57. Secret of Trump

16 May

(News flash: Mr. Incorruptible is now taking money from rich donors.)

As Trump started to loosen up on his various positions, I began to see him and the whole process more clearly. The secret of Trump is his ability to adapt. He observes contingencies and people’s needs and changes his approach accordingly. This has worked for his businesses and has worked in his political career so far. Adaptation in fact, is the way most enterprises do best (but alas, is not conservative).

Trump is a man devoted to success, not principles. He does throw out a few ideas, but a substantial part of every speech is concerned with various aspects of winning. He talks a lot about his winning in the polls, his number of delegates, the number of people voting for him, the states he has won, and the defeat of his enemies. He is now backing off many of his ideas suitable for the primary, and developing new ideas for the general election. So now lets see how Trump fits into the political realm.

Republican (conservative) leaders want everything to remain the same, because it is under the current (corrupt) system that they have succeeded. They do talk about some ideals, but mostly their motivation is to keep their lucrative positions,  hold on to their great wealth, and please their rich donors. They create laws that make rich people richer and if necessary, take benefits away from the general population (you and me). Republican leaders talk a lot about religion because religious people are generally more conservative and that keeps them in the party. Religion is also a diversion from questionable budgetary policies.

On the other hand, Conservative voters want things to remain the same, because they fear change. “Lets just keep doing things the same way because that is safer and new things are often hard to understand.” For some GOP voters, of course, religion is most important and they see Republicans as their champions, even though Republicans in practice, are not any more ethical or moral than Democrats, and are less Christian in terms of helping the poor.

Some Democrat leaders support the wealthy, but many genuinely promote programs to help the middle class and those in poverty. Democrat voters are more adaptable and support progressive principles, such as climate-change actions, LGBT needs, job creation, infrastructure improvements, research, support of social programs, etc.

Of course, I have over-simplified, but the main features are clear. By design or just by luck, Trump joined the Republicans because that party has a large group of fearful, traditional, and/or less-educated voters. He could present simple, forceful ideas, like building a wall and strengthening the military, that would appeal to that group.  And, of course, he can amplify the fear by talking about ISIS cutting off heads.

Now that he has achieved the nomination, he can adapt to what is necessary for the general election. He says that past ideas are only suggestions, just proposals. He is now clearly moving more towards the center and even liberal views because that adaptation is more likely to win.

So picture Trump walking along the top his giant border wall trying to stay balanced, but deviations too far to the liberal left or conservative right will make him fall off. Trump is a great adapter and that works well for businesses. But will the voters see him as principled or just opportunistic ??  And clearly, he has now abandoned his original fans.

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