Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Internet speeds politics up and we are suffering are suffering from attention-deficit disorder.

He spent over a third of the speech attacking the "dishonest", "crooked", "fake" media -- 3,215 out of a total of 8,833 words. That is frightening.

Trump gave a speech yesterday in Phoenix and this morning, the transcript was online. In less than an hour, I was able to read it and do a little analysis.

The 77-minute speech included 105 pauses for applause and 13 interruptions for booing the media and others -- Trump was energized by the enthusiastic crowd. It was a typical campaign speech in which he assailed Obama care, illegal immigrants, Democrats, trade deals, the Senate; praised tough law enforcement and the wall and bragged about creating jobs, stopping crime, etc. Here is a particularly hyperbolic example:

Can you imagine, in this day and age -- in this day and age in this country, we are liberating towns. This is like from a different age. We are taking these people. They don't shoot people because it's too fast and not painful. They cut them up into little pieces. These are animals. We are getting them out of here. We're throwing them in jails, and we're throwing them out of the country. We're liberating our towns.

But two things stood out for me. He spent over a third of the speech attacking the "dishonest", "crooked", "fake" media -- 3,215 out of a total of 8,833 words. That is frightening.

He also devoted 409 words to the "absolutely necessary" border wall. (When he turned to the topic, the crowd applauded and chanted "Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!"). He called out the Democratic obstructionists and threatened to shut down the government in order fund the wall. Mexico paying for the wall is evidently off the table after his embarrassing call to the Mexican President.

That was evidently the start of a wall building campaign/distraction because I got an email from
this morning asking me to sign a petition calling on the Senate to fund the wall:

Naturally, I "signed" the petition (using the name "Jim Jones" -- they do not check) and was redirected to, where I was asked for a contribution.

I cannot say that surprised me since I receive an average of more than one Trump contribution solicitation per day.

For better or worse, the Internet gives us machine-readable access to presidential speeches (and tweets), allowing us to quickly analyze and digest them. The downside is that they distract us from more mundane news about meaningful actions like changes in enforcement of immigration and drug laws or environmental regulation. We are suffering from attention-deficit disorder.

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