Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Trumped Up Thoughts

I've had some thoughts on Trump lately, and I thought I would share those.

● First, let me say that I'm seeing more and more people starting to support him as they look at his record. I find that interesting. Personally, I've seen a couple liberals become firm supporters and some libertarians who just like being different. Both groups have said that they really like the stuff he's done "if only he would stop tweeting!" I think this bodes well for him. Not only does this suggest that his support will grow (Obama's was shrinking at this time in his presidency and he would ultimately lose 6 million votes in his second run), but even more it puts the lie to the narrative that Trump hit bottom and kept falling. Trump may very well surprise people.

● Secondly, I think the media continues to be his best friend. Not only will they blow every scandal out of proportion, creating a sort of boy-who-cried-wolf teflon that has most people no longer listening, but the attacks they choose to promote are pathetic. The one that always makes me shake my head is Kelly Anne Conway's husband George Conway. George can be counted on to say something obnoxious every news cycle and the media repeats it like it matters. The thing is, George comes across as the kind of guy who's only worthy of news time if he gets caught jerking off behind a theater. So using him as a weapon against Trump is pathetic.

● Trump has also been lucky that his enemies keep imploding. The #metoo monster has devolved into mud wrestling. The Democrats have picked losers to run against him. The woman who just accused him of rape, not only is pimping a book, not only claims another powerful man raped her, not only kept the coat she was supposedly wearing when Trump did it... but now she's talked about how most people think of rape as "sexy." CNN actually cut off the interview to try to contain the damage, but it got out. She's a nut.

● The Iran thing has me thinking. I always thought Trump was kind of a moron, but his handling of Iran and North Korea both impress me. He's the first president and one of the few in Washington to understand what both countries actually want. Kim in North Korea wants to be able to enjoy his wealth overseas... to party on in cool cities. Trump offered him normal relations to let him do that. He even talked about developing luxury services in North Korea, which must have tickled Kim pink. The situation hasn't solved itself yet, but I actually think it will fairly soon.

Now Trump has said he wants to "Make Iran Great Again." This is actually exactly what Iran wants. Iran sees itself as the great Persian Empire and it wants influence in the Gulf. We've taken that away from it and that's really been the struggle between us. Other Presidents have offered money or vague promises of helping their economy, but that's not what they want. Again, Trump is the first to really understand what they want. What impresses me here is that Trump seems to understand both countries even as our establishment (left and right) remains clueless. I honestly didn't know he had it in him.

I've also come to understand his negotiation style. Step one, you freak the other side out by promising to do the one thing that scares them. Then you offer to negotiate. If things stall, he acts like he will pull the trigger or he may even pull the trigger. Then they back down and a deal is reached that is good for both sides. He's done this with immigration and foreign aid, tariffs and trade wars, sanctions, deportations, and now bombings. It's worked really well for the most part.

He's a good deal smarter than he seems.



Anthony said...

1. I think as the Dem positions in the public mind coalesce from vague 'not-Trump' to 'actual/crazy Dem positions' Trump's place in the polls will climb, but as of yet I haven't seen this rise in Trump support you mention. According to Rasmussen he has the same approval as Obama at this stage and slightly higher disapproval.


2. Like I said when he won office, Trump is like Clinton in that he was electable as a loveable rogue. The public is not going to turn against him for stuff they knew about (I knew the Russia thing wouldn't hurt him because like many talk radio types Trump has been swooning over Putin for years).

On a related note, very little has moved the needle in regards to Trump (be it a crazy tweet, a booming economy or rape allegations) and when it has moved it hasn't moved much. Clearly most everyone knows everything they need to know about Trump.

3. Like Clinton the heightened public awareness of his womanizing did/has shortened the careers of a lot of other people, some in the opposition. Saw this headline in Townhall five minutes ago. I don't think Metoo is going anywhere in the near future.


The Pennsylvania Republican Party is entangled in immense chaos as now-former Chairman Val DiGiorgio abruptly resigned from his post amidst a sex scandal.
Goldstein told the Inquirer that the messages escalated from advice to flirtation quickly, eventually turning into explicitly sexual photographic and text messages. She also told the Inquirer that she eventually began to feel uncomfortable, as DiGiorgio had the ‘upper-hand’ and labeled his messages as sexual harassment.
The messages indicate that this was a mutually-reciprocated, sexual messaging relationship, but Goldstein eventually felt threatened and intimidated, given DiGiorgio’s powerful position within the power.

