A fundamental of dog training is to reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. This, I have decided, is a piece of wisdom that we would do well to remember in almost every situation. In particular the “ignore bad behavior” part. That part is crucial. In fact, you could leave off the reward part and just stick with the ignore part. Applying this piece of training advice, among others, worked well for us. Now we have a rather well-adjusted, albeit goofy, dog in part because we ignored a lot of bad behavior when he was a puppy.
Stay with me here, because I’m about to make a leap. I would propose that ignoring the bad behavior is an act that we badly need to remember when considering politics. It is one that I wish the media would remember when covering a certain President of the United States. What’s that old showbiz saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Let’s all try to remember that our President comes from showbiz and I would suggest that he FEEEEEEEEDSSSS off bad publicity like Audrey II. “Feed me, Seymour!” I don’t think it’s as simple as starving him out. (Or maybe it is?) But I do think we could consider the behavior…..well, before considering it…out loud…on camera for him to see and gobble up like a big green monster. Not to mention just for our own sanity’s sake. We don’t have much more blood to give!
What’s that other saying? “You can’t con a con man.” Let’s stop pretending that we will ever convince this guy to be anyone other than who he is. He won’t be a good president in the same way that a football player wouldn’t make a good astrophysicist. Or vice versa. They are two different ‘games’ and the training it takes to play one is vastly different from the training it takes to ‘play’ the other. Our president comes from a game that is altogether different and, in some respects, the opposite of his current vocation. He’s a football player in a science coat. He will never discover the secrets of dark matter because, well, he’s not a scientist. He’s not going to fix this country because, well, he’s not a country-fixer. He’s not an anything fixer. Except maybe a bet fixer, as in, fixing the game so he can win the bet. Because that’s what con men do. No surprises there.
So you can’t con a con man, but you know what you CAN do to a con man. Ignore him. And I know, I know, he’s the President of the United States. The leader of the free world, as we like to say. We can’t just pretend he doesn’t exist. His actions have real world consequences. I understand that. And I think for the most part the media is doing a hell of job wading through the muck to keep us informed. (Thank you Media, this is not a diatribe on your faults.) What I am trying to suggest, however, is that we apply a little of the “ignore the bad behavior” to our reactions. Like for example, discussing at length through any media outlet a tweet sent by the President in which he is bullying fellow politicians. IGNORE IT. It has no practical consequences. It won’t sway the opinion of anyone who uses that opinion for anything productive (aka voting.) And honestly, it’s getting a little old at this point. We get it, Donald, you’re a troll. Good for you. It’s not news.
I don’t want to slip down the “ignorance is bliss” slope here. Ignoring truly bad behavior can get people killed. And in this case, it can get lots of our service men and women killed and lots of civilians killed and lots of refugees killed. And I’m certainly not saying we should ignore illegal behavior (see blog title if unclear what kind of behavior I mean.) Let’s just maybe try to be more selective when choosing the behavior to scrutinize. And this goes for all the politicians in DC trying to stay in power and now taking their lead from Audrey II. We must not feed the beast. Any of the beast. Hating each other, yelling at each other, trolling each other so much that stupid shit goes viral — THAT is feeding the beast. Remember that scene in Ghostbusters II when they are testing the pink slime? They shout insults at it and it bubbles and grows. Then they put it in a toaster and play Motown and the toaster starts dancing. Let’s be Motown, guys. Let’s make that Washington DC toaster dance FOR US. Let’s ignore the stupid bad behavior and focus on the future and find something positive to do with ourselves. Let’s help each other, and try to laugh more, and love our families. And then, let’s vote. Let’s ALL vote. And then, let’s make ’em dance! (cue Ghostbusters theme)
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