I’ve never been a fan of outrage. People who respond to every news item with righteous indignation at high decibels tend to have their arguments dismissed–they are viewed (correctly in my opinion) as predictable and (eventually) tiresome. (Remember the old story about the boy who cried wolf?)
Instead, I have always believed that “pick your battles” is sound advice, as is “don’t sweat the small stuff, and most stuff is small stuff.”
The incoming Trump Administration is going to test that thesis. Severely. Virtually everything Trump is doing is genuinely outrageous, and in saner times would be so far beyond the pale that we wouldn’t be discussing a Trump Administration.
Case in point (just one of literally hundreds, and far from the worst): This week, “Celebrity Apprentice” returned to NBC with Donald Trump as an executive producer of the show.
Ignore, for now, this addition to the daily evidence that Trump is far more concerned with celebrity than governance of the most powerful nation on earth. As one activist organization put it, “one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, Comcast/NBCUniversal, has, for all intents and purposes, a contractual arrangement with the president-elect of the United States.”
Can we spell conflict of interest?
Trust in all media is at rock-bottom levels, and this simply increases public disdain for and skepticism about so-called “mainstream news.” What credibility can NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC retain, when they have a business agreement with a sitting President–a man they have an obligation to objectively monitor and investigate. How are Americans supposed to trust that their reporting on Trump is not compromised by the fact that they are doing business with him?
The problem is, this obviously improper behavior of both Trump and NBC comes in the midst of an absolute avalanche of corruption and incompetence. Several of Trump’s cabinet nominees are disasters-in-waiting. His collusion with Russia is now too obvious to ignore. He proposes policies likely to have dramatically horrible consequences that he quite clearly doesn’t begin to understand (Complexity-R-Not Us). He continues to pander to the white supremacists whose votes elected him. And I try not to think about the fact that this childish, mentally-ill narcissist will shortly be handed the nuclear codes…
Checks and balances? The ideologues, lapdogs and looters in Congress–many, if not most of whom were elected thanks to gerrymandering– show every sign of facilitating the Orange disaster.
If our national version of democracy is majority rule that respects minority rights, America is no longer a democracy.
At this point, the only way to retrieve government “by the people” is for “the people” to engage in a level of activism we haven’t seen in a very long time.
If outrage fuels such an uprising, I may modify my distaste for it.