Shiny distractions

Look! A squirell!

U.S. President Donald Trump has probably been the subject of more editorials and opinion pieces than any other person alive.

And no wonder, considering the number of his newsworthy actions: firing the FBI director investigating his campaign, demanding loyalty pledges, suggesting journalists be jailed, obstruction of justice charges, passing top secret information to the Russians… and that’s just in the last week.

Living in Canada, Donald Trump may not have as big an affect as he does on U.S. citizens, but he performance casts a shadow north of the border as well. There is softwood lumber along with other trade disputes he has chosen to meddle in, but there are more subtle influences as well.

Trump has near-perfect strategy to distract the press. Simply tweet about (or do) something outrageous, and media attention shifts to the tweet rather than whatever issue was about to make him look bad.

That strategy seems to be failing, in light of the James Comey firing affair. But a side effect of Trump’s bizarre behaviour and tweets is that they draw attention away not just from his issues, but from also from politicians across North America and around the world.

Take Justin Trudeau’s breaking of his promise that 2015 was going to be the last federal election under the first-past-the-post system. All Trump needs to do is tweet about how bad a job Arnold Schwarzenegger did on The Apprentice or as governor of California, and instantly, a lot of the media questions go away.

It’s a good technique. If everybody is talking about how crazy your last tweet is, they’re not talking about he real problems you aren’t doing anything about.

Hopefully, our Canadian politicians aren’t planning to adopt Trump’s techniques, especially in B.C. — we don’t need politicians trying to distract us from real issues like pipelines, LNG, healthcare, jobs and more.