Steve A. Stone
Dear Friends and Patriots,
If you’ve been following the national conversations, especially the conversations held in the mainstream media and among the Democrats and those who support them, you are acutely aware of narrative shifts. The narrative is the “party line” of approved dialog you hear daily, and the shifts are the points in time when that dialog changes from making one irrelevant or illegitimate point to making another. There are several purposes for the narratives and their shifts.
We’ve certainly seen the mainstream media, which includes most television news outlets, print media, and to some extent the Hollywood film industry, adopt the habit of comparing notes to ensure they speak their version of truth in a uniform and harmonious way. In earlier days, before adopting mechanisms to ensure uniformity, we often saw the media present variations on their daily “truth.” There were times when the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times would cover the same story, but with different points of view and seemingly different objectives. The same phenomenon was apparent in TV coverage as well. Even though the general trend of the messaging was in the same direction, there was a noticeable lack of discipline; a lack of coherence. Something happened about three years ago that fixed all that. We noticed a subtly increasing consistency to the messaging that eventually became almost parody in its sameness. There was a period where it seemed as if there was a 0700 daily guide sent out by someone or some organization that issued the media’s approved talking points, including specific words and phrases to be used. It didn’t matter whether you watched TV or read the daily newspapers, you saw and heard virtually the same script. That’s changed a bit, which indicates the media mavens finally realized the sameness in their messaging was turning off their consumers. Today, it appears there is still a daily 0700 communique’ of the daily narrative, but there’s no longer an emphasis on specific words and phrases. Instead of absolute uniformity, we now hear a more generalized message. It’s still uniform in direction and purpose; it’s just not quite as unnervingly boring. That is the daily narrative.
Narrative shifts happen for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s because some better opportunity presents itself. A weakening narrative gets dropped in favor of a stronger emergent one. There are the necessary shifts when a narrative has been so thoroughly discredited that even “big lie” tactics become risky. Then, there’s the narrative shift that’s the result of psychological transference. Progressives have practiced transference forever, assigning their own malignant faults, actions, activities, and ideas to their adversaries. Transference is used as a diversionary tactic. It’s meant to throw the “right wing” hound dogs off the scent trail. It also serves to generate enthusiasm within the progressive useful idiot base; those who only pay attention to progressive communication outlets.
Conventional wisdom of the conservative-inclined voters indicates the overall choice we have in November is between socialism and the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Progressive Democrats see it a different way. They are more likely to view it as between good and evil, with them in the self-assigned role of the “good.” The religious right sees the coming election in that exact same way, with party roles reversed. Many in the country view it as a choice between the continuance of America as a democratic republic and Amerika, the “new normal” state that is doomed to fail as it purposefully implements the Green New Deal and completely wrecks the nation’s economy.
The campaign tactics being employed today by both major parties are evolving rapidly. We may now be seeing the “groove” each campaign is going to settle in. They’re both curious grooves, too. The Trump campaign appears to be appealing to a more positive emotion than Biden’s.
While it’s undeniably true that Trump’s campaign remarks on Joe Biden’s less than impressive record of accomplishments over his many-decades long career, and they can’t help but make note of his obvious physical and mental frailties, the main context of their messaging is positive. They point to the record of the administration’s successes in getting things done. They point to promises made in the 2016 campaign and the great number that were kept. They point to the pre-COVID successes of the Trump economy and flatly state, “We can do that again, and even more.” They state the administration will continue to fight against the deep state and to drain the Washington swamp. When one stands back from the noise and contemplates the first Trump administration, it’s fair to conclude Trump even made good on the oldest Obama promise, the one Obama failed to keep. It was Trump, not Obama, who brought the country “Hope and Change,” and also “Change You Can Believe In.” I know I’ve had hope for the first time in many years. And, I certainly do believe in the changes Trump’s administration has brought, and I want more. Trump engages his supporters in pro-America pep rallies.
