Sport shoes on trail walking in mountains

I Have a Stone in My Shoe

How an event was used by the media to transform an unknown into the most popular historical figure in American history.

From unknown to the most popular historical figure in American history.

Have you ever gone for a nice walk along your favorite trail or path and discovered that the “back to nature” experience you were looking for had been rudely interrupted?

A small stone in one’s shoe is all it takes for joy to be replaced by discomfort.

That is what the Democrats have been feeling for the past four years, and that is what the Republicans may soon have to endure for the next four.

Why is this important?

Trump and half of America believe in an “America First” policy when it comes to trade and commerce in the global marketplace. This policy position was not rhetorical – just ask China. They paid a stiff price to access US markets via tariffs that were re-distributed back to farmers – the same farmers who had just received massive record-setting orders for their crops from China.

America was on a “roll” – the rest of the world was starting to slow down, and here was the US, surging ahead – the envy of every other nation.

Do you remember the movie “Cocoon”? Had the US found some magical “financial elixir” that produced a financial boom that was generally all-inclusive across the various class/race/gender designations? Strong job growth, historically low unemployment, stock market making new all-time highs, a return to a robust housing market (lumber prices surged higher as the forest industry could not keep up with demand), and on and on it went.

Pre-pandemic America undeniably looked “unstoppable.” Four more years of the “Trump doctrine,” and China would be left behind like the proverbial tortoise versus the hare.

Then, things changed.

COVID became the stone in America’s shoe.

No longer able to walk comfortably, America stumbled.

The economy stumbled, society stumbled, and, most of all, Trump stumbled. In less than a year, America completely changed.

Somehow the damn stone just wouldn’t leave the shoe.

Against all odds and in defiance of common sense, a Presidential candidate that was essentially cloistered became victorious over one of the most popular Presidents ever.

More incredible is that Trump received a record number of votes for a second term Presidential candidate, yet he still managed to lose to a “ghost” candidate opponent.

How did this happen?

There are only two reasonable explanations. The first is that there was widespread voter fraud, as asserted by President Trump. This outcome, if proven, will be determined by the legal process. The second is that Trump was beaten “fair and square.”

Let’s examine this second possibility because it is much more interesting than simple cheating.

What if Trump simply lost to Biden? What can we conclude then?
This is a frightening possibility. Why?

Just think about it for a moment. The tech giants and the media’s combined power were able to select, condition, and elect a “straw man” candidate for the highest office in the land.

Does this thought not scare you, just a little? It does me.

Want to see the power of big tech for yourself?

Simply Google these two phrases: “positive stories about Donald Trump” and “positive stories about Joe Biden.” Watch what happens.

The difference is due to the use of algorithms that can be manipulated to produce the desired result. Just in the same way that you, the voter, can also be manipulated.

In a way, Donald Trump became that pesky stone in the shoes of Google/Facebook/Twitter, and, of course, China. And we all know what eventually happens to a stone in our shoe, don’t we?

-John Top

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