Friday, February 17, 2017

Bread and Circus

In the movie Gladiator there is a scene where Maximus dispatches a bunch of other slaves in a staged battle before a small crowd in some remote outpost of the Roman Empire.  After there is little reaction from the fans, Maximus turns to them and yells:

Every time there is a White House press event now, that is the scene that comes to mind.  Government operations should be boring.  Doing the "work of the people" works best when the people don't know its actually getting done.  Everything government does should not be fodder for the next round of late night talk shows or the next Saturday Night Live.

But since day one of the Trump administration, I have expected the Gladiator rhetorical question to wrap up every press conference--whether it be from Sean Spicer or from the President himself.  The only problem is, they are not in the entertainment business--they are in the serve the people business. 

I know folks on the Left like to call the Trump administration "fascist"--like we are back in 1920's and '30's Europe--but it's actually more like the days of the Roman Empire in the first century AD when the rulers provided bread and circuses to keep the masses entertained--and distracted from the slow decay of their government.

Even in yesterday's press conference--where the President again appeared to be woefully under-informed as to what is going on both inside and outside of Washington--he brought up the fact that he "still get great ratings".  He wasn't talking about approval ratings--he was talking about TV ratings!  Who cares if Saturday Night Live is seeing a revival by mocking you and your Cabinet every weekend?  Turn your attention to the stuff you were actually elected to worry about! 

And stop with the obsession over "winning the press conference".  It's like watching loser NFL coach Rex Ryan.  He always "wins the press conference"--yet he has never won a game of any consequence.  Meanwhile Bill Belichick says the absolute minimum amount required in his press conferences--and he's got five rings.  The President is a Patriots fan--maybe he should take a lesson from the team.

No comments:

Post a Comment