That’s what David Greenberg of Politico has to say about Trump’s latest uptick in media attention. In a thorough piece on the matter, Greenberg makes some great points about how we’ve allowed Trump’s disinformation to convince us that he’s gaining traction. In reality, we’re poised to yank him out after one term, and we can’t take our foot off the gas:
“But this fantasy is a version of a fallacy that we can’t seem to let go: the idea that a president’s popularity is mainly a result of his communication skills, a function of how well he performs in the news media. We tend to imagine that incompetent politicians succeed because they hoodwink the public through their facility with the dark arts of public relations, that they spin their way from failure to triumph. But this gets the relationship backward. As a general rule, we don’t remember presidents as successful because they were skilled in messaging; on the contrary, we remember them as skilled in messaging because they were successful. And those who failed as president may be recalled as inept in the arts of public persuasion—but in fact, their communication deficits usually rested on much deeper failings.”
Yes, Trump won an election in 2016. But let’s not forget how it was done: via rampant digital disinformation and a significant deficit in the popular vote. America has had the chance to see Trump and his inadequacies in all their brutal glory, and his 2016 victory is the only thing that allows him to convince them of his false competence. How do we erase that fallacy? We beat him in November.
You can read the full argument for how “spin won’t save Trump” in Politico here.