If anyone asked me if I think President Trump should be removed from office today, well, the truth is I don’t care one way or the other. I do care about, to use the constantly hyped phrases, “preserving our Constitution” and “saving our democracy,” but frankly these yahoos in Washington and the media hysterically spinning 24/7 about the yahoos in Washington have zero capacity to preserve or save anything. Ditto that for the political Twitterati crowd/political punditry puff dragons.
When both sides in a political battle are thoroughly corrupt, the Dems orchestrating this impeachment inquiry and President Trump, who lies about almost everything and cares nothing about The Constitution or rules of any sort, so long as they benefit him, how does carrying out an extremely divisive political process like impeachment remedy any wrongdoing? Will removing Trump end the political corruption or bring American politics back to some sane standards?
Would removing Trump “save our democracy” or “preserve our Constitution” or would it just lead to more political chaos and a weakening of our ordered liberty?
With a Republican-controlled Senate, at best this impeachment effort seems like a poorly orchestrated spin effort. At worst it’s another effort of powerful Dems to appease the radical #Resist fringe of their party, to quell an internal revolt after Dem leaders have failed to deliver on removing Trump from office, after 3 years of promising, “Trump’s going down” and “this is the beginning of the end.”
Hypothetically speaking, if Trump was removed from office before the 2020 election, Dems would not graciously accept a President Pence – they would begin spinning up impeaching Pence too and doing everything they could to wreak havoc on the GOP… just like they did in 2016. In fact, Dems and their media cohorts would be energized (emboldened) to engage in even more extreme scorched earth spin info war tactics.
Trump would not go quietly and just more chaos would ensue.
It seems to me that changing our media culture, where extreme spin information warfare is the norm, to more objective, less overwrought political reporting and punditry appears the only path leading to actually “saving our democracy” and “preserving our Constitution,” but don’t hold your breath waiting on our political class and the media, who provide the platforms and fuel that enable spin war to even operate, to ever willingly forswear their vicious and corrupt spin information warfare. They gain power and make a fortune off of spin war and the American people literally are virtual prisoners whenever they tune in to watch or read American news reporting and commentary.
If you wonder where the epicenter of the American scorched earth spin war is, it’s currently Twitter. That could change if the American media and political class decide to relocate to some other online social media hub, but for now it’s Twitter. President Trump understood the blue check-mark crowd politicians, journalists and pundits generate spin cycles on Twitter.
“Twitter is a modern public square where many voices discuss, debate and share their views. Media personalities, politicians and the public turn to social networks for real-time information and reactions to the day’s events. But compared with the U.S. public overall, which voices are represented on Twitter?”
Pew Research Center came up with some interesting statistics about Twitter usage in America, like only 22% of Americans actually use Twitter. Out of that 22%, the actual number of Twitter users generating and keeping America’s spin war blowing is even smaller:
“In addition to teasing out these differences between Twitter users and the population as a whole, this analysis also highlights the sizable diversity among Twitter users themselves. The median user tweets just twice each month, but a small cohort of extremely active Twitter users posts with much greater regularity. As a result, much of the content posted by Americans on Twitter reflects a small number of authors. The 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.”
Most of the social media spin attacks generate from Twitter amplification, even if the original video or photos originated on a different social media platform. For instance, the Covington Catholic video started on Instagram, was picked up and amplifed on Twitter:
“Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”That version of the video was viewed at least 2.5 million times and was retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to a cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.The video shared by @2020fight did not show what preceded the confrontation between the Native American elder and the high school students.The video had been posted earlier on Instagram by someone who was at the event, but it was @2020fight’s caption that helped frame the news cycle.”
Of course, the biggest Twitter “influencer” in the world is President Donald J. Trump and he knows it. Twitter gives him a direct path, bypassing the mainstream media gatekeepers, to tweet instantly. He uses his Twitter account to generate his own spin attacks and incite his followers, but he also disrupts or blows-up Dem/mainstream media spin attacks, often with a single tweet.