What is the Trump campaign’s general emphasis on COVID? It’s simple. This is China’s doing. It’s bad. But, regardless of how bad it might be, it’ll be over soon and Americans need to start picking up their lives now instead of waiting and gambling on the promise of an effective virus. What is left unsaid is the truth that if we Americans were to sit around our homes waiting on the promised miracle of a vaccine instead of getting the country moving in top gear again, we could see an economic disaster like the world has never experienced. Who would be served by that possibility? Yes, we know who, don’t we?
Trump is picking up “law and order” as one of his important themes. It’s a natural one that’s being handed to him on a silver platter. The progressive Democrats have been caught with their pants down. They’ve aided and abetted the chaos in the nation. Everyone knows it. Now they’re trying to put that reeking albatross around Trump’s neck. It’s just the latest example of transference.
Contrasts with the Biden campaign’s tactics are fairly stark. Biden is not running a positive campaign. His messaging is almost totally negative, although he does offer hope that he’ll fix all the things the Democrats allege Donald Trump screwed up. If you listen to Democratic Party rhetoric, the Trump administration has been an unmitigated disaster that has set back the cause of democracy at least ten years. But, they promise they’ll have everything ship-shape and back on track in no time at all. They promise to pick right back up on the Obama plan for America and to restore all that Trump has destroyed. Oh, and they also promise to pursue the Green New Deal, re-empower labor unions, raise income taxes, raise corporate taxes, invent some new taxes, restore our relationships with China and Iran, re-engage as a member of the Paris Climate Accord, re-join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, restore all funding cut from various United Nations agencies, restore the Iran Nuclear Deal that Trump bowed us out of, fix Social Security (for the “Nth” time), and pursue a zero-carbon emission economy. Some of those things are new, prohibitively expensive, and just plain nonsensical, while others are intended to position America again to be easy pickings for the globalists whose intent is to see to our destruction as the dominant economic and military power on the planet.
There are many characterizations of the campaigns and their orientation. I finally concluded we should all understand them in the simplest terms. Despite all the mainstream media characterizations of Trump’s campaign, I contend its main message is positive. It says, “We were on a roll, and we want to be done with this COVID interruption and get right back to it,” while the Biden message is one mainly intended to instill fear. Their message is more of the “Orange man bad!” variety. Their platform is one that can’t actually be achieved. Indeed, any energetic attempts to do so would fatally ruin the nation’s economy within only a couple of years. Their main messages are meant to instill fear in their followers.
The media narrative regarding the campaigns has merged with that of their coverage of the unrest in our nation’s streets and coverage of the COVID response. Its most interesting narrative shift was the latest—the riots in the streets are now Trump’s doing and the fact they continue is evidence of his incompetence. It’s just more of the same, really. The narrative shift transfers responsibility from progressives and Democrats who support the chaos for political reasons, yet say very little about them on most days. Most references of late have been to “mostly peaceful protests,” which is an incredible way to describe the amount of looting and burning that has been experienced, not to mention the beatings of Trump supporters and outright murder of one in Portland last week. There was no mention at all of the unrest during the Democratic Party’s national convention. Now, when faced with polling and focus groups that clearly indicate the continued disavowal of reality in the streets is working to Trump’s advantage, the media narrative declares all to be a reflection of Trump’s bad policies, his unwavering support for out-of-control police, and his overall racist attitudes.
I propose a very simple characterization to all this. Consider everything that’s gone on this year, including the street protests and violence and the way the COVID-19 response has been managed at the state and local levels, to be meaningful in a purely political context. It has all been leveraged for political advantages by one party—the progressive Democrats. The characterization of the Democrats’ pitch to the voters is one of pure fear. They are conducting a campaign of political terror unlike any ever seen on our shores. Meanwhile, Trump’s most obvious messaging is of hope and assurance for a better tomorrow.
The campaigns in short form: BIDEN = Fear of a Trump future. TRUMP = MAGA!
I know where I am on all this – MAGA, BABY!
Steve© Steve A. Stone
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.