Many of us grew up on “The Wizard of Oz.” Once a year, it was one of the highlights of the television season. The moment when Dorothy and her friends discover that there is a man behind the curtain was formative for an entire generation: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
It leaves me wondering if that scene also formed President Trump’s political strategy. However he learned it, it works. He is an absolute master of the art of diversion and distraction. Never has anyone played the media or the public so consistently and so well for so long. Yesterday, all the morning news programs should have been questioning why the attorney general lied about contact he had with the Russians during the election, and why there were so many people who had contact with a foreign enemy now known to have interfered with our election. Instead of addressing that, however, they talked about a wild late-night tweet accusing former President Obama of tapping Trump’s phone.
Of course, as with all the other outrageous distractions, no evidence was offered and never will be, but, by the time the media begins to realize they have been duped, we will be on to the next scandal and, oh yeah, the next distraction. Tweeting Trump is cunningly exploiting our cultural ADD, and, while we pay attention to nonsensical distractions, the Environmental Protection Agency is being dismantled; public education is being sold off to the highest bidder; the burden of health care funding is being shifted from the wealthy to the middle class and taken away from the poorest and “made available” to those who can afford it through tax credits; and the fox has been put in charge of the hen house of civil rights.
Again and again, critical issues have arisen and then been neglected entirely because our attention has been distracted by a leader who is perfectly willing to lie, use “alternative facts,” manipulate people, and attack anyone and say anything to keep people from noticing the civic destruction engineered by Steve Bannon and company. We are so addicted to being entertained that we allow ourselves to be distracted by the latest unbelievable thing he has said or done rather than fight the poison that is quietly destroying our country.
Rev. Michael Piazza