in an exit poll and said they couldn’t afford to pay their weekly grocery bill, I wouldn’t even notice that the 12-ounce coffee at Panera is now $3.65.
In the olden days, it used to matter what politicians said or didn’t say, because there were only a few ways they could be read, seen, or heard. Even if you lived in a big city like New York or Chicago, there were two daily newspapers, some local radio stations and three network TV stations, and that was it.
Which meant that for anything having to do with politics, you could choose from two newspapers and a minute or two on one of the half-hour evening broadcasts of CBS, NBC, or ABC. New York City had two local TV stations (WNEW and WPIX) and their half-hour broadcasts consisted of the weather plus some hit-and-run which occurred in Brooklyn or Queens that day.
When you got out into the boonies, the choices were even more limited. I went out to see the buffalo roundup in Custer State Park one year and drove through North Dakota in 1968. Half the state got CBS; the other half only got NBC. Public television and NPR? Didn’t exist.
There was a local radio station in Bismarck, N.D., which broadcast out of some guy’s living room where he played piano, and his wife sung religious hymns all day long.
Obviously, that’s all changed. Every morning when I pull up my browser and glance at Google News, there’s something from Trump, something from Joe, something from that Georgia creep, Marjorie Taylor Whatever, something from someone else, someone else and someone else.
Trump may have been the first candidate endorsed by a major party who had no prior political experience, but he did have media experience, which is what put him over the top in 2016. Although Trump also had help from his so-called opponent that year, who somehow managed to forget that she was supposed to run a Presidential campaign.
Tough shit for him, but now the gap between Trump and the other Presidential wannabees in terms of media saturation has disappeared. And since Trump has never had any political platform or narrative other than me, me, me, at a certain point he ends up sounding like everyone else.
Which is exactly why he will lose if he ends up running against Joe later this year. Because Trump’s shock value is gone, and the MAGA numbers just aren’t large enough to put him over the top except maybe in states where voters are outnumbered by cows.
There’s a reason why hundreds line up every day to get into this country and I don’t notice anyone trying to cross the border into China from Russia or Nepal. It has to do with something called the increase in the GDP, and for all of Trump’s bluster about how the economy’s in such ‘bad shape,’ even the guy who ran the National Economic Council during the Trump Administration, now admits that Joe should take credit for an economy which is ‘so strong.’
So, we’ll see what we see. My only problem is that if Joe kicks Trump’s ass in again, what do I write about after Joe gets inaugurated next January and Trump can’t blast out his Truth Social noise because he’s sitting in jail?