“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.”
This quote comes from Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. It has been used completely out of context since he said it in an interview in 2008. What he meant was a crisis gets the public attention to a problem, and puts pressure on government to come up with solutions.
The raging forest fires in California should have been the crisis to tell us that the impacts of climate change are real and resulting in deaths around the world. Trump’s comments on Californian’s forgot to rake their leaves was laughable. It’s also sad, because human lives are at stake. I am not saying that climate change caused the forest fires, but that global warming results in hotter and longer summers in California, resulting in very dry brush. This makes many large and populated areas more vulnerable to rapidly spreading fires,
So let us add: “Never let a crisis be pointed to you or your organization.” With the second important proviso, “Be creative.” Trump meant to say that the state of California was responsible. They didn’t maintain their forests well. This became laughable again, when Trump insisted that Finland rakes their leaves. The President of Finland was confused. Learn to pivot and deflect, at the same time as appearing to answer questions. Avoid like the plague the follow up question. The buck stops somewhere else.
As news of Trump’s involvement in a potential Trump Tower in Moscow has leaked out, an additional proviso comes to mind. “If creativity fails, try lying.” Trump claims that the Trump Tower project in Moscow was public knowledge in 2016, which I am hoping that this qualifies as the “Lie of the Year” for Politifact annual contest. Another tactic, is to change the subject to a completely different crisis that is not your fault. Trump has tweeted that the FBI is wasting their time investigating the Russian interference (aka, “Witch hunt” and “hoax”) when they should go after Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, etc, or really anything connected to Democratic campaign. Like science fiction, the public can never get enough of big scandal stories, even the manufactured narratives.
So, while Emmanuel just wanted to say how a crisis helps in solving real problems, he had not envision the new era of creating scandals out of practically nothing, for purely political reasons. The best defense is a good offense. Be inventive and retaliate with another scandal, blown out of proportion. Example: Hillary’s email scandal was real and 10X worse than the Russian collusion, which we know is a hoax. Another example — the caravan story and the imminent invasion of half of Guatemala’s criminal population, along with Middle East terrorists. This was only good up to the mid-term election.
Remember there is strength in numbers. You can lie without statistics, but it just sounds more impressive with statistics. Even false statistics.
So, to re-iterate:
- You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.
- Never let a crisis be pointed to you or your organization. Learn to deflect and pivot. The buck stops somewhere else.
- Be creative. If creativity fails, try lying.
- The best defense is a good offense. Be inventive and retaliate with another scandal, blown out of proportion.
- There is strength in numbers. You can lie without statistics, but it just sounds more impressive with statistics. Even false ones.
Poor Mayor Emmanuel who looked on the positive side of a crisis.