One thing I’ve discovered is that words truly do have power. There are two things that give words power: 1) The meaning behind its use, 2) the way the words are used. It’s a crude example but consider this. Nobody likes hearing a derogatory phrase in daily life, like the N-word. I don’t have to explain the meaning behind the word, the hate and the history that goes with it. That is the meaning behind its use that makes it unpleasant. But say you’re watching an old west movie and a character mentions it because that’s just how they spoke, then its use is understandable. In today’s world that would be unacceptable and rightfully so, but in the movie it is the context of it that counts. That’s what confused so many people about Obama’s use of the N-word last month, the word itself is obviously full of hate but the President of the United States using it in a non discriminatory way took people by surprise.
We’ve been told since elementary school the phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all,” which for the most part nobody follows. What that phrase leaves out is that our silence can have as much power as our words do. Think about the controversy this summer with the confederate flag, how did the story play out? Well the same way as every major news story. First there was an incident that sparked it, then the blame falls on somebody. In this case it was the confederate battle flag, at the Aurora shooting it went to how much ammunition people could buy, after Columbine it went to violent media. Often times these accusations are justified but regardless the blame has to go somewhere. After blame was placed there was an immediate backlash of people defending the item being blamed. The controversy grew and other stories were spawned from it, and suddenly the whole thing disappeared. People got tired, they stopped talking about it and moved on to something else.
Considering that practically every major news story plays out like that, what’s the most effective way to make it go away? Just simply don’t talk about it. If there is a bigger kid in school making fun of you, if you don’t respond he’ll get bored and go away. This bully metaphor is easily replaced with Donald Trump. Half the country loves him, the other half despises him. If the other half of the country stopped talking about him and giving him the attention that he wants, he wouldn’t be a big deal. It may be the trend to write about Trump’s candidacy but with every word you write, good or bad, you are contributing to his campaign by simply spreading his name. In that way there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
The best reason to consistently write about a subject is to spread the message. Think of it as a battle, if you are rooting for Bernie Sanders to win the election then only write about Bernie Sanders, don’t respond to Trump because the rest of the country has already done that. The same goes with Rand Paul, if you want him to win keep spreading his name and try to let the other names disappear. It’s all like a game of chess.
I also realize that just by writing this I’m going against my own lesson, which is why these will be the only words I write about Trump for the time being. I’ll see a lot of other writers touch on the trending controversies when I prefer to stay out of them, because if I don’t like the topic I won’t say anything to make it go away faster instead of voicing my opinions and fueling the fire.