In The Wizard of Earthsea wizard Ged inadvertently lets loose on the world a great evil. He tries to undo his mistake, but the evil is too powerful for him. And then it begins to chase him. To hunt him. And as Ged flees, his pursuer grows more powerful. Eventually, the young wizard decides, “not the hunted, but the hunter be,” and he begins to chase down his enemy. And as he does, the evil grows weaker and weaker. It fed on his fear.
When I took myself and my dog to class so that they could train me to help him behave his best — stay with me for a minute — they said that what a dog craves nearly as much as food is attention. So when, for instance, a dog jumps, and you loudly scold it for doing so, you are actually reinforcing the unwanted behavior because you’re giving the dog the attention they crave. (Even if it is negative attention.) The best thing to do is to turn your back on your dog, ignore it, refuse to give it what it wants.
Donald Trump craves attention. Hungers for it. Feeds on it. We know this about him. Whatever else may be true of him, we know this. Is he mentally ill? Stupid? Cunningly shrewd? We honestly can’t claim to know. But we can know that whether he his mentally ill, stupid, and/or cunningly shrewd, he has an insatiable need for attention.
This Friday, Inauguration Day, he’s going to get it. The “eyes of the world,” as they say, will be upon him. And oh how he will feed on it.
So let’s not feed him. By most accounts Donald Trump lost the popular vote by roughly 2.5 million votes. The majority of the people who voted did not support him, and no doubt many of those who did are now wishing that they hadn’t. What would happen if each of these people refused to give Trump any attention — positive or negative — on Inauguration day?
Let’s commit to each other that on Friday, January 20th, we will not:
- watch, listen to, or read any coverage of the inauguration
- post anything having to do with Trump, or his administration, on any social media;
- respond to anything we see posted;
- click on anything we see posted;
- talk about the Inauguration, the new President, or his administration.
I am not suggesting that we bury our heads in the sand. Vigilance will be required during this Presidency as, perhaps, in no other. But for one day let’s refuse to give Donald Trump the thing he wants most — our attention.
Spread the word — #TwitterSilence