While I’ve frequently called into question Donald Trump’s intelligence — or lack thereof, rather — I’ve also admitted that I believe him to be very crafty and “smart” when it comes to being an unethical human being who’s great at finding ways to save his own backside.
Just because a person might be a bona fide imbecile when it comes to actual intelligence, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the proverbial “street smarts” when it comes to conning people, screwing over the gullible, and even being a very successful criminal.
Say what you want about Trump (and there’s plenty to say), but it’s hard to deny that he’s great con man when it comes to recognizing an audience gullible enough to believe him and pandering to whatever ignorance and lies they clearly want to be told.
That’s why I’ve grown a bit worried that the media, and liberals, in particular, have grown too quick to jump on any and every story that exposes how incompetent, unhinged, unqualified, and crooked Trump is.
My fear being, Trump and his administration could purposely be leaking some of these stories as sort of a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” That way when they don’t come true, it validates Trump’s frequent claims of “fake news” being used against him.
Does anyone reading this put it past him to do just that? Would it really be outside the realm of possibility that some of these “leaks” could be directives from Trump, himself, to push a “story” out there, knowing that it’ll be seized on by people and media entities he’s trying to discredit?
In essence, it’s simply another form of “gaslighting.”
If there are enough legitimate leaks to real stories, mixed with a good amount of fabricated “leaks” ordered by Trump, that can create the environment where nothing seems legitimate or credible.
Let’s not forget, Trump was caught posing as his own PR guy during interviews and has a known history for “leaking” information to the media he’s wanting them to report for his own self interests. So would it really shock anyone if there are efforts by his administration to fabricate “leaks” as a way to discredit the actual leaks to legitimate stories?
This is why I’ve grown somewhat frustrated seeing far too many liberal websites/blogs, and progressives, in general, publishing and/or sharing stories based on random, non-verified people or accounts on Twitter pumping out anti-Trump “information” that, quite honestly, often sounds too good to be true.
And I think most of us know what they say about information that sounds too good to be true.
It’s like Dustin Rowles said at Pajiba.com:
Maybe impeachment is around the corner. Maybe there’s some truth to some of the wild conspiracy theories being reported. Maybe the Russians do have compromising intel on Jason Chaffetz and Mitch McConnell. Maybe 210 people have committed treason, so far. But just because someone wrote it and someone you like or respect retweeted it doesn’t make it true. Just because we think we’re smarter than Trump supporters doesn’t mean that we’re not vulnerable to the same manipulation.
I’m not saying some of this information might not be factual. However, just because some random source is telling you something that you really… really want to hear, that doesn’t mean it should be blindly believed.
And, I’m sorry, but if indictments are imminent, and grand juries have been convened, all against Trump, I can’t imagine that massive media conglomerates like CNN, NBC News, CBS News, and The New York Times wouldn’t have any sources who could also verify this information by now.
I’m not here to say that the mainstream media is flawless — far from it — but as much flack as they get, whether or not their critics want to believe it, their reporting is usually pretty factual when it comes to legitimate news.
At the end of the day, we all need to be careful to not let our disdain for Donald Trump override our ability to be reasonable, rational, and care about making sure what we say is factual.
Otherwise, all we’re doing is allowing ourselves to fall into a trap Trump could be setting, and, in the process, helping him validate his claims of “fake news” by believing and sharing stories that pander to our emotion rather than those based on credible facts and information.