Why shouting at Sean Spicer doesn't work

Yesterday’s Trump press conference was easily one of the most surreal things I’ve seen. I watched in awe as the President-Elect of the world’s most powerful nation wildly veered between making cabinet appointments, denouncing people, referring to himself in the third person, telling flat out lies, making sweeping policy statements on the spot and changing his business arrangements. The unrivalled Trump PR machine once again managed to smash up the media cycle in a full frontal shock and awe assault.

It was great TV, but absolutely terrifying. Last night I called out Trump’s Communications Director on Twitter, Sean Spicer, for revisionist tweets about what happened with CNNs Jim Acosta. One of the tweets got over 500 likes. Similar tweets from other people had thousands of retweets.

You think how can someone watch this stuff and actually vote for these people? It’s incomprehensible.

But then you read articles like this in the New York Times and you come back to reality with a bang.

Trump can brag about sexual assault, call on Russia to hack the former Secretary of State, mock disabled people, refuse to release his tax returns and offend pretty much everyone and still be popular. People who voted for him genuinely believe he is going to change their lives. I think in this climate Trump could shoot someone and post a video of it on Twitter and it wouldn’t change the view of his supporters.

There’s something going on in the world that is profound and the deepest question of our time. I am in the process of working on a detailed study that shows the two-tiered world that we live in. This article from the former MP Colin Burgon is a must read on free movement of labour and why it is becoming so critical. 

The reality is that the interconnectedness of the world as brought both cultural and economic development. People in cities on the whole have rich cultural experiences and are wealthier. Those who live outside cities don’t and are getting increasingly angry about it. As people in cities become more global in their outlook, people outside cities are being increasingly anti-immigration, nationalist and isolationist. This work from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation gives more grounding to this theory. 

Joe Biden is one of the only politicians talking about this topic. For progressives this is the only thing we should be talking about. How do we create a world where everyone contributes and everyone benefits? How do we combine the two increasingly diametrically opposed world views together in one electoral coalition? Obama managed to convince rural America he would make their lives better. Hillary and other democrats have consistently failed to do that. Ed Miliband failed to do it in 2015 in the UK.

This brings me back to the central point of this article. How do we beat Trump when pointing out all his character flaws don’t work? The simple answer is we show people that he has made their lives worse. The only way to beat him is to destroy the foundation of his support.

We must challenge everything he does and use the internet to convince his supporters they are worse off because of him. As much as shouting as Sean Spicer made me feel better it didn’t change minds. If anything people like me make it worse.

Let’s do something that makes a difference and creates the change we want and believe will make the world a better place.

 

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