Confirmation Bias

Trump tweeted that he was wiretapped by Obama.  Now, our government is starting to investigate a former governmental employee for monitoring a conversation that involved, somehow, a member of Trump’s team.  It isn’t clear if this member was a part of the conversation, or a subject of the conversation.  And it really doesn’t matter which.  This is in no way evidence that Trump was tapped.  If anything it’s evidence of wrongdoing on Trump’s team’s part.  But that isn’t how people see it.

This is a fantastic example of how Trump controls the story and manipulates our expectations.  If he hadn’t sent those tweets and this information came out, it would be seen through the lens that Trump was doing shady things and was being monitored by those whose job it is to monitor these things.  But with those tweets it becomes evidence of some kind of conspiracy against him.  This is classic Trump.  Make a wild, completely unsubstantiated claim of some kind.  Wait patiently for some kind of evidence that could be interpreted as being proof, then let the conversation go on about whether or not this is evidence of what happened.  He did this while Hillary Clinton.  He called her “crooked Hillary.”  The fact that she was investigated became evidence that she was a crook, despite the fact she was cleared of wrongdoing, and despite the fact that Trump too had been investigated before.  He called Ted Cruz “lying Ted,” then waited for something he said to be untrue, despite the fact that we accept a certain amount of lies from our leaders, and that Trump is the boldest liar I have ever seen in such high office.  In each case he made a ridiculous claim, then waited for something that could be interpreted as evidence for it, then let the conversation become about the evidence.  It’s a great distraction from real issues, it focuses on negative aspects of your opponents, and it keeps the conversation off your initial lie in the first place.  

These are the types of things that made him such a great campaigner.  These are also the things that are making governing a much more difficult process than others would find it.  The way our system is set up the skills you need to get into the job are not the skills you need to do the job.  I don’t know what skills are required to do a good job as president.  I do know that the presidential campaign does a lousy job of showing us who would be better.


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