I’ve just surfaced from a couple of days writing to read my backed up emails from the FT. As is usual these days, they were heavily focused on the exploits of the US Chief Executive and Leader of the Free World, President Donald Trump...who knew?
One was a piece from Larry Summers congratulating the CEOs who have resigned from Trump’s advisory councils, but most importantly congratulating himself for the fact that they’ve come round to his implacable wisdom. Here’s a snippet from the article, which is called ‘Trump’s CEOs quit. His staff should do the same’:
“Donald Trump, recognising the inevitable, has disbanded his business advisory councils in order to pre-empt the tidal wave of resignations that was in the offing. Given my long-standing views about chief executives lending legitimacy to the Trump administration, I was delighted that a group of CEOs forced this step…
If I worked for a president who behaved like this one I would surely resign. Disregard for my policy concerns would be one reason…” - Larry Summers
Needless to say, I felt an almost overwhelming desire to remark that Summers is a wok garnering brownie points for attacking a griddle, whilst oblivious to the fact that he too is a cooking implement. But I’m bored with ‘slapping’ Summers – ‘it’s someone else’s turn’ I thought. Little did I know that Gillian Tett was just about to get me to reconsider…
In an article entitled ‘The Donald Detox – my vacation from all things Trump’, she remarked:
"Last month I embarked upon a small experiment concerning Donald Trump: for a couple of days I tried to exclude the US president from my mind, conversation and Twitter feed. This was not a premeditated exercise. In late July, I went to the beach with my family, assuming that I would spend my holiday like any news-addicted journalist: cycling to the local store each morning to buy the papers and checking my computer compulsively…
Is there any solution? I dare say some FT readers might argue that the problem is self-perpetuating. “The media should just ignore Trump’s tweets!” I often hear from friends. “If nobody reported on this, the president would lose his power!”
But this approach does not seem realistic — at least, not in a world where all the data we have on media consumption suggest that voters, investors, diplomats and business leaders all want to know exactly what the president is doing. (And where that president has nearly 36 million Twitter followers in his own right.)
Perhaps the best solution is that we all practise some version of that “detox” trick. No, most of us cannot turn off our social-media feeds, any more than most of us can abandon coffee — I confess, now that my holiday is over, I am back to reading Trump tweets again. But I am now committed to taking regular breaks. It seems the only way to overcome the distraction and destabilisation that plague us today. And to create a healthier — less jittery — mental life; call it, if you like, the political equivalent of herbal tea” – Gillian Tett
The temptation to connect the two articles was irresistible:
You're right Ms Tett.
It's also a good idea to have a break from the disingenuous idiots who use the fact that there's a crocodile in the White House to disguise the fact that they themselves are a snake. E.G. The self congratulatory bilge that Larry Summers spews out when events apparently prove him to be 'right' vs. the memory loss he suffers when he has no recollection of, or a tarted up fiction around, the consequences of his time in office, and/or the charlatans he worked with and for.
Of course, Trump is an 'outsider', one who is sadly distracting from the need for an 'outsider' with a brain and some ethics. Summers, on the other hand, is a consummate insider...which is a code for 'authorised bullshitter'.