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Robert Reich writes: "He's a showman and salesman, a conman and a charlatan, a circus barker who would be nothing without the roar of the crowds."

Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)
Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)


There Is Only One Way to Deal With the Reality Show Called President Donald Trump. Turn It Off.

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page

12 October 17

 

rump craves attention the way most of us need air. He has to be at the center of chaos and controversy. He covets high ratings. He needs an audience that’s mesmerized by his outrageous tweets, his incendiary insults, his keep-them-guessing asides, his over-the-top story lines, his petty vindictiveness.

He’s a showman and salesman, a conman and a charlatan, a circus barker who would be nothing without the roar of the crowds.

So suppose the crowds stopped roaring? Suppose we all stopped reacting to his every taunt and jeer? What would happen if we no longer paid attention to his tweetstorms and tantrums? What if the media and the rest of us focused only on the real news – decisions actually made by Congress, the courts, and the Trump administration? Policies actually put forward? Official acts that have a practical bearing on our lives?

After all, Trump doesn’t really govern America; he just stirs America up. If we ignored him and got back to the basics of governance, Trump would nothing -- isolated, alone, dismissed. He would be a showman without a show, a barker without a crowd, a provocateur without anyone provoked. Like the Wicked Witch of the West he’d melt away, shouting at all of us as he disappeared: Look what you've done!! Ohhhhh, what a world, what a world. Who would have thought that you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!

Worth a try, isn’t it?


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+36 # bread and butter 2017-10-12 11:42
Yes. By all means, go to your happy place and just pretend it isn't happening. What could go wrong?

Maybe the press should just stop reporting it every time he threatens nuclear war.

Of course, with any spoiled child who doesn't get attention, the first thing he'll do is TRY HARDER.

If TALKING about nuclear war doesn't get him the attention he needs, what's next?
 
 
+12 # tedrey 2017-10-12 11:54
Then don't keep bringing him up. Start a new subject.
 
 
+13 # chapdrum 2017-10-12 12:55
Pardon the naivete, but a question arises: Can't Congress (esp. Republicans) draft a type of emergency legislation to at least hold a vote of no confidence in the "president?" Better that, than just passively ignoring him. Reich should know better.
 
 
0 # ericlipps 2017-10-13 17:51
A "vote of no confidence" would be a meaningless political stunt.
 
 
+31 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-10-12 13:46
Yes, this is correct. I don't listen to his bombast and bullshit. But I don't count. The media does listen to him and jumps around like a frog in a hot frying pan on everything he says or twitters. That's how Trump got elected. The mass media made him a start and they continue to make him a celebrity president.

I am so glad that Reich is finally saying this --

"After all, Trump doesn’t really govern America; he just stirs America up. If we ignored him and got back to the basics of governance, Trump would nothing -- isolated, alone, dismissed."

He has a lot of influence in the democratic party. They should be going about the business of governance. They should be introducing bills and educating the public on the issues of they day. OK. their bills would not get through the republican congress, but it would be the right things to do and it would prepare for the day democrats again took control of congress. But democrats are not doing this -- with a few exceptions.

This is the best piece Reich has written in a long time. Go for it, RR. I am with you.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-10-12 14:29
Here's something that's interesting, an article on some of the unconventional techniques used by Catalonian activists. We may need them!

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/12/catalonia-referendum-independence-secret-vote-spain/
 
 
+22 # Wise woman 2017-10-12 17:06
Yes, it's worth a try. It's become boring and repetitive. I'm glad the msm has cut back on reporting his daily tweets. The man is incompetent and witless. It's almost like being mesmerized by a daily freak show. Las Vegas, the hurricanes and Weinstein have robbed him of his notoriety these past few weeks and he's feeling left out. Everyone should ignore it.
 
 
+22 # Carol R 2017-10-12 17:31
"Worth a try, isn’t it?"

I felt peace just reading this possibility. It would be pure bliss to totally ignore him. I'd love to focus on real news. Wish the media felt the same.
 
 
+4 # mill valley maven 2017-10-12 21:08
Ignore whom?
 
