President Donald Trump’s feedback loop with Fox News gives him little time to actually lead

In Opinion
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To say that President Donald Trump prefers conservative media over others isn’t a far-fetched notion, it’s the sad truth. Whenever he can, Trump praises Fox News for its political coverage of him. Meanwhile, as proven by his 2017 “Fake News Awards,” released earlier this month, he hates just about every other media outlet.

Trump watches Fox News frequently, essentially live-tweeting its news coverage as Matthew Gertz points out in an article from Politico. In doing so, he has developed an endless feedback loop with Fox News, making it even more impossible for any of his outlandish promises to reach reality.

Trump acts like a lame former football jock reminiscing about his high school career, but instead of being the quarterback who threw the winning touchdown, he’s the player that was benched for the season.

In similar fashion, Trump isn’t one of the conservatives trying to achieve his nebulous promises. He is just keeping score of his apparent successes by reiterating everything he hears in the news.  

During his campaign, Trump promised a whole lot: the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the elimination of Common Core and the Affordable Care Act, and the construction of a massive border wall. So far, that hasn’t worked out too well.

Planned Parenthood and Common Core still stand tall and proud, as Trump has yet to realize the impact they have on two groups of people he’s proven he cares little about: women and children in the public education system.

His towering wall must be invisible because it’s nowhere to be seen. Congress has yet to approve it, and Mexico has yet to stop laughing at him for thinking its people would ever pay for it. At this rate, the wall won’t be anywhere close to finished during his hopefully short-lived presidency.

None of these promises have been delivered, and it’s due to Trump’s tremendous ego — a quality many people could see before his campaign even began.

In an attempt to feel like he has accomplished something noteworthy, Trump stays tuned into Fox News, engaging in a fantasy that ignores his shortcomings and replaces them with milestones of progress. After all, conservative news publications’ content tends to downplay a conservative president’s shortcomings and highlight minor successes.

“Fox & Friends” had a segment with Brandon Judd from the National Border Patrol Council about funding for Trump’s wall and about a half-hour later Trump issued a tweet, as if his 280-character limit would suddenly be law of the land come to life.

By watching “Fox & Friends” and its updates on the border, Trump surrounds himself with affirmation, effectively ignoring the negligible progress of his wall. In reality, he’s nowhere close to being done as the effort does not lie in the plan but its approval.

Trump’s once praised experience as a businessman is now coming back to bite him, as government action is far more difficult to achieve than business transactions. Agreements need to be made between other branches of government, specifically Congress, which can’t agree on anything. The recent government shutdown proved that.

Without a sufficient understanding of politics, Trump’s plans have not fared well in legislation as they were far more complicated than he believed. If he had known prior to his election, he wouldn’t have made so many blatantly ridiculous, impossible-to-keep promises.

If Trump learned from, or at the least paid attention to, his critics perhaps he would wake up and realize he is the U.S. president, not the businessman in a reality TV show who can simply fire whoever he wants.

True journalists will hold him accountable for his actions and outrageous claims and true journalists will remind him that he has yet to understand the very real complexities of government.

Fox News would never destroy Trump’s fragile ego by criticizing him, and because of that, he loves them. However, if Trump continues to only listen to conservative pundits, he won’t be motivated to perform his duties as an actual president.

It’d be a miracle if Trump ever acknowledged any of his many faults. But by living in a feedback loop in which he praises Fox News and angrily tweets about fake news, he isolates himself from criticism. Maybe one day he’ll recognize that his only legacy as president will be his all-talk, no-action approach to leadership.

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