THIS IS PART TWO OF A TWO-PART SERIES ON TRADITIONAL MEDIA
You are watching your local news and you see thousands of people on the street protesting Donald Trump’s election. The news reporter is stating that “massive” protests are erupting all around the country.
You go to YouTube and watch a video of how college campuses are providing grief counseling for those who supported Hillary in this last election. You also see the emotional outburst of young people who are melting down because their candidate lost.
You then become concerned. “What is happening to this country?” “What is it with these snowflake Millennials and why are we spoiling them?”
You become afraid because you see the protests, hear the activists, and fear that it is having an impact on the entire country. You despair over the direction your country is moving and that the younger generation is lost to the liberals.
Which is exactly what they want you to see and feel.
It is also untrue.
You must understand this – every news video you see is being recorded from a distorted lens. Whether that information is via a traditional news outlet or a Social Media Content Provider, you are not seeing the whole picture, just what they want you to see. They also use the power of assumption to make molehills look like very tall mountains.
Let’s take protests for example. For this purpose, I will use the protesters in New York who protested Donald Trump’s election (but I can apply the same logic to every protest). Depending on which source you use, there were between 3,000 to 10,000 protesters (the numbers always have wide variances – every wonder why?). For this example, we will give them the benefit of the doubt in every circumstance. We will say that there were 10,000 protesters and that all of them were there, not because they were paid or part of the professional protest circuit, but because they really wanted to protest Trump’s election. As you can see, I am being very generous because we know that was not the case.
The news media used words like “massive protests” and showed you the large crowds. You saw the streets filled with people. You heard the reporters tell you how large, how big, how incredibly massive these protests were. They were so amazed at the large numbers.
From that, you make the assumption that lots and lots of people in New York are very angry about Trump’s victory and, since this is happening all over the country, it must be indicative that the there are many people who are very angry about this election.
Until you look at the whole picture.
The greater New York City area (easily accessible to downtown NY) has more than 24 million people. 10,000 people make up 0.004% of the population. Just looking at the facts and making no assumptions, that means that 99.996% of the population decided to do nothing about it. They did not feel strongly enough to go out to the streets and protest. The only thing that we can absolutely be certain about (again, assuming that every single person is there is a legitimate New York City protester) is that only one person out of every 2400 was angry enough about the election that they felt that had to go to the streets and protest. Everything else IS AN ASSUMPTION.
This is a media trick they have been using for years. Showing a picture, inferring that there is more to it than what you see, and then allowing you to make assumptions.
It is only natural that when you see a large crowd, you are going to make assumptions that this is indicative of something larger. It is part of your logic reasoning of the brain that allows you to make conclusions when you don’t have all the information. It requires making assumptions and those assumptions are based on what you see and what you hear. You see large crowds. You hear “massive”, “the largest that I have ever seen”, etc. You then make assumptions about things which may or may not exist. If you ever watched the TV show “Brain Games”, you can see how others manipulate your thinking by using knowledge of how the brain works to get you to reach the wrong conclusion.
Now, let me take some facts and turn it around. We know, for a fact, New York County had 2,640,570 people who voted for Donald Trump. Using these facts, I can state that the Pro-Trump Voters versus Anti-Trump Protesters is 264 to 1 against the protesters. Using that approach, we can make a totally different assumption about what the protests mean. They become an insignificant bunch of crybabies that do not represent the city, the county, or the country.
Now let’s switch to the Grief Counseling for the distraught students about Trump’s election. Listen very carefully to the what is actually being said. They are using very vague terms about exactly where and who is getting this counseling. What do terms like “Campuses all over the country are providing grief counseling to students” exactly mean? If there is one campus in California and one in New York, can’t we say “campuses all over the country”? My own research can only find somewhere between 8 to 15 campuses that are reporting this. As far as I can tell, there are no actual numbers being reported as to the number of students being treated. Again, they are using vague terms like “many” and the generic “students” to imply plurality but with no numbers attached.
Now let me apply the same kind of logic to show you what this means. Let us assume that there really are 15 campuses that are offering these services. Let’s give them a lot of leeway and say that 1000 students from each campus came to them. I doubt if that number is more than 100 for all of them combined but let’s say that there are lots of poor, sensitive students who are truly grief-stricken.
There are over 4100 college campuses throughout the U.S. and they have a combined total of over 17,400,000 students. Just using these facts and making some really BIG assumptions in their favor, it means that only 0.004% of the campuses are offering this counseling and only 0.0009% of the students are distraught over the election. To me, this would make sense. I can be pretty sure that 0.0009% of college-age students are spoiled little brats that don’t have a clue and would be genuinely distraught over the election. It does not indicate anything else about the rest of the student population and everything that we say about it is ASSUMING things that we don’t know, can’t know, and should not be making assumptions about.
This particular distortion is to convince you that conservatives are losing the hearts and minds of the Millennials and the younger generation. Guess what? Actual demographic research says differently. It says Millennials and college students divide just about the same way that the rest of the country does when it comes to identifying themselves as conservatives, liberals, or independents. That means that there is a slight majority of conservatives with a lot of independents and a smaller number that classify themselves as liberal.
It also infers that our younger generation is too weak and fragile to handle life. Is there any strong evidence to support that? If you held that view, you would dismiss the Millennials as potential voters and that would be a BIG mistake (more on that in later blogs).
When watching the news, looking at YouTube videos, or reading Facebook articles, you need to look for facts and not make assumptions. Ignore the medias’ biased and deceptive interpretation of the events. Remember, that the lens is distorted to only let you see and hear what they want. Be aware that this occurs both with conservative and liberal based videos/reporting.
In this regard, I suggest that the Constitution Party take the same approach the Trump Campaign Staff did. While I am not a fan of The Donald, I am a fan of his campaign team. They ignored the biased polls, they ignored the hype, they ignored the anecdotal, and they definitely ignored the distortions. They did their own research and believed in it. Their results were always telling them what was actually happening and they based their strategy on what they saw. They had the courage to reject the “reality” of the news media and looked at the information from a big picture aspect.
The Constitution Party should use their example and do our own research, find out what the facts really are, and then base our marketing on what we know, not what others are assuming (or want us to assume). If 10,000 people are protesting Trump, the only conclusion that we should make is that 10,000 people are protesting. Everything else is an assumption. Are they there because they are angry or because they were paid? Are they there because it is fun to throw rocks at windows and not get caught because you are in a large crowd? Are they there because they think Donald Trump is a tyrant and bad for the country? The truth is we don’t know. So why make assumptions – especially those that have been suggested to you by an unreliable source? Basing your political strategy on these assumptions can be very dangerous.
Your comments and discussion are welcomed.