Spreading FUD

When I was still working before I retired, one of our most effective business-to-business (B2B) sales tools was something called “FUD.” It’s an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The idea was to persuade a prospective client that either doing nothing or deciding to go with another vendor would be a risky decision. One that would lead to bad outcomes.

IBM used to have an expression that it used to very great effect: “No one ever lost his/her job by hiring IBM.” IBM was considered the safe option when it came to anything related to computers, software, and technology solutions.

Donald Trump and his Republican sycophants are doing their best to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the electorate in their efforts to get Trump re-elected and to maintain GOP control of the Senate.

Trump is claiming that, should Biden win in November, American cities would dissolve into “chaos and anarchy” — as if Trump, thanks, in a large part, to his militaristic actions in cities like Portland, hasn’t already escalated chaos and instigated violence.

He and his cronies are telling white suburbanites that, under Biden, their American Dream will be lost when minorities, the poor, and members of MS-13 infect their suburban enclaves. Trump and the Republicans are suggesting that, should Biden win, these guys will be your new neighbors. Yikes!MS-13Trump has threatened to “very quickly” stifle riots on election night if Democrats organize protests against his potential victory by employing a law allowing him to deploy active-duty troops domestically.

“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro when she asked him how he would stop potential riots on election night should he win. “We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in and we do it, very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to we’d do that and put it down within minutes.”

Trump believes that creating chaos and violence and spreading uncertainty and doubt about such things as mail-in ballots and the legitimacy the vote, will benefit his political power and help him win in November, thus allowing him in power for the next four years — and potentially beyond that.

He is aggressively selling FUD. All you have to do is vote for him to avoid fear, uncertainty, and doubt. He is the solution to the problem. He alone can fix it. Even if he has to deploy the military against American citizens to do it.

Just to demonstrate my point about spreading FUD, this came across my newsfeed this morning:Caputo — without evidence — accused career government scientists yesterday of “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election. This is crazy. Caputo is crazy. Trump is crazy.

This is spreading FUD.

Who Won The Week? 08/23/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

It probably won’t surprise you that, political junkie that I am, I watched the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on TV this week. All four nights of it. This year’s DNC was very different than it’s ever been in the past. Due to COVID-19, the convention was virtual. There were no huge crowds of delegates, punctuating (and elongating) every speech with raucous applause. No balloons dropping from the rafters.

Instead, it was tailor made for the “small” screen (whether a TV like my 65 inch high def screen or the 6.5 inch screen of my iPhone 8 Plus). Most people who watch these conventions do so on their TVs at home, so why not offer interested viewers a show with punchy, well-edited videos and with interviews of all sorts of regular people? It was must-see TV. Which is why I’m designating this week’s Democratic National Convention as the Who Won the Week winner.

Sure, one could say that the convention was a four-day-long infomercial for the Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but in essence, that’s what political conventions are and what this coming week’s Republican National Convention will be for Donald Trump.

The DNC show was informative, entertaining, optimistic, poignant, forward looking, and, at times, funny. It presented a sharp contrast to the dark, divisive days in America since Trump took center stage. It will be interesting to see how the RNC will attempt to sell Trump’s abysmal failure as Commander-in-Chief to the American people.

Now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Who Won The Week? 08/16/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week I am designating The United States Postal Service (USPS) as the winner of Who Won the Week.3C5C7589-5119-4DF9-BFFC-78F14FF69BE5This may seem counterintuitive because the USPS is under siege by Donald Trump and his former major campaign donor in 2016 and handpicked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in an effort to sabotage mail-in voting for the upcoming presidential election in November.

DeJoy, a former Republican National Committee chairman, has taking steps that are causing dysfunction in the mail system and could wreak havoc in the presidential election. He has banned postal workers from making extra trips to ensure on-time mail delivery and cracked down on overtime hours. He has consolidated executive power at the USPS by removing or reassigning nearly two dozen experienced postal service executives. And he is directing the removing of 671 high-speed mail-sorting machines nationwide this month, a process that will eliminate 21.4 million items per hour worth of processing capability.

And Trump, himself, has openly admitted that he’s trying to hamstring the USPS so it can’t handle the influx of ballots. “They need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said, referring to funding requests for vote-by-mail and the postal service that he and congressional Republicans have stood against in the coronavirus relief negotiations. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting,” Trump added.

So why, if the President and congressional Republicans are trying to hobble the United States Postal Service, did I designate it as this week’s Who Won the Week recipient?

Two reasons. First, the USPS is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government and it’s is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.

Second, most Americans love the U.S. Postal Service. An overwhelming 91 percent of Americans, across all demographics and party affiliations, have a favorable view of USPS, higher than any other federal agency.

This assault on the highly regarded agency — by both Democrats and Republicans as well as urban and rural voters — and Trump’s efforts to hobble the agency in order to improve his re-election hopes will, I believe, backfire “bigly.”

Now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?


Photo credit: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post.

Politicizing Medicine

Is there nothing that Trump and the Republicans won’t do to spin the truth and to politicize everything and anything?

I read this in today’s morning paper:

Republican political operatives are recruiting “extremely pro-Trump” doctors to go on television to prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible, without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A resurgent economy is seen as critical to boosting Trump’s re-election hopes and has become a growing focus of the White House.D2906051-568C-4B0A-939C-353218FA9D4FI wonder how hard it will be to find unscrupulous doctors that the Trump administration and the GOP operatives will be able to payoff to lie to the American public.

Probably not hard at all.

One-Liner Wednesday — Business as Usual

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“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”

Donald J. Trump

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson told a press conference in Geneva yesterday that there has been a “very large acceleration” in U.S. coronavirus cases in recent days.

Yet the American president, despite warnings like these from the WHO that the United States could soon become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, wants to return the country to business as usual by Easter.

Further, Trump has predicted that, on Easter Sunday, there will be “packed churches all over our country.” He added, “I think it would be a beautiful time, and it’s just about the timeline that I think is right.”

This is something that virtually all doctors, epidemiologists, and health experts agree is exactly the wrong thing to do if we want to “flatten the curve” of this highly contagious and easily transmitted disease.

It’s obvious that the current president of the United States is more eager to prop up the faltering U.S. economy in order to reinvigorate his re-election campaign than he is in saving the lives of American citizens.


Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.