What if we didn’t take the bait?

Dear President Trump,

How do you do it? It’s like you blow magic fairy dust in people’s faces whenever you talk or tweet. Some of us find the dust supremely irritating and distressing while others can’t get enough of it. Even when you are behaving really poorly, like mocking your opponents, blatantly contradicting yourself, or talking about how you can grab women’s private parts because you are famous, you get to just bounce right along and your base eats it up.

It’s occurring to me that the left’s righteous indignation at your non-stop bad boy antics has us exactly where you want us. I bet you are egging us on, toying with us like you toyed with your supporters at your rallies when you invoked “The Wall” if you saw people drifting off. It keeps us distracted — pulled to the shiny stimulus. When you are outrageous we feel like chumps if we are seen to be giving you a pass, so we go through the proscribed gyrations of calling foul and beating our breasts in righteous indignation. We are like Pavlov’s dogs; you ring the bell, we salivate and bark. In the process we are reduced to reactive twits who can’t get anything substantive together that will rally enough people to counter all those who love your fairy dust.

I wonder what would happen if the left (and the middle) started ignoring you. What if we didn’t get tied up in knots over all your thoughtless, blundering crap and stayed matter of factly on topic without drama? I bet elementary and middle school teachers have already realized this is what we need to do since they deal with these dynamics day in and day out. There would probably be an extinction burst such that you’d engage in some truly over the top nastiness to try and reset the rules of the game back to usual, but if we knew to expect this and didn’t crack, eventually you’d wear yourself out and realize we aren’t going to take the bait anymore. I’m going to have to think about what this will look like for me since it’ll actually be hard to give up calling you out on things, but I think it’s worth seeing whether I can get more effective traction on what I think should be next rather than staying hooked by cleverly opposing you. I can’t quite articulate why right now, but this shift seems to require I send meta-blessings for us all rather than just you.

May we all be safe.
May we all be happy.
May we all be healthy.
May our lives unfold and intersect peacefully.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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