Everyone has something that they are “so sick of,” in this election cycle. Here’s mine: The endless rants about Donald Trump. The social media conversations going on and on, outraged over his latest egregious comment, the clever, biting anti-Trump memes. Not that he’s not a despicable, deplorable human being. But it is not his fault that we are a nation of idiots who ask for nothing more from life than a good reality TV show. And that is exactly what we are getting.
Mika Brzezinski finally got sick of pretending and on Morning Joe recently called it “circles of nothing.” So true, but the media decides what is important and up to now, they’ve been perfectly comfortable with non-stop coverage of nothing. So in my view, Donald Trump is no more to blame for our current electoral nightmare than an over-paid professional athlete is to blame for our national sports obsession, or a super-model is personally responsible for the disproportionate value our culture places on youth and beauty.
Donald Trump is obviously not a nice person, but he has merely taken advantage of America’s selfishness, ignorance, addictive tendencies, gullibility, all exacerbated by the corporate media and in the almost total absence of responsible journalism which, if it existed, would have prevented this.
Back in the day when TV first took its place in the nation’s living rooms, there was a public interest standard the networks were required to uphold. No longer. The latest corporate takeover, Comcast buying NBC Universal, resulted in the disappearing of Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s biggest ratings earner and truth-teller. This was the beginning of the end of the last lifeline to any kind of responsible reporting on television about things that matter.
Sure, we still have newspapers and they do better, but they tend to be corporate owned now too. TV matters because propaganda has to be delivered on a mass scale to an unthinking audience. They can and do pump Trump’s image to the masses on TVs in bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, athletic clubs, public places. Even with the sound off, you can’t escape it. Reading a newspaper engages our thinking brains in a way that watching images on the TV does not. There is also right wing talk radio, saturating the broadcast airwaves, blanketing the nation in lies and hate, creating an alternate reality for those that want one.
Donald Trump is our creation. We went to sleep. We did not guard our Democracy with vigilance. We have elected Republican after Republican, whose party has become more and more extreme over time. We don’t vote in local elections, so we have given up our power to control our schools, our land, our water, all of these precious necessities that are right in our own back yard, in our communities and in our state.
We let the corporate media tell us not only what to think, but what to think about. We watch in a collective trance, while the media pastes Donald Trump’s image on the TV as its permanent wallpaper. But worse than that, we robotically repeat everything the propagandistic corporate media says – in Facebook posts, blogs, internet conversations, at work, with friends – even while we claim to oppose it.
Millions have been brainwashed by years of the right-wing propaganda machine, and now the mainstream mass media is also so distorted, it has completely disabled any politician who would like to tell the truth, but can’t say anything real without being misquoted or taken out of context and attacked in the so-called press.
So let’s stop passing around the one zillionth idiot thing the Donald or one of his surrogates says that is of no value whatsoever to anyone. We already know what he is all about. Trump’s constant gibberish is not news anymore and promoting it even for the purpose of being critical of it, at this point serves only to distract us, numb our thinking, and paralyze us with fear.
Instead, let’s get to work on things that matter. Here in Iowa, this means getting involved in campaigns for our local state house and senate candidates, some of whom are in the fight of their lives to retain seats. Let’s send some more Democrats to congress so Dave Loebsack isn’t the only Iowa Democrat in DC. Let’s help and support those brave, dedicated Iowans who are fighting like hell on behalf of all of us to stop the Bakken pipeline. Let’s un-elect Iowa Republicans who are mindlessly marching in lockstep in support of our corrupt governor’s horrific policies.
Donald Trump is now relevant only to the extent that we need to make sure we do not elect him. There is no need to waste time and energy dwelling on a different version of the same endless drivel put out there by Trump and dutifully delivered by the zombie media, day in and day out.
So let’s snap out of our zombie Trump trance. Stop posting Trumpisms.
Here are the most effective things you can do at this time:
– Donate to the state and local Democrat(s) of your choice.
– Volunteer for your local GOTV effort.
– Help collect absentee ballots
– Write a letter to the editor of your local paper supporting your local Democratic candidate for senate or house or calling attention to an issue.
– Vote early. It is helpful to the campaigns to have fewer votes to chase as the election draws near.
– Join or support a progressive group – DFA, CCI, Bold Iowa, PACG to name a few. They are working hard every day on things that matter.