Do you remember Aesop, the fabulous fable-writer who, whether he actually lived or not, has had handed down, in his name, a host of stories with morals true and applicable to this day?
One of them is particularly relevant to a specific aspect of today's political life. I quote it for you here:
"The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly
they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: 'I see a
way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to
take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.' The Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard
as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew, the more closely the traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last the Wind gave up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on, and removed it, carrying it aside him with a smile. Persuasion, my friends, is better than force."
In the shadow of yet another over-politicized Oscars show that, yet again, I didn't watch, that fable seemed relevant to me.
Hillary Clinton is still explaining to the world "What Happened", and why she lost. I believe the latest count is 447 reasons why, and that's if you even include the fact that she was, you know, a terrible candidate with absolutely no compelling reason why she should have been president. I don't know that her book includes that one.
Well, let me try another and, though the election is long past, it still applies.
I'll make this easy, since you have now read the fable. Donald Trump is the metaphorical Sun. The media are, all together, the metaphorical Wind. The American people are the metaphorical traveler.
Got it? The media (and the left, but I repeat myself) have so overblown the whole we-don't-like-Donald-Trump thing, since the day he declared for the presidency, that the voting public (and, probably, the non-voting public) have simply wrapped their coats tighter around them. Tired of the absurdity of many of the "news stories" that tun out to be fake; tired of the whole Russia narrative that turned out to be nothing more than the quadrennial Russian attempts to sow discord; tired of people in Hollywood claiming to know what we need; tired of liberal solutions that don't work and political correctness; we have all zipped up our cloaks.
We have shut the media out and they no longer have the credibility to tell us what to do with our coats. President Trump has come out and said and done what we would have wanted to have had done. He has literally put money in our pockets, he has cut needless regulations, he has called people out who don't do their jobs. His businessman's approach is the sunshine that our country needed and wanted.
He has offered a different metaphorical sunshine, by opening up many meetings with congressional, business and community leaders to the press, sometimes for the entire time of the meeting. When these are broadcast, we all come to know that this president is who he is, with or without a camera present. More importantly, when such meetings are open, the media cannot successfully distort what happened, lest they expose their penchant for faking the news. Sunshine, the best disinfectant as well as warming travelers.
He has persuaded us, when the media and the left tried to force us, and his approach has illuminated our understanding of what actually works. The hammer and sickle of the previous administration, driving mandates down our throats, was why the left was rejected, compliant lapdog media notwithstanding, in 2010, and 2014 and 2016.
Persuasion, my friends, is indeed better than force.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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