I try hard not to pay attention to politics, can’t help picking up some of it. Have looked into Trump as he has become more prominent, decided A) MSM is clueless, as usual, and B) Trump is a scarily confident simple man who is being badly underestimated by our establishment.*
This is a good discussion of the psychology of our modern situation, followers and leaders.
This gets it partly right : Trump has authenticity, at least partly because his father put him through construction work as he was coming up through the ranks. Tump’s life has not been entirely private schools and frat parties, as almost all of the other candidates. Trump is indeed self-made, he did the businesses beyond construction and all of the Vegas glitz celebrity.
In order of authenticity, Carson, Paul, Trump. Carson because of growing up in poverty and excelling at neurosurgery. Paul because he grew up in small town Texas and became a practicing MD. The rest are entirely modern political or salesperson (Fiorina) types, facade rules.
In the recent past, the authentic people were Ron Paul, Jesse Ventura, and Sarah Palin. Paul was a small town boy who did good, became an MD and delivered 3000 babies in his career. After he was successful, he ran for political office. Ventura was a Navy Seal, wrestler, actor and then became Mayor in Minnesota before running for governor, has written 7 NYTimes Bestsellers. Palin’s authenticity was mostly not being part of mainstream politics : she had started in beauty pagants and high school sports, became a TV sportscaster, and then did Alaskan politics. Her image was ‘successful hometown beauty, nice person’.
The Status Quo, media, political system are not capable of understanding people like those, they don’t fit the standard template of frat boy from one Ivy League school, law degree from another and a series of jobs at large banks, large companies or large agencies. From the public’s pov, those attributes cause distrust, reminding us that all of our huge failures have been produced by the cream of the Status Quo’s cream. The last President who did not graduate from an Ivy League school was Ronald Reagan. I don’t think Sarah Palin was less qualified than Ronald Reagan, but it was easy to put her down because she didn’t share the standard Status Quo politician’s knowledge base or values. Those translate into ‘gaffs’, sound bites that make for negative images.
All politicians make verbal and mental slips, MSM chooses what are shown on national TV. No one realizes that Sarah Palin could make any DC politician look equally foolish if the discussion was about the reality of things in Alaska, or that she might have extracted even more wisdom from her experiences than available from the standard patrician’s upbringing.
In my opinion, Jesse Ventura is the only person with the personal understanding, experience and personal strength and toughness to lead the rolling back of the Fedgov’s power and the deep state behind it. Ventura is the most prominent of the people willing to call 911 a False Flag Operation, and is therefore a non-person in our media.
In this perspective, Paul’s big problem is that he threw away authenticity as an outsider as he took the advice of professionals. He won his Senate seat, is still in the game, so who knows? Paul is generally libertarian on drug policy and the dumb wars, but also espouses social conservative positions and lined up with Israel when push came to shove, is getting positive attention for some part of it and negative for others. Drug policy and wars are easy to oppose, practically everyone does. Rand Paul needs to convince people he has his father’s ability to resist the immense institutional pressures of government. That is what our next president needs, and the lack produced Obama’s abject failure.
The real basic partisanship these days, it seems to me, is driven by the rising opposition to the wars and the anti-Muslim rhetoric, it evokes so much history.
Trump is by far the largest in celebrity and name recognition, that is his current edge.
I watch this contest as a measure of the oligarchy-Status Quo-MSM’s ability to guide and select the leaders of the public. The inverse of that is the power of peer-to-peer opinion like this to guide our collective future, to defeat their propaganda efforts. That is our generation’s fight for Freedom.
*This is what I wrote getting to the understanding above, it is of no consequence, just my opinion as it formed.
Added later, this anthropologist agrees with me, and he has an interesting analysis of what Trump did in the first debate. As an honestly honest member of the Honest Party, I remind you how big the Internet is and how easy it is to find someone to agree with you, even when you aren’t looking, which I wasn’t.
I asked a friend I argue with often what he thought of Trump. His judgment of people is good, and he talks to more than I do, so often has interesting thoughts. He said “He is a moron. But what is so scary is that his simple rendition of exactly the right words might get him elected. He is rich, is on the oligarchy’s side, looks like an outsider taking on the corrupt political system. But he probably isn’t controllable, they will have to kill him.” He went on to say how Trump is saying what so very many people think, and doing it in a way that makes him seem on their side, very convincingly for people of a certain point of view.
His ‘moron’ meant ‘simple person, lousy thinker, not knowledgeable’ rather than unintelligent. That is what some of the things written about Trump say also, tho I haven’t cross-checked anything, so don’t believe anything yet.
That opinion is confirmed by this bit :
“‘We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,’ an unidentified man who spoke at a question-and-answer town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked the mogul at a rally Thursday night. ‘You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American’” [CNN].
