ONE MAN’S VIEW: Chaos as a strategy

‘Saturday Night Live,’ famous for its satirical fake news, revealed the true Donald Trump in the opening episode of its new season Sept. 30.

Alec Baldwin as Trump talks with press aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) after refusing hurricane relief to beleaguered Puerto Rico.

Trump (Baldwin): “It may seem like what’s coming out of my mouth is b-a-n-a-n-a-s, but it’s all part of the plan.  The more chaos I cause, the less people can focus.  They’re all getting so tired, so tired.”

Trump (Baldwin): “…Keep the chaos coming and shake things up.”

Baldwin captured in a sentence what many pundits seem to have missed.

Trump, whom I’ve often caricatured as the “Hey, Squirrel” president who intentionally leaps from crisis to crisis – causes them, actually – to distract attention from what’s really going on because it’s so negative to him, perhaps isn’t the “crazy” people want to think he is. He’s crazy like a fox.

Have you tried ever tried concentrating on something when jackhammers were pounding outside your window? Or tried navigating traffic with two kids bickering in the backseat? You can’t concentrate.

Trump talks about repealing the Affordable Care Act. We rush there.

Then, he calls out football players for protesting during the national anthem. Red meat for the masses and distraction galore.

Now he’s goading nuclear-armed Kim Jung Un. Gallop there. 

Mocking hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. Grab THAT news bite.

Dissing the United Nations. Another headline.

Threaten the future of DACA recipients unless he gets a taxpayer-funded border wall. It’s one crisis after another. The list goes on and on.

It could be that this chaos-creating is actually a cold, determined strategy.

The media rushes from crisis to outrage, keeping people on edge and wailing about this dreadful man, while Trump’s cabinet and Republicans in Congress are busy pursuing their real agenda to screw working families: kill healthcare, cut taxes for the wealthy on the backs of the poor and middle class, let companies pollute at will and let financial advisors help themselves to your money. Like the President’s manufactured crises, the list goes on and on.

What the hell are we doing here? Why are we wasting our energy giving so much ink, air-time and personal attention to the man who’s trying to wear us out?

Everything that needs doing in our country is hard and requires our concentration and our best energy. We have to let the intentional distractions go.

If we have a marathon to run – and we do – the sprints will exhaust us.

If we chase every ignorant Trump tweet and action, the same thing will happen to us. We won’t have the fight left to take on education, immigration and health care, or defend the rights of working people. They aren’t as sexy as our collective outrage –  “Can you believe what he did today?” – conversations, but that’s the point. 

Chaos is Trump’s business strategy, and so far, it’s working.

We need to pick our battles, put a laser focus on them and get to work.

So much needs to get done, and we can get it done if we don’t give in to this “distraction/chaos” strategy and focus on what we can change.

We have a lot of work to do to take us from where we are. It’s going to be hard, but as Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

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