Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Seeking the Silver Lining

In an effort to assuage some of the angst being felt by those on the left, I thought it timely to find the hidden silver lining as regards to our president elect, and the overall perceptions of those Americans who feel America is on the wrong track, or who are eager to get their country back, or are looking forward to seeing America become great again.

While there will always be negative media, especially with the rise of social media in which bad news spreads like an infectious disease, there will certainly be a reduction of negative stories from the family of Fox News broadcasts, once President Obama leaves office.  My hope is that many of those negative sounding stories will be replaced by neutral or upbeat accounts of what is happening.  For instance,

Unemployment spiked dramatically beginning in 2009 once the recession began to take hold of the economy, peaking at a bit over 10% during Obama's first term.  Since then, unemployment has steadily declined to around 5% as of this past month, but if one were to watch Fox business hosted by Lou Dobbs, the rate of unemployment was less emphasized as compared to those who have left the job market, or those who were under employed.  Perhaps starting on January 20th, and assuming unemployment remains low, Dobbs may remind his viewers that unemployment is at historical lows, and he may even throw in a commentary or two about there being tens of thousands of job openings, perhaps as a way of indicating that anyone not working isn't trying hard enough.

The stock market was also negatively effected by the recession.  On January 9th, 2009 the market closed at its bottom mark of 7063.  By November of this year, the market was over 18000, an increase of over 150%.  Yet, it seemed that this incredible turnaround was always buffered by a belief that either it could have been better, or that activity on Wall Street did not reflect everyday people who were still suffering.  Hopefully in about 51 days, stock market reports and analysis may emphasize the record setting aspect of the current market, and the fact that all those everyday Americans have more money in their 401K and IRA accounts.

Immigration was probably one of the hottest topics for those who chose Trump over Clinton.
Trump was seen as tough on illegals immigration (I will build a wall) while Clinton supported policies like the DREAM act.  It is hard to get a handle on actual numbers of deportations, as there are those on the left who bemoan the Obama record on deportations as being too draconian, while there are those on the right who claim his policies allows criminals to penetrate our border.   Assuming the truth is somewhere in between, and the clear fact that increased immigration, illegal or legal, is generally tied to job availability which is linked to economic growth, it should be easy for the bias in stories about immigration to begin shifting by mid January to detail just how many people are being caught trying to cross the border illegally, who are detained at the border, and who are deported if they commit a crime on US soil.  While these activities are happening now, more news stories about them will assure Americans that our borders are being better secured, even if the actual numbers of deportations don't actually change all that much.  And, even if there is token work on a wall, people will see something tangible being done and feel more at ease.

The anti-government rhetoric by Trump also played well in the heartland of America.  But now, Trump will be the government.  I expect that more uplifting stories about how the United States Government helps the average working American will be aired.  All the tax money that was previously characterized as wasted, will now be shown to be spent on Veterans Affairs, infrastructure, a strong military, support for police and fire departments, aid to seniors and children.  Again, it won't matter if the amounts spent are the same, or even a bit less, because reports of all the good being done with our tax dollars are so sparse now, that an increase in those articles will reaffirm Americans' belief that the government is working for them.  Also, evidence of a stronger border presence will cause Americans to view those departments involved as part of the solution as opposed to asleep at the wheel.

Finally, there may even be a respite on the attacks against the elite who have ruined America once the new cabinet and all the thousands of support staff are appointed.  They will be good people, the best people, even if they boast Ivy League degrees or have years of Wall Street experience.  The emphasis will be on competence over diversity, even though these are not mutually exclusive traits.  The attacks that our government is run by political hacks, and big donor relatives will be replaced by an emphasis on work ethic and accomplishments, even when those appointees are, in fact, big donors.

In short, our new president makes up for his lack of detailed knowledge of the world, with an extremely developed understanding of the effects of negative psychology when in attack mode, and positive psychology when in support mode.  As do those on the Fox executive board.  America, will, in fact, be great again, the moment Donald J Trump takes office, because he and Fox News will tell us so.  And, while that may seem like an illusion, feeling better about one's self, one's country goes a long way to making one's self, or one's country better.  For so many reasons that seem negative, a Trump presidency with the support of the best propaganda machine in America, may be good for our overall psyche.  Perhaps all we needed was someone to tell us we are great and everything will fall into place!

As always, I stay positive, and hopeful.

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