The main thing working against America actually having another “civil war” in the sense of actual combatants engaging in real war is this 10% of the American population on Twitter running 24/7 agitation propaganda (our domestic spin war) would have to put down their cell phones and get off their butts to make that happen…
I just don’t see that happening, although it seems prudent to expect more random loons getting incited and acting out and more of the silly mob street protest antics, where loudmouth political agitators spew from their soapboxes , while their “followers,” and especially their media enablers, rush to tweet out video highlights and hype the “crowd size”…
I suspect more blood would be spilled, as heads exploded from the mind-crushing stupidity, than from actual “war,” as America’s scorched earth spin war spewed into more virulent partisan divides. Spin war has real impacts for the American people being ruthlessly manipulated by agitation propaganda 24/7, but for the participants, well, many of them get noticed and gain a following to whom they can hawk books, elicit campaign donations, and become a blue check-mark worthy “influencer” on Twitter…
So much “winning.”
6 responses to “Are we headed toward a civil war?”
I’m not sure I agree with his “uses his Twitter account to generate his own spin attacks and incite his followers” the last bit anyway. His “followers” I think aren’t, in the main the same thing as saying ‘they support him’ – I mean I bet Chuck Todd types “follow his Twitter” to a greater degree than say a Karl Rove type probably does.
Any chance an actual list is available naming who exactly his followers actually are? I wonder sometimes about that because the only time I ever have a clue about whatever tweet he trat that’s got everybody in a twit it’s some mainstream tit telling me.
Interesting point, JK. Definitely need to think about this more, although I don’t think mere numbers of followers or retweets explains the impact Trump’s tweets have had.
The thing about Trump’s tweets is he has 67.9 million followers (I just checked). I do follow Trump, but don’t check to see what Trump tweets, because his tweets generate so much retweeting activity from both people who support him and those who don’t (especially the liberal media) that almost everything Trump tweets shows up in my Twitter feed and becomes the topic of another media spin cycle.
Even people who don’t use Twitter hear about Trump’s tweets frequently via the mainstream media and FOX reporting on his tweets.
His personal Twitter affords him an avenue where he can instantly blow-up a Dem/media spin attack against him, without having to rely on the mainstream news filter or anyone else. He just shoots off a tweet and ambushes them, throwing their more orchestrated spin attacks into disarray.
The media hyping Trump’s tweets is how Trump ignites so many of his biggest spin wins – by trolling (owning the libs). He deliberately tweets inflammatory stuff that incites a massive liberal media/political spin response, where they rush headlong to attack him and end up making fools of themselves.
I suspect Karl Rove and other Republican operatives and pols do pay attention to Trump’s tweets or their staffs do, just so they know to prepare for the Dem/media hyperventilating backlash.
Trump knows he’s winning a Twitter spin battle, not through some precise count of how many people read his tweets, but by how much he dominates the Twitter political conversation every day (and therefore the news media, since the journos live on Twitter).
It seems to me there’s also a huge age group divide on how Americans consume news, JK. Older folks, still heavily get their news from TV news, whole younger ones rely on online news and since Twitter is where the journos hang-out and generate the news, it’s a place to see what’s happening. They have some app TweetDeck too, which I’ve seen journos mention in tweets, as a means of tracking several Twitter accounts, trends, etc.
Sixty Seven point Nine Million?!!!
Jeebers that’s alot.
I guess I’m missing out – but then again maybe not.
There’s roughly 73 million people between 25 and 60 (which I’m figuring is roughly the demographic likely to be possibly a twitterer – one who might possibly follow Trump anyway).
So taking that 67 million number LB and figuring the 73 in that means near 85% of the US population is, to one degree or another on Twitter – how can that possibly be? I mean except for some of my e-pals (and of those probably only 20% or so do *political Twitter) I know but maybe only four or five in “the real world” who do and I’m guessing there’s at least 200 people in my *regular people email contact list so, where in the heck is Trump getting all his followers from?
I mean its possible I suppose “all the journalists of the world” follow Trump but still. Heck I don’t think even 85% of that demographic votes.
You’re not missing a thing, JK, because Trump has so effectively turned his personal Twitter account into the WH press office that he did away with press briefings, after the mainstream media deliberately turned those into a fiasco.
