13 January 2017

An Avalanche of Scandals

The New York Times published an interest analysis yesterday (link here) about how Donald Trump manages to sweep away attention from any one scandal by becoming involved in an ongoing parade of new scandals.

So while something like the Watergate scandal consumed the Nixon administration and the Iran-Contra scandal consumed the Reagan administration, Trump has such an ongoing avalanche of scandals that no one scandal receives much more than a day or two of coverage.

As a result, Trump is able to escape the damage of dozens of scandals whereas any one of those scandals would cripple any other politician.

Here is why I think this is so troubling: as President, he could do something extremely damaging to any one group's civil rights, but the media would give this scant notice because of the continuing onslaught of other scandalous distractions coming down the pike.

For instance, Trump could nominate someone to the Supreme Court who is stridently anti-LGBT, yet that will receive brief media attention because, in a day or two, a new Trump scandal will be distracting the media and the nation. Meanwhile, the Senate would routinely confirm his abhorrent Supreme Court nominee without much public attention because Trump was busy distracting the media.

If you need some context, imagine the Anita Hill scandal blew up in a day, but was quickly swept away by a new scandal the next day, and another scandal the day after that. The Anita Hill matter would never have been the major issue it became.

This is how civil rights could be whittled away. First it's one set of civil rights under assault, then another, then another, but the public and media are too distracted by the constant parade of scandals to pay much attention.

Until it's too late.

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