In his book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump talked about repeating a lie to close a deal. Now we’re not even a year into his presidency I think the major problem with what he claimed is: unlike typical Trump, he minimized what he actually does. It’s not 3 times, or 4, or 10. It’s perpetual. He just shifts from one lie to another. I think any truth he may tell: IF ANY, may be 3 times, though that may be a vast over estimation.
His book shouldn’t have been called Deal, it should have been The Art of Deception, though “art” when it comes to Trump is about as accurate as his claim he uses the “best words.” And it’s all about deception that may fool fools, but must of us know him as a conman in a party of conmen and women.
This brings up a topic that goes far beyond Donald Trump. In Kerry’s 04 campaign we helped with the local Nashville office. The head of the group I was working with, well, let’s just say she didn’t seem to have the best interest of Senator Kerry in mind in many decisions she made. We were sent to places to promote the campaign where we had little chance of being seen, and at best have things thrown at us. Calls made resulted in few to no donations because we were calling areas both Millie, my wife, and I knew from previous phone work were heavily Republican. She damn near fired me for suggesting I share with her superiors indications there was election fraud afoot. When the vote suddenly, oddly, started to switch election night she asked us she asked us where the head of the local party went. We said we didn’t know. But she found him, and kept pulling him away from looking at the board. Remember at that time votes were sent to a Tennessee server, out of Ohio if I remember right, a server owned by Republicans to be scrubbed, I mean, uh, “counted?”
Next election year her name was “curiously” listed among Republican campaign officials.
During the 16 election I noticed people on normally more leftward Facebook pages seemed to have one purpose: create division. In fact I wrote a column using claims they made about Hillary that obviously were a croc, demanding everyone vote for Stein or Johnson and passing on right wing conspiracy theories saying, “If you say these things don’t be surprised if some may think you a troll or sock puppet.” I have noticed many of those so intent on making more division have disappeared since the election’s over, though a few are still around and their only mission still seems to be to create as much division as possible.
Gee, I wonder how many were, or are, paid operatives? I know it’s been recently revealed even some of the Russian hackers were involved in this kind of deception. But when I have brought it up the reaction usually is to shrug it off with, “This has been happening for a long time.”
I think this a big mistake. I think it under estimates the affect of such deception, at best, and also enables such deception: makes it more affective, more powerful. But some of them are right when they say it’s not going away. So our only response is to ignore it or, at best, point it out to a mainstream media that has absolutely no interest in doing any extensive coverage of it?
I think not. Since they do it we need to be doing it too to even the playing field.
The Right does a good job of punking themselves. Witness how anti-gay activists eventually ended up with gays being more accepted, even in the military. Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell backfired because the brass did ask, even if no one told. But expecting that kind of jujitsu is unrealistic and thousands get hurt, and yes killed sometimes, on the way.
We need more effective, more immediate methods. Why do you think they do what they do?
I just started reading a Brit book called, Bodyguard of Lies, by Anthony Cave Brown. It’s all about how the Brits used deception to win WWII. There can be little doubt just the tactics I’ve already mentioned show the Right treats politics as war and uses deception. Some of it is so damn obvious too, like Mexico paying for the wall. Some is downright disgusting, like the Russians, simply accusing the left of what they’re doing, saying there are good people among Nazis and racists chanting “Jew will not replace us,” or paying people to pretend to be what they’re not to cause as much internal conflict as possible. To spread the hate.
And I “hate” to type this, but unless we punk them back the Trump presidency is so dangerous we might as well roll over and let them gut us to get it over with. They’re sure as hell not going to call us “good dog,” or pat us on the tummy for being so obedient. Kindness: like not pursuing Nixon post resignation or when his people made a deal with Vietnam not to agree to LBJ’s proposal efforts to end Nam, not pursuing Bush I: trading arms for hostages, Bush II for more than I can type: like deliberately using compromised intel to go to war… all that kindness, forgiveness, turns rule of law into Lucy’s football. We’re nice, trusting, want to move on and they use that to destroy us.
In the beginning of the book Brown writes; quoting General Sir Archibald Wavell…
Every commander should be considering methods of misleading his opponent, of playing on his fears, and disturbing his mental balance…. Elementary principle of all deception is to attract the enemy’s attention to what you wish him to see and to distract his attention from what you do not wish him to see… (the object is) to force the enemy to SO SOMETHING that will assist (us)
The “rule” that “we be nice” and “they be nasty” needs to be tossed away; especially when it comes to deception.
In WWII some of this wasn’t all that applicable, unless metaphorically, symbolically, like fake tank divisions that were really blow up balloons, kind of like Macy’s parade only mostly on the ground. But the principle is often the same.
Probably one of the classic cases, unfortunately done just by a radio host as a joke, was to call Scott Walker and pretend to be one of the Koch brothers, so on the air he would prove himself the rich men ass kissing servant he was.
To do this we need to assess the “enemy’s” weakness: Trump’s ego for example, and play on it as if we’re going to caress that weakness. Then the trap snaps. I think many of us can play them for fools on their own web sites, Facebook feeds, and even do what we can to divide them. Hell, Trump’s been doing a grand job punking himself already: let’s help! And then turn around and bait the little Orange Boy into getting as much of his base as possible to turn against him, him to turn against them.
Like they do: spread the hate, the division. Especially election time when trolls and sock puppets spread across Facebook like an overflowing septic tank ruins a lawn, doing anything they could to claim they were progressives while doing anything they could to make sure people stayed home or at least vote for someone who didn’t have a chance in hell of winning. If someone claims doing that will “teach them a lesson,” be reminded that that has never ever worked, and has helped create horrid results. Like Trump.
I enjoy Michael Moore’s movies, but we also need our own O’Keefe.
I know, I know: not “fair.” My old friend, passed on a few years now, Bartcop, disagreed sometimes as much as we agreed, but every time he complained about lefties wanting to play fair my heart went out. The old idea that the general public will recognize how unfair it all is is gone. Hell, the public seems to thrive on division. Let’s give them a show too.
We too need to start practicing the art of deception.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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