How Donald Trump did it: Part One. Or, The Morning My Mother-in-Law Discovered a Tiny, Incredible Article.

 

I’m fascinated by what I like to call Distracted Subversion.

That’s kind of like being a conspiracy theorist, but with deeper weeds, more data, and actual evidence. It’s what large organizations do when they know the world is distracted looking at something else. They do it in plain sight, because everyone, from the media to the governments of other nations, are very busy looking at something 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

Did you know they are making toilet paper tubes bigger to save on shipping costs? Or injecting air bubbles in your toothpaste? That “Frozen Dessert” is not actually Ice Cream, and never melts? Or that the CIA had a torture franchise in Libya?

I wrote about Libya, an example of Surreptitious Things Being Done in Plain Sight, back in 2011 on my now-dead, other blog. I’ve linked it here.

Organizations like the CIA, Israel, Russia, Banks, Media, and political lobbyists and pollsters engage in this Distracted Subversion every day. And it works. Make something go off to our left, and we look left. That real art happens when you’ve planned it that way and use that time to do Something Very Important to make something happen on our RIGHT.

It certainly did in this last, profound presidential election.

As a Canadian, I get substantial flack for putting my Bluenoser proboscis in American politics. But the United States is an excellent litmus test for the rest of the world’s political metabolism. It teaches us larger lessons about the way our own elections can twist and bend, and, perhaps, how to prevent surprises. I hate surprises.

I’ve been baffled by how Trump did it. I just could not figure it out. But I started to think about Distracted Subversion. Then, my mother-in-law sent me an article that she found laying out in plain sight on the internet that offered a key insight into what just happened in the United States.

And it is of critical importance, because the tool Trump’s campaign used reaches all the way from Brexit to any other elective process for the foreseeable future, and even to help determine the outcome of international military campaigns.

If you care at all about political outcomes, I strongly suggest you read on. If you are baffled and dazed and shocked and outraged, you need to read this. If you use Facebook, and are ‘liking’ posts, either with an angry face or a tearful emoji, you need to know what that is doing for the people who want to use that information to get elected.

I’d very much like to be wrong.

I’d very much like to find out that this is a hoax.

I’d love to find out that the SCL Group website is a hoax page built by an eighteen year old member of the Freedom Caucus.

But I’ve dug through their site, and I fear it is not.

And, to me, that’s terrifying.

But to know the future, you have to see the past. And PBS’ Frontline documentary is a necessary place to start.

Next time, on The Desk:

How did this start?

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