There is a new movie out titled, “The Little Things,” whose premise seems to be that if you commit crimes, it’s the little things that get you caught.
The same premise applies to communication. It’s the little things that can have the most impact.
At a solemn ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris each took turns Tuesday night memorializing COVID-19's victims.
As the lights around the pool came on, the President-elect said, "Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along this sacred pool of reflection and remember all who we have lost.”
It was a signature moment, as consequential for its appropriateness as for its timing on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration. It wasn’t a photo op. It was statesmanship, not showmanship.
In short, it was the little things.
The next day, the show was on again as Donald Trump, having worked long into the night pardoning his cronies and fellow criminals, emerged from the White House to board Marine One for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews. There, he was greeted by a small claque of family and supporters, who waved tiny flags and even wore masks. Not a MAGA hat in sight.
Nevertheless, it was like a Trump campaign rally, with garish music blaring from the PA system and the president emerging like he had just touched down in Iowa, or Oklahoma, or any of the other flyover places that are his political home.
After lying for a while about his accomplishments and finally thanking Cardboard Mike for all he had done, Trump boarded Air Force One for the last time, bearing him away to his posh digs in Palm Beach to the strains of Frank Sinatra crooning “My Way.”
It was a great day in America, the besieged, barb wired, plague-stricken nation that Trump left behind, and one of the little things that give us hope.
Bill Huey is founder and president of Strategic Communications, a corporate and marketing communication consultancy. He is the author of two novels and a new one-act play dealing with the #Me Too Movement, “The Tiger of the Flesh.”