He’s opted for using his personal Twitter account and his unannounced press briefings, where he walks out and engages with the press on his own terms. He controls those engagements completely. Trump’s all about control and so far his Spin Force consists of sycophants who carry water for him, without question. Trumpism relies totally on Trump, although Don Jr. is trying to position himself as the heir apparent by becoming an ace spin troll.
The Dems spin force though is largely leaderless, built through a maze of operatives (networks), rabid-Leftist factions, big money Dems funding PACs, big name Dem pols – AND the mainstream media.
Long time ago, you pointed me to a strategist, who clearly explained that decapitation strategies weren’t working against Jihadist terrorists. Well, I mentioned that book, The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman, the other day, which explained a lot of this online “leaderless organizations” in terms that go a long ways to explaining the differences between traditional hierarchical organization and leaderless organizations we’re seeing from terrorists to social media groups and communities, to the Dem spin machine to Trump, who has created, what in Brafman’s terminology, I think would classify as a hybrid organization.
Trump bypasses the responsibility of maintaining an ordered hierarchical organization, which would require a lot of time and managerial skill, by relaying information and receiving information in a formal process – he just goes by his gut based on information he receives through official and unofficial channels (informal conversations and loads of gossip). But he still exerts the control mechanisms of an autocrat (or a petty teenage girl’s clique) when it comes to who is “in” his inner-circle and who is out. Trump’s whims and petty grievances determine who stays in Trump’s inner-circle – it’s all driven by Trump’s moods.
I joined Twitter years before I ever really tweeted much – it was in the Fall of 2016 when I decided to pay more attention to Twitter – so I was late to the game analyzing Twitter or understanding Twitter was where all the journos hang out and generate the news in America. Even if a news org. publishes a story – like say the WaPo or NYT, immediately they tweet about it, before hardly anyone goes to their website to read the story and long before their print editions circulate. The trajectory of most news in America flows from journos on Twitter hyping it and from there creating enough online buzz that cable news reports on it. You don’t often see a major news story where cable news reports first and then Twitter picks up on it, because even the TV journos tweet and retweet their “breaking news” so rapidly. Heck, we even had that Schiff hearing where Trump tweeted and within minutes that tweet became part of a Congressional hearing – Trump managed to disrupt a Congressional hearing.
This Wild West social media environment isn’t static, but constantly evolving. By the time we understand the dynamics well, it will probably have evolved into something different. But there are groups on social media, fluid though they be and “communities” emerge too, which unlike “communities” in the real world, might contain swaths of “members,” who aren’t even real people, but fictitious bots and such. You commented on the number of Trump’s followers, well, here again, some are probably not real.
I went through trying to make sense of this “followers” business on Disqus comment threads a few years ago.
I observed the same sort of gang-up attacks occurring whenever I (or others) posted an anti-Trump comment, especially at The American Thinker site. I started clicking on these gang-up accounts that showed up within minutes, I looked through their followers and following lists (although some kept those private, most didn’t) and I found that often the very large followers lists contained names and bios in foreign languages and then by clicking on the followers of the people engaged in gang-up attacks, and looking at their comments, their followers and following lists, it seemed to me that a large percentage of these followers were fake lists.
I also found this one name that many of that American Thinker Disqus gang-up team had in common and that account listed a web designer profile, few actual comments and none of those about American politics. It had a link to a web design site and that site had, um, a very crappy web design, lol. Something was obviously amiss, but I lack the analytical training or software to effectively analyze all this social media stuff. I have no way to see the “big picture” or track “networks.”
The 2016 Disqus gang-up attacks felt to me just like the 1998 Excite message board gang-up attacks on the Clinton impeachment boards. On those Excite boards, people would change their user names constantly and post messages, but some were very obvious. Now we’ve got bots and troll farms run by actual intelligence agencies and American political operatives fielding fake Russian bots to spread spin smear messaging…
The other thing that has been reported is how aspiring “influencers” even resort to buying “fake followers”:
Sorry for rambling on so long here, JK.
“… tweeted and within minutes that tweet …”
Well, presumably, that probably means a bunch of this stuff is going on on phones – I certainly hope the Tweet-crowd is paying attention to the dangers: