Those who supported Donald Trump during this year’s election, including former members of the Tea Party and those who are now being called the ‘alt-right,’ were surprised to hear the mainstream media reporting that the president-elect has walked-back some of his positions.
In an interview with the New York Times, Trump softened his stance on the torture of prisoners by the military, the legitimacy of climate change, and his promise to prosecute Hillary Clinton. He also told them regarding the alt-right movement, “I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn.”
People are wondering why Trump has been so quick to change his stance on issues he was so passionate about just a few weeks ago. In order to understand what Trump is really up to, you need to look at the relationship he has with the press.
I’ll admit that it’s possible Trump is reconsidering his views. He’s a businessman who knows you have to change things up, based on how your ideas are received by the public. In marketing, it’s called A/B testing. But some of this may have a different purpose.
When Trump announced the changes, he was speaking to the mainstream media. The same media that did everything they could to sabotage his run for the While House. In last weekend’s meeting with the heads of the major news networks, Trump accused them of being liars. One reporter said it was like facing a “firing squad.” The takeaway message from the meeting is that the president-elect doesn’t trust the mainstream media. His treatment of them served as a signal to anyone paying attention that he has no intention of playing by their rules.
Because they take advantage of every opportunity to criticize him, Trump is methodically removing their opportunities. By publicly softening his positions on all their hot topics, he is one-by-one removing their talking points. He has often pointed out that one of President Obama’s glaring faults is telling his adversaries what he plans to do. Obama has many friends in the press, but that’s not the case with Trump. The man who was once adored by the media became its enemy simply by running for President as a Republican. Since the press has chosen to be his adversary, he has no intention of letting them in on his plans.
This is an important point to remember during the next four years. The only thing we should expect to hear from the mainstream media, involving direct conversations with Trump, will be news that furthers his agenda of uniting the country. They won’t be privy to anything else. Trump’s strategic plan for the press involves keeping them in the dark about what he’s really up to.
We know this to be true, because on the issue of the alt-right, Trump has repeatedly and defiantly supported Steve Bannon as his pick for strategic adviser. Bannon, and his former news agency Breitbart, are considered to be icons of the alt-right. If Trump really had an interest in repudiating the alt-right, he would have picked someone else. The fact that he didn’t, signals the alt-right that all is well with Trump. But now, if they want to quote him, the press is forced to report the opposite.
The alt-right, by the way, was the driving force behind Trump’s victory. To help understand who they are, Paul Joseph Watson, one of their leaders, tweeted this:
The New Right vs the Alt-Right. pic.twitter.com/KNEIydv9Fr
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 22, 2016
Removing himself from the decision regarding the prosecution of Hillary Clinton was another wise move by Trump. Some have accused President Obama of using the Justice Department to go after his enemies. Whether the charge is true or not, Trump is not going to let that happen under his administration. His game plan is to put as much distance as possible between himself and the DOJ, to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing.
It was necessary for Trump to publicly remove himself from the prosecution of Hillary. And now that he’s washed his hands of it (and the media has it on record) he can turn his focus—and the focus of the media—to other issues. His Attorney General can do as he sees fit with Hillary, without the actions appearing to be a vendetta Trump has against her.
The media is only going to get the news that Trump wants them to have. We probably shouldn’t trust what they say about him. Not just because of their incompetence or bias, but because that’s not how he plans to use them. He’s chosen to share his vision, his gripes and his passions directly with the public through Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, and other social media platforms where his words can’t be twisted. His only use for the mainstream media is to recruit more support by giving interviews that destroy the warped perception they’ve created.
Watching Trump play the media is a little like watching an adult in a room full of kids. In the same way he used them to win the election; he’ll continue using them to advance his agenda of making America and the world great again.
Praying Medic is a paramedic and author living in Phoenix, Arizona. Since 2009, he has written about the miracles God has done through his medical practice. His life goal is to teach people to live as ambassadors of God’s kingdom. His books and articles are intended to inspire and challenge readers to enter into a deeper relationship with God.