Donald Trump has been going around the country for this part of the last year addressing large crowds who cheered uproariously at everything he said, no matter how stupid illogical or far-fetched.
You wouldn’t be human if, subjected to this amount of uncritical adulation, you didn’t begin to think that everything you said was true. And Trump is not someone who is going to surround himself with people who don’t agree with him, who may say, “Hey, hold on that’s ridiculous.” So contradiction will not be part of his presidency.
In Australia, whenever ex-PM Tony Abbott had something particularly nonsensical to say he simply kept repeating it over and over again, often in the same sentence. It appeared that his theory was that if you repeat something often enough people begin to believe it.
The advantage that politicians have is that they can choose when they make their outrageous statements and they normally do it in a situation where there is little chance of contradiction or debate, curb-side interviews, sound grabs, TV interviews with compliant interviewers, election speeches to adoring audiences.
Donald Trump mastered this particular art very early in his political career. Think how many times he said he was going to build a wall along the Mexican border, how he would make America great again.
Now he has developed a new technique.
It is the art of “Twitter-Truth” which is when you write something on Twitter like
Will be working all weekend in choosing the great men and women who will be helping to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
My transition team, which is working long hours and doing a fantastic job, will be seeing many great candidates today.
Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!
It’s a combination of the newsy, the folksy and it doesn’t matter whether rhe statement may or may not be true but because no one can contradicted it or subject to any form of debate. This just out there. But over time all and with enough repetition, it helps shape the perception of the President. And there is no counter-narrative.
Twitter-Truth by its very nature is also very brief and to the point but also lends itself to oversimplification and sloganeering.
It’s also a perfect medium to establish and reinforce the idea that “I’m the President. Everything I say must be true.”
There are a large number of people who truly believe that God has sent Donald Trump to save America.
Ann Coulter: God Raised Up Trump To Save Us From 1,000 Years Of Darkness
And if you believe this, you will probably believe almost anything. All you need is someone to tell you what to believe and who better than the President of the United States.
When you combine this religious fanaticism with political demagoguery, you have a powerful and dangerous mix.
And Twitter and Donald Trump will keep things simple enough for people like Ann Coulter to understand.
Just watch how Donald Trump and his media advisors exploit this new powerful political medium.
Update: Given that the president-elect’s team has spread fake news before, and that he himself has actively peddled conspiracy theories – from the “birther” lie about Obama to insinuating Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination – as he enters the White House, the relationship between what’s real and what’s fake in the news will grow ever more complex.