No, I’m not talking about this blog, which hasn’t been updated in a good long while, sad to say. Between travel and work and getting MJ-12: Endgame off the ground — plus preparing for the launch of MJ-12: Shadows in September — it’s been rather busy.
Plus, there have been distractions. I know I’m not the only writer grotesquely entranced by the insanity coming out of Washington, from TrumpCare to climate change denial to God-knows-what. But the train wreck that never ceases to amaze me is the utter lack of sensible communications from the White House.
In short — the font of self-inflicted damage is amazing. And so easily avoided, too.
I worked as a journalist for 15 years, and have been doing corporate communications/marketing for 10 years now. Getting one’s point across and avoiding foot-in-mouth syndrome, these are things I do. And the willful disregard of anything approaching sensible, normal communications from the Trump administration is just mind-boggling to me.
Granted, they set the tone on day one when the administration insisted that the audience for the inauguration was larger than that of Obama’s. This is a patently obvious lie, backed up by photos released by the National Park Service on Twitter — photos that the administration, in now-typical ham-fisted reaction, tried to memory-hole.
Then there’s the voter fraud panel, designed to ferret out all the alleged illegal voting in the presidential election that Trump won. Because he didn’t win bigly enough, apparently. His claim that he would’ve won had there been no illegal voting is mind-boggling, since that means three million votes cast in the election — all for Hillary Clinton, of course — were illegal and invalid.
Let’s math that up for a moment, kind of like I did with the whole paid protester bit. There were more than 136.6 million votes cast for president in the United States. Thus, Trump claims that 2% of the vote was illegal — or, roughly, one in every fifty votes was fraudulent. Surely, of course, election monitors in the various states would’ve caught some of these attempts, right?
So let’s math that up, too. Let’s say that illegal voters are super secret awesome at casting illegal votes for Clinton (which they all would have to do to support Trump’s claim). But since there’s systems in place and enforcement, let’s also assume that at least 1% of those trying to vote illegally were caught red-handed. The result? There should have been 30,000 illegal voters caught on Election Day. That’s a lot of arrests. That’s huge news.
So, how many people were nabbed for voter fraud? Four. It’s these easily avoidable, utterly inane controversies, created by the egotistical asshat currently in the Oval Office, that has every communications professional in the U.S. laughing (or crying).
Another example: Donald Trump Jr. denies meeting with Russians. Then he says, yeah, we met to talk about adoptions. A day later, he said, OK, someone may have mentioned dirt on Hillary Clinton, but mostly we talked adoptions. And one day after that, Junior releases an email chain in which an intermediary promises dirt on Hillary, with the explicit in-writing admission that said dirt is part of the Russian government’s support of Trump’s campaign. And he says, dude, let’s meet.
And Junior says? “I love it.” In writing. In an email chain he released himself on Twitter.
Yet the president has the gall and audacity to complain that the media is obsessed with Russia and not focusing on his achievements. (One could ask what those achievements are, but it’s a short list, and most of it has to do with curtailing individual rights and liberties and polluting the environment, so yay.)
There are, of course, remedies for this pattern of incompetent communications. Any professional worth their salt could come in and set the ship straight, and maybe even salvage the presidency. I could think of a half-dozen things they could implement today. But A) I’m disinclined to actually help this thuggish lout of a president; B) I’m just a guy with a blog; and C) even if I were the best PR guy in the world, they wouldn’t listen to me anyway.
Which is fine. Keep talking. Keep tweeting. Keep changing the story. Every mischaracterization, omission and outright lie is another brick in the wall. The one thing that we can all count on is that the truth will out. Trump should know that — there’s an inscription to that effect on the facade of CIA headquarters, where he went the day after his inauguration (and complained about crowd size and media treatment).
The quote: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.