 
+25 # Art947 2017-10-12 18:11
I have tried to curtail my listening to what this sorry excuse for a human being says and does, however, his ability to destroy America and American icons seems boundless. In addition, his minions, those individuals who have been described as deplorable, ignorant, uninformed, etc., have no problem in magnifying his wretchedness. Cases in point: the fiasco that is affecting the people of Puerto Rico. Will the help that is being proposed by House Republicans (his enablers in Congress) make the recovery of the island and its people more difficult? Will our environment (and the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren) by further compromised by the actions of his EPA administrator? Will a nuclear holocaust be the end result of his ignorance? (Hopefully the saner military minds will prevent this. Although our reliance on these generals questions the organization of our civilian-contro lled government. There are many more serious questions that should be considered and debated honestly, however, leadership is required for this purpose. Who will be the leaders?
 
 
+22 # David P 2017-10-12 18:15
A showman needs an audience. I already try to #IgnoreTrump
 
 
+15 # grandlakeguy 2017-10-12 18:45
No it is pointless Mr.Reich!

You forget that Trump has the ability to launch nuclear weapons!

He is mentally unstable and totally unpredictable.

The only way to deal with the mess that we find ourselves in is to expose the fraud that we jokingly call elections!
If the American people knew what a farce our last election was between the fraudulent Democratic party "nominee" and the odious Republican nominee who only "won" by blocking any recount or validation of the reported results then perhaps a national action to demand new elections would ensue.
We are all sick and tired of lesser of two evils choices!

Nothing will get better until we have the power to elect representatives of our choice!

How about focusing on that instead of silliness like this piece?
 
 
+4 # tomtom 2017-10-13 08:15
The elections are flawed because the voters are flawed, besides, gerrymandering, pad advertising, nepotism, foreign influence, etc. We're not worthy or qualified. Is there any way we could have non-biased, arbiters, monitors, whom could access the most qualified people from our grand pool of educated citizens to hold these offices? Can Donald really push the button, without anyone else's permission? We have incarcerated, blind children who could make better decisions than this man. He has so much power, we can't take it from him! Help!
 
 
+12 # kando@ltidewater.net 2017-10-12 18:48
Yeah. But how do you get this done. The papers profit from "Trump news" and TV ratings rise.Weird as this is, Trump is entertainment the same way as a crime novel or a Western is -- even if the men wearing white hats are missing.
 
 
+36 # PaineRad 2017-10-12 18:59
I beg to differ. Somewhat. #45 is an ignorant, arrogant narcissist, a congential liar and a sociopath, among other things. Were it not for the wealth he inherited, he would be in either prison or a mental hospital. He is in dire need of a lot of professional help. I hope someone in his family has the courage to get it for him, but I doubt that any of them have either the smarts or courage to do it.
 
 
+5 # chapdrum 2017-10-12 20:36
PaineRad: Spot on.
 
 
-1 # Jaax88 2017-10-12 21:48
Weinstein committed himself to professional help, can trump be far behind?
 
 
+8 # angelfish 2017-10-12 19:21
Not a good idea, Mr. Secretary. if everyone turned him off, he'd do something Criminally Outrageous and Harmful to Millions out of Infantile Spite and Animus for his "critics"! His Judgment comes and, HOPEFULLY sooner rather than later!
 
 
-12 # Depressionborn 2017-10-12 20:16
Why should Trump care what Reich thinks?

We Trump voters care about secure borders, more
good jobs and less financial rip off. Not to mention being told how to live and what we are allowed to think, say or write. And neocon war with Russia is NOT a good idea.
 
 
+12 # bread and butter 2017-10-13 10:47
Are you, Trump voters, ok with the fact that last month was the first month in 7 years with a net loss in American jobs?

Are you Trump voters, ok with Trump threatening to punish news agencies for, as you say, "thinking things, saying things, and writing things"?

Are you, Trump voters, ok with the greater threat of nuclear war with North Korea, China and Russia, at this very moment, thanks to the Savior you voted for?

Are you, Trump voters, paying attention?
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2017-10-13 16:23
Yes, Trump needs to do better.But:

The storm-damaged September jobs report featured a top-line decline of 33,000 jobs, the first decline since September 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner’s statement indicated that 1.5 million people had a job but were unable to work because of the weather. A huge decline in leisure and hospitality employment – 111,000 – dragged down the top-line numbers. It is hard to reconcile this with a modest 2,900 decline in retail employment. Sorting this out will await the October report.

The household report contained a lot of striking – but hard to rely upon – numbers. The labor force rose a huge 575,000 and the labor force participation rate by 0.2 percentage points. The household survey showed 906,000 new jobs and a decline of 331,000 in the unemployed. The upshot is that the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent.
 
