The insidious thing about the media is that it still has control over how we think about things. Take this recent article on celebrities sharing anecdotes about meeting Donald Trump from The Guardian. Here’s a fabulous quote about an anecdote from Woody Harrelson:
The story is a reminder of what is perhaps Trump’s one saving grace. Before he was president, he was just a common or garden celebrity. And this means that every other celebrity who ever met him has a story about what an idiot he is.
But let’s consider something here. Before Donald Trump became president of the United States, he was a businessman. Sure, some of his businesses flopped, but he seemed successful enough to be part of the high-end social circle of celebrities. You don’t get there by being an idiot. And you certainly don’t get there by being an idiot with little desire for power. Sure, Trump’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s certainly not the bluntest either, and let me show you why.
As a writer, I can see, hear and feel the power of words. If you’re clever enough, you can weave these words into a narrative that sounds real enough. These narratives have a subtle way of changing the way we see the world around us. But when narratives are based on reality, things can get serious. Especially if you have a strategy in place.
Trump has used his extensive vocabulary to weave a narrative that resonates with many voters. Build the wall, lock her up, make America great again. And the best way to get away with most of his rhetoric is to come across as an idiot. Labelling him as an idiot is a wonderful way of feeling like you have power over him, too. And that’s just the way he likes it. We’re not playing a fool's game, we are being played for fools.
Another way this idiot labelling works wonders for Trump is that it creates a divide between his supporters and his haters. It’s the perfect situation to be in if you’re leading one of the most powerful nations in the world. When you’re base is fighting with each other, they are distracted from all the crazy stuff you do.