Donald Trump seriously deserves some credit. In what seems to be just about every single day, Trump comes out with something — a statement or an accusation or a conspiracy theory — crazier and more outlandish than the day before. On Wednesday, he claimed, objectively based on absolutely nothing, that President Barack Obama was the "founder" of ISIS and Hillary Clinton was "co-founder."
ISIS. He said they founded ISIS. I realize I'm repeating myself, but it bears repeating: the Republican presidential nominee just told the world that the current president of the United States and the Democratic presidential nominee founded ISIS — one of the most horrible and destructive terrorist organizations that has ever existed. Moreover (in case this needed to be further stated), he has nothing to back up those statements.
I have to be totally honest here: it's hard to keep up with the outrage over every one of Trump's gaffes. Or maybe they're not gaffes. And that's where Trump deserves to be recognized for his brilliance. It's Shakespearean, really. Donald Trump is brilliantly taming his shrew: the media.
The number one rule for taming a shrew is to overwhelm the shrew with its own nonsense so that the shrew becomes so buried and confused by it all that there's no choice but to, ultimately, concede. Basically, beat the shrew at its own game. So while the media was, at first, eating up the excitement of reliable shocking content, reporting on the outrageous things Trump has been sure to deliver on a daily basis, the media will eventually get tired. And it already is.
Think about it — Trump launched his campaign saying most, but, to be fair, not all, Mexicans are rapists and the media glommed on. Many believe all the free PR from the media is what won him the Republican nomination. In just the past two weeks, Trump has: doubled-down on insulting a Gold star family; discredited veterans and made fun of one of the most respected honors, the Purple Heart; encouraged Vladimir Putin to wage a cyber attack against Clinton; lost track of the difference between Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea; insinuated that Second Amendment supporters should assassinate Clinton; and made disparaging comments towards a baby. After all that, in such a short amount of time, how does anyone have the emotional capacity for the ISIS accusation that we started with?
At first the media tries to fight it, argue with it, tame it back even — but then, exasperation sits in and Trump gets away with his wild, unfounded array of nonsense.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster