All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, rejoice.

I had an awesome time at the Regions ProAm down in Birmingham on Wednesday. Here’s Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaking down my golf game.

I’m taking the kids to doctor’s appointments this morning so I’m hammering away with an abbreviated mailbag this morning, but the emails I’ve gotten the most about have concerned the Cubs decision to give a lifetime ban to the fan making the okay gesture.

I wrote about this yesterday in detail and I’d encourage you to read that if you have the time and haven’t already.

But I also talked about it on Outkick the Show, which you can watch here.

But I want to add two more thoughts on this:

1. We’re at a scary time in society when rational human thought isn’t applying, even when intelligent people are the ones doing the thinking.

There’s no way a rational human sees this and responds in the way the Cubs did. It’s honestly terrifying.

We are in the midst of our modern day McCarthy era, I firmly believe that.

2. Why does everyone assume the worst about every human being now?

Rather than immediately assume — hey, this guy flashing one of the most common hand gestures in the history of humanity is a horrible racist advertising white supremacy on television behind a black man — wouldn’t most sane people see this and assume this guy was doing what millions of people have done before, being a dork on television?

There’s a huge cottage industry of media and people on social media who are so desperate to find white male racism and sexism in modern day America that they are obsessed with finding it.

I honestly believe these people are psychologically broken.

Because think about what kind of life you’d have if you spend all day waiting for a white man to do something bad so you can pounce and blame Donald Trump. I mean, Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. I get the fact that you don’t like the president, but the economy has never been better in your life, unemployment has never been lower, real wage growth has never been better, there just really isn’t much to be upset about.

Do your best to beat Trump next year, but in the meantime your life is probably fine.

Log off social media and get a life.

Bryan writes:

“Obviously many people, including yourself, have greatly benefited from social media, however as a society do you think social media has had a negative affect on all of us? A few examples: What sports figure has truly benefited from being active on social media? It seems like the most well-liked sports figures Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady (up until recently becoming active) and many others are fairly inactive on social media, or do not voice opinion on social media, and it certainly has not hurt them. What are your overall thoughts on social media and its impact on our society?”

I have benefited tremendously from social media existing.

I think it allowed my talents to find a much broader audience than they otherwise would have and I think that’s true of many, many people. But just because I’ve personally benefited doesn’t mean society has.

I do think, however, that it’s important to keep this in mind — only 20% of people are on Twitter and only 20% of the people who are on Twitter are actually very active there. This means 2% of the American population is responsible for over 80% of all Tweets.

And that 2% is overwhelmingly left wing, which, I think, has led the media, which already skews left wing, to cover Twitter controversies like they are representative of real life, which they aren’t. This obsession with social media controversy has led to the media amplifying the social media controversy to create tremendous discord in our country.

It feels like everyone is angry.

What I have found is pretty simple, if you ignore Twitter controversies they almost always go away, replaced by another controversy within 12 or 24 hours.

Instead of being prompt and constantly addressing the perpetually aggrieved — I think large companies and famous people need to do less.

Just ignore these controversies.

Responding to all of these controversies sets the precedent that the complaints are legitimate and it encourages people to continue to be perpetually outraged. I love what happened in Virginia because it’s the perfect proof of this thesis — all three top state officials, the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the attorney general were all embroiled in controversy and the media was demanding that all three men resign.

But do you know what happened?

All three refused to resign and the story just vanished.

Why? Because most voters didn’t care. People are busy, they have problems in their own lives. Most people’s job isn’t scandal. But the media’s job, increasingly, is covering scandals.

For the media to matter the scandals they uncover have to have consequences. If there are no consequences then the media is mostly just noise.

That’s why the Virginia story disappeared — when nothing changed there was no new oxygen for the story and people just moved on.

On a broader scale I think what’s happened is Trump has proven the age of scandals are over. I mean, think about it, he’s weathered paying women to keep quiet about sexual relationships, never released his tax returns, his cabinet and White House has been a perpetual stew of conflict and recrimination, he’s produced a bevy of malapropisms, one insult and feud after another and yet nothing has happened to him.

That’s because people kind of expected all of it from him.

But it’s also because, and I think this is key, the public doesn’t trust the media. Most of us now view the media as just another political party. You pick and choose the media you like and there’s almost no one out there trying to be truly nonpartisan.

The money is in speaking to a niche and not speaking to a broad audience.

As a result we’re now in the era of niche presidents. About 45% of people like the president and everyone else either hates them or is indifferent.

Other than the end of Bill Clinton’s second term — but remember he was impeached earlier in that term — and George W. Bush right after 9/11 most of the time the president isn’t that popular in this country. And it hasn’t mattered whether it’s Obama, Clinton, Trump, George Bush, Sr. or George W.

The last president who was truly, really, popular in this country was Ronald Reagan.

So I think what we have to accept is this is our new reality — most of the time the president won’t be liked that much by the population as a whole and the best we can hope for is the president avoids driving the American car into a ditch.

Most of the time, they can.

Honestly, the only time we’ve hit a ditch in my lifetime, I think, was our disastrous decision to go to war with Iraq under George W. Bush. That cost us thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and gained us nothing. And the reason that happened was 9/11.

We just didn’t respond well to 9/11 in my opinion.

Hopefully we’ll not face another crisis like 9/11 during Trump’s term because Trump’s response and decision making if he were faced with a genuinely difficult situation terrifies me.

Erick writes:

“What’s your thoughts on NBA commissioner Adam Silver on trying to bring more female officiating to the league? Should this be a priority? Does this help or hurt the league?” 

I think every league should have the best possible officials it can. If there are women being overlooked who would be great officials, they deserve a chance to get yelled at just like the men do.

But I don’t subscribe to the idea that half of all NBA officials should be women because half of all lower level officials aren’t women. The only way women could be over represented as NBA officials despite being under represented as lower level officials is if the women were far better than the men at officiating, which I find unlikely.

Officiating is hard and requires years of training and discipline to do well, regardless of your sex.

I don’t think race or gender should impact who the NBA hires; I think they should hire the best officials they can find regardless of their background.

So if there are women being overlooked because of their sex, they deserve the same opportunities as men. But they don’t deserve to be promoted just because they’re women either.

The NBA has to be careful and not look like they’ve got a quota system in place.

Matt writes:

“Neither isn’t an option.

Who would you vote for?
Bernie Sanders or Beto O’Rourke?”
Beto and I don’t think it’s a remotely difficult choice. Beto’s a capitalist, Bernie isn’t.
Right now I think there are six people still alive for the Democratic presidential nomination. (And six is probably too generous if you look at the current polls.)
Here’s how I’d rank those six Democrats in order of my personal preference if one of them was going to be the next president.
1. Joe Biden
2. Pete Buttgieg
3. Beto O’Rourke
4. Elizabeth Warren
5. Kamala Harris
6. Bernie Sanders
I think Biden will be the nominee and the election will be decided in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
If I had to place a wager between these two men today I’d pick Biden to beat Trump. Just because I don’t think Trump is likely to replicate his narrow wins in the Midwest and I think Biden will do a better job campaigning for the votes of old white men than Hillary did.
I also think if Trump would just get off Twitter for the next year and let the economy continue to roll that he’d have a much better chance come November of 2020.
Honestly, I think if Trump just chilled and didn’t try to create controversy every single day his approval ratings would be ten points higher and he’d be a huge favorite to be reelected.
We’ll see.
It’s going to be a wild election.
And with that, I’m off to the doctor’s office with the kids.

Hope y’all have great weekends.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.