Trump is a political genius. After suffering a string of defeats, gaining no traction on the wall and even seeming to favor amnesty, he was quickly losing support from his base. What does Trump do? Attack the NFL. It's the same strategy he used during the campaign. It works because American politics is tribal now. It works because the Cathedral can't help but pile on. The media is destroying its cash cow, the NFL. Media outlets that have paid billions for broadcast rights are leading the charge. With a throwaway tweet, Trump can troll the establishment and convince them to annihilate hundreds of millions in market valuation. (It would be interesting to quantify the damage Trump has inflicted on the media and the NFL, by now it is probably into 9 figures considering intangibles such as brand. We'll know for sure next time the broadcast rights are up. How does Amazon feel about paying $50 million for Thursday night streaming rights, when Twitter only paid $10 million last year?)
The cynic in me wants to say, "It's not rational! He's distracting you with the shiny while he stabs you in the back!" Except, it is rational because in a Culture War, your only options are to fight or Exit. America is trapped inside Satan's OODA loop, circling the drain in a never-ending battle for position within an increasingly fractured polity. Every stupid battle over meaningless minutiae represents an opportunity for advance on the battlefield. Furthermore, the enemy is even more invested in status. A victory for the Right causes far more damage on the Left. The asymmetry has drawn the energy of the Right into activities such as trolling.
Outgrouping the left's rabbits is difficult, but once the battle is turned, they collapse. The Cathedral launches "shock and awe" on every heretic, using government, courts, media and social pressure to achieve a minor victory such as getting a gay wedding cake baked. Even then, it sometimes only succeeds in creating a martyr. The Right is the guerrilla; Trump the Ayatollah. He lives in exile in his fortress of solitude, surrounded by enemies in the swamp. He lobs tweets (the Ayatollah used cassettes) and the guerrilla forces launch tactical strikes before blending back into the ocean of the silent majority. The raids cause terror and anxiety on the left. They feel like a dinghy in an ocean of racism and hate.
Once you're inside the Culture War though, can you find your way to Exit? The cultural Right is now "triggered" by the flag, military and statues the same way the left is triggered by sodomy, diversity and transgenderism. It is not enough for the left to tolerate homosexuals, one must celebrate them and everything they do. The right is not terribly different with its support for the military these days. The national anthem was seldom played at sporting events before WWII and the Cold War. A rational response would be to remove the anthem, denying the left an opportunity for Culture War. However, we're inside the loop. To stop playing the anthem now is to give in to the left. You can't go back to pre-WWII America because it is dead. If the national anthem isn't played at sporting events, most Americans might not hear it at all except maybe at a 4th of July fireworks display.
A nation needs a flag, a military, and a history. If nothing is sacred, then you don't have a nation. Which is why the trap of the Culture War is almost inescapable. Jockeying for status isn't meaningless when the national economy is deteriorating. When there's no more pie, or people believe there is no more pie, the only way to get a bigger slice is to take someone else's pie. This behavior shrinks the pie and you fight harder to defend your slice, and the pie shrinks, so you pour more resources into defending your slice, and down the nation goes. Like global thermonuclear war, the only way to win is to not play the game. It's nice to counter-strike, but the game will never end until the enemy's launch capability is permanently degraded.
Great Moments in musical mourning - From WTKR: SUFFOLK, Va (WTKR) — An argument over Aretha Franklin led to a shooting, witnesses told police in one Virginia town Thursday. Suffolk Police res...
2 hours ago