 
+2 # bread and butter 2017-10-13 20:46
You're well aware that the unemployment rate is a political contrivance that intentionally fails to report people the government no longer considers eligible to be counted, right?

It kind of amazes me how anybody can honestly admit they voted for Trump, without following the statement up with an apology.

He's hurting poor white people too.
 
 
+7 # dotlady 2017-10-12 20:17
Wishful. The media would ignore this sadly moronic and ill guy and focus on the issues themselves only if they were non-profit and had a ethical basis.
 
 
+5 # SenorN 2017-10-12 20:25
Yes, Professor Reich, it would take the air out of Trump's balloon if we could ignore him, and that would be a wonderful thing. It would also be great if everyone quit smoking cigarettes, humanity disposed of all nuclear weapons, and McConnell & Schumer sang Kumbayah.

People will always watch house fires. (especially when they engulf the White House!)
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2017-10-12 22:10
Sounds nice. But then we won't know when he starts a war. I really think we should know.
 
 
+8 # janie1893 2017-10-13 00:55
One must be very careful around a person with a severe narcissistic personality disorder, particularly if that person has any kind of power.
 
 
+14 # Indie 2017-10-13 07:29
Donald Trump is a fascist dictator who ignores congress, the courts and the will of the people. We cannot ignore him as he destroys our country day by day with his executive orders. Whether he is following Putin's orders or not, he would have no compunction about starting a nuclear war. Congress or his cabinet must remove him from office. This will only happen if we all demand it. Forget about his shrinking base, put pressure on those elected to serve us. After we are rid of Trump, take away the power of one person to start a nuclear war.
 
 
+5 # Liebermania 2017-10-13 08:38
REPEAL AND REPLACE THE WHOLE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION!
 
 
+1 # draypoker 2017-10-14 03:59
The US Constitution does not allow that. You are stuck with this ignorant man.
 
 
+4 # tomtom 2017-10-13 08:43
We sure didn't realize how out of touch we were to our weaknesses and vulnerabilities until Trumpty Dumpty kicked us in our asses. It's time for us to govern. Back to the drawing board. While the planet is divided and fighting it's self in hundreds of wars, perhaps the fresh minds from all universities, etc., could offer a new government/econ omic plan/social system, to any of the dozens of failed states with its success beng a working school project, using all the vast knowledge and wealth of experience, like the Netherlands ability to be the world's second largest food exporter, and where prisons are using techniques of rehabilitation with hardly Ny recidivision, etc. the world has all he answers to solve all the problems. We need a model of how we can succeed. We all know we are capable of doing it. Pick any impoverished country and the people would gladly give it a try. Sure, we'd have to catch the greedy, profiteers with their guards down. The whole world's watching!
 
 
+10 # revhen 2017-10-13 09:03
I believe Reich says we should ignore his distractive rhetoric and respond strongly to his actual actions. For example, he just threw millions of poor people under the bus by cutting off subsidies under the ACA. He is a cruel, sick dictator. Don't let his outrageous words distract us from that truth.
 
 
+3 # draypoker 2017-10-14 02:47
I think it is disturbing that the British situation is very similar to that of Trump. The Tory government is doing the same sort of thing as Trump. They are enthusiasticall y trying to cut Britain off from the European Union, which is the basis of Britain's economy. When asked how we shall live outside they mutter unconvincing nonsense. And they have cut off millions of people from welfare by altering the benefits system. It seems to me the same symptoms of bad thinking as Trump shows. But at least the Tories don't have the power to create a Nuclear war. It's mainly the British they are damaging.
 
 
0 # keenon the truth 2017-10-15 00:03
Yes, draypoker. I am in great distress about Britain, where I am from. It is being destroyed in front of our eyes. I think there is a large number of people who would just like to drop the whole thing (including the British negotiator, Davis, who does not appear to have his heart in it at all) but the government is too afraid of losing face. Boris Johnson is horribly like Trump, both in appearance and arrogant behaviour towards the other EU members.

I am desperately hoping that Scotland declares independence, and then I can apply for a Scottish passport, claiming descent from my Scottish grandmother.
 
 
0 # draypoker 2017-10-17 05:39
I could probably claim Scottish citizenship too as my mother was born in Glasgow and I graduated from Edinburgh University. But I am not in favour of independence.
 

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