4. The notion that North Korea is run for the benefit of its dictator is correct (IMHO) but not a new one. Nothing I've seen indicates that North Korea is diverging from its long established pattern of pushing and pushing up until the choke of sanctions becomes uncomfortable, then negotiating to get some more breathing room, then starting the whole cycle again.

As I've said before, I think North Korea wants to be Russia. Russia is a declining power but its dictator enjoys broad latitude to do what he wants inside (and to a lesser but still notable degree outside) his country in no small part because an arsenal of nukes makes military retaliation a frightening prospect.

Something very similar could be said about Iran. Its also worth noting that Libya looms large in the minds of both countries. Libya gave up its WMDs (chemical weapons, not nukes, but the principle is the same) and was then invaded (for subsequent human rights abuses) and its leader executed.

5. Despite his frequent bluster and the odd (often quickly rescinded) declaration of absolute and eternal victory nothing has changed in a meaningful sense. Even the bluster and rash declarations of victory are in line with past practice. I think unless a war with Iran happens international relations won't help or hurt Trump. It will just be a thing his allies praise him for and his enemies condemn him for.

Domestically Trump has followed Obama's lead in aggressively expanding the power of the executive (which has slowly but steadily expanded in recent decades) in order to get stuff done in an environment where co-operation would be political suicide for the opposition.

tryanmax said...

One of Trump’s basic persuasion strategies is to prime people’s natural tendency for confirmation bias. He did this to obvious effect when he called Jeb! “low energy.” Whether Jeb has low energy or not, he certainly took a reserved approach to campaigning. Pointing it out in negative terms did Jeb in.

You see the same thing with Trump’s criticism of the press. Any president can count on some faction of the press playing hardball on him. But pointing it out and characterizing it as unfair draws more attention to those instances where the press is truly being unfair. (I tend to believe that the press is actually unfair, but that may be how I was primed.)

The press does their own version. Trump openly discusses various courses of action but keeps his decisions close to the vest until he’s ready to act. This can easily be characterized as “indecisive,” “unpredictable” or even “crazy.” And the press does characterize it that way and it does confirm what certain people are primed to see.

Overall, though, it does seem that Trump is winning that persuasion battle, as he has the advantage. You can only call things crazy until they work. At that moment, all prior criticisms become unfair. The more Trump succeeds, the more his success will compound.

On Trump’s negotiating style, I haven’t read his books, but I’ve been told that that is exactly what he laid out in Art of the Deal.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, There are always signs of mood changes long before polls register them.

On #metoo, your mistaking things that have always happened with this basically dead movement. All the evidence suggests that #metoo is nothing more than Black Lives Matter, a nuisance group with an extreme, hypocritical agenda that only hurts their own cause whenever they get air time.

The nature of the discussions with North Korea seem to have fundamentally changes (less hostile) and I think there will be an agreement soon. Iran is at the beginning stages, so it's hard to tell, but Trump has made the first intelligent offer ever made to them.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've heard the same thing about the Art of the Deal, and it seems to be working for him.

Versus the press, Trump has done an amazing job of turning "the media" (all of it) into something the pubic sees as partizan. They even confirm it by repeatedly trying to smear him. And in the end, I think the result is that the right no longer cares what the media says, the left gets upset when media attacks don't work and freaks out when the media doesn't attack, and the public at large seems to have gone numb and no longer pays attention.

Critch said...

Well, Trump met with the Kim Jong Un at the DMZ, that is really amazing. The media and the Dims are befuddled...they don't know how to react...with most of the American public, it looks like Trump is a successful negotiator.
If this china deal comes off, he will be viewed as a successful negotiator....I've got two friends who are fairly conservative, but both are union members. Due to the Democrat stand on various sexual issues, gun control, taxes, and the economy, both are voting for Trump and other Republicans. They don't trust the Democrat party. The both feel that all the Dims care about are illegal immigrants, criminals, and whacko people who don't know what bathroom to use.

Anthony said...

If the rumors are true Trump will recognize North Korea as a nuclear power. Fine and good, but that makes him throwing aside the very similar Iran deal very odd.

*Shrugs* I'm sure the talk radio circuit will hail his genius or something though they'd scream bloody murder if another president did it. Consistency is the hobgoblin of limited minds.

Like I'm said before internationally Trump is doing pretty much the same thing as has usually been done, just doing it louder. All the headaches floating around out there will be there in one form or another for the next president to deal with in a year or five.

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