A seemingly bewildered Trump interrupted the man, chuckling, “We need this question. This is the first question.”
“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” the man, wearing a “Trump” T-shirt, continued. “That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
That ahistorical reaction is not one I want in my leader. The world is far too complex and civilization too fragile for negative-sum games.
But, willingness to consider ‘a lot of different things’ aside, reason suggests that Trump is good at something, because he appears to live the life of a very rich man of more than middling importance and celebrity, and has convinced most of America of that fact. So at least, Trump is much better at image than anybody gives him credit for, and I don’t think you can be dumb, superficial or disorganized and run construction projects. You can be dumb in Hollywood or politics and get ahead by keeping to the script and doing what good advisors tell you. But Trump doesn’t appear to be advisable, has at least appeared to succeed in a variety of arenas combining celebrity and business on a grand scale, so all that must be his, and that means there is some substance there.
What and whether it is something we want to reward with an important political position is a different question.
So provisionally, resisting the urge to smash the screen as I always have to do when observing political speech, from a couple of Youtube videos that appear representative of Trump and his views, I think : Not dumb, but very superficial at least in his expression of his thoughts, either is excellent at or can not see behind facade and doesn’t expect you to either. I do not see depth of understanding in anything coming from him or his camp so far, although he makes more sense than most, e.g. “I contribute to all politicians who ask, then they owe me”, and the example of Hillary attending his wedding, was illuminating. Did you notice how Hillary’s numbers started down after that? Nobody in MSM or the status quo has either, another measure of how they underestimate Trump. I thought Trump put her into a very subordinate position with that simple statement, Clinton jumped through his hoop for campaign contributions, and her clarifying statement cemented the position.
Ronald Reagan was ‘superficial’ also, and had the same simple certainty. The man was a not entirely a disaster, e.g. Nuclear Weapons treaties, although he is the one who let military spending and deficit spending get out of control.
So my impression of the record is that Trump is standard clever, brash, neuveaux riche, not part of the establishment, more Vegas than Hollywood, but not really inside anything but his own organizations, not accepted by the inner-circle oligarchy, just another celebrity in their minds, not a classy celebrity. I think people in politics and government, Vegas, Hollywood, all but the top of Wall Street, media, all of real estate and all of sports, return his calls, are polite. That is considerable power. He is indeed an outsider, mostly, but that does not make him one of us in the 99%.
Image is all in that world, and he has learned to give an acceptable speech that makes him mostly acceptable to most voters while making it clear he is an outsider. Intentionally rude, socially aggressive and every other part of his personna are tools he uses to get things his way.
The life he has led, he has practiced in 1000 speeches to very widely different groups and learned from them all : worlds from professional wrestling, beauty pageants, big-time gambling, organized crime, real estate and reality TV. Probably good at picking up on what can grab people, a salesman’s gifts. Diplomatic when needed or he couldn’t have succeeded in all that, (renegotiating loans with 70 banks so that they defer $1B in payments requires more than what Trump shows in public), and quite capable of dropping it when it is in his interest, all part of projecting an image. part of a politician or celebrity’s craft.
In a long career, the man has not put a foot so wrong he was charged with anything serious. Can any of the other people who have risen in their life as far in wealth and fame as Donald Trump, or at least convinced us as completely, say that? You have to admire some of the things about this man : he has good judgment about what he can get away with, unlike most politicians.
That image of brash and plebian, impolite outsider is part of the simplistic nonsense that makes him seem fresh and real. He stole the entire neocon playbook and script and is beating the establishment to death with it, the masses were prepared by all the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Israeli-neocon propaganda, he stole their thunder and yet is not one of them.
But I think Trump isn’t experienced enough to get through the next rough patch. MSM is working hard to tag him with something that sticks. You can see the tide turning in MSM and the Status Quo parts of the web, the 2nd take opinions on the 2nd debate are as negative as possible about Trump, as hopeful as possible for everyone else. Establishment opinion is now, or at least for today, anybody but Trump and deal with who later. The 2nd-rankers are parading as the best alternatives to Trump, every commentator supporting the general assessment that that must be the next turn of the crank.
A good test of Trump, I guess, is he more than facade and aggressive words? This is an entirely different level of scrutiny for him. And a good test of how much control of public opinion MSM actually has.
Re-reading this later, a critique of my thought : “very superficial”. Everyone is about damn near everything, human minds are finite in a world of serious infinite detail. So Trump is superficial about history and didn’t react to “The Muslim Problem”. Our own government ditto, “Department of Homeland Security” is the same tin ear for history. Few people know much about anything in the past any more.
OTOH, political leaders really do need to know that kind of thing, because their most important job is avoiding catastrophe. “The Muslim Problem” is a catastrophe with the promise of getting very much worse, all due to our Neocon-Israeli block.