Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I have been reading a book called Pre-Suasion. Its a book about the skills and ways one can persuade by setting that up before the actual persuasion. As I was reading it I recalled the Trump campaign and it became clear to me that Trump is, probably, a GREAT salesman. Its also interesting that the setup is the most important part which also makes it a lot like magic (where the setup is, pretty much, everything).
If you read the book, and then apply it to the Trump campaign one thing becomes clear. Trump is a genius at what he does, his winning had little or nothing to do with the downtrodden and forgotten so much as he figured out just how to couch his campaign for winning. Hillary, on the other hand, is pretty much a lousy salesman (which was unfortunate on all sorts of levels).
So, if I am right, what we have for president is a salesman and, as far as I can tell, little else. However, that being said its also turning out that he is going to leave a lot of the management up to his 'team'. I have also noticed that Trump is now, moving right along, has pointed out (with some wonderment) that much of what he said should not have actually been believed. This one is very strange in that his true believers are now being told, by Trump, that they really shouldn't have believed everything. I wonder how that is going to play out.
So, if I am right, what we have for president is a salesman and, as far as I can tell, little else.
Quite right, but haven't we known this from the start? And haven't we known that all along he was selling his supporters a bill of goods that would never be delivered. All for one low price folks! Strong leadership! Better jobs! Clean coal! Lower taxes for the wealthy!
Donald Trump could sell the paint right off a house. He'll leave it up to you how to get it back in the bucket though.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde
' For my sins, once, years ago, I went with a friend to an Amway meeting which the founder of the Ponzi scheme led as a kind of cult rally. That con man staged a meeting that was much like a Trump rally.
Cults are led by by emotive, brainwashing leaders --- from Hitler to Trump, Falwell to Billy Graham.
By the way, isn't one of the new cabinet selections married to a scion of the Amway empire? .
_________________________ Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons
No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
One more take... this crazy coup by Trump is being characterized as "populism" powered by a vaguely identified white working middle class that has been left behind economically and culturally. I keep trying that explanation on for size and it doesn't seem to fit. One reason is that it isn't populism if it is lead by really rich folks and propagandists. That would be more like "suckerism".
What I keep seeing from the Trumpists is basically little more than the middle finger salute, very often from people who are retired or on disability assistance, who are like audience members at a Jerry Springer show. They want to see some blood and bruises and broken bones bestowed upon their imagined enemies, they want vengeance, they want to feel like they are kicking some a.s.s. Trump, the showman, gives them that.
For that crowd, virtual reality is their reality. It isn't a matter of practical facts, there is no way to rationalize it...
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
To firmly make the point: Trumpism is not rational. It is more like this:
A few of the Einstein haters had some academic affiliation, but most were poorly educated. "Science, once our greatest pride, is today being taught by Hebrews!" the housepainter and failed art student Adolf Hitler complained.
During the rise of the Nazi state, it became clear that intellectuals and other prominent Jews were under particular threat. In 1933, Hitler gained effective control of the Reichstag, and the great number of students who were Nazi supporters could beat up Jews with impunity. On May 10 of that year — in a scene unimagined since the Middle Ages — throughout the country, including the old university towns, great pyres were made of books.
The largest book-burning crowds assembled in Berlin at the Opernplatz, just near the Opera House. Students had been eagerly collecting cartloads of volumes seized from libraries or private homes. Propaganda Minister Goebbels arrived at midnight to begin a nationally broadcast speech: "German men and women! . . . You do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past!" Goebbels's photographers were standing by, ready to capture the images that would be shown across the country: the joy before flames, the exultation in the crowds. Student crowds in Göttingen had engaged in their own burnings the same night.
As a society we have been conditioned to accept. We are uncomfortable when confronted by our inherent advantages and prejudices. We accept claims that "make us feel good". It works in advertising, it works in politics, it works in courtrooms. I'm not sure how many people actually believed Trump, but they found his message "non threatening" - to their complacency.
The more frightening possibility for liberals is that Clinton didn’t lose because the white working class failed to hear her message, but precisely because they did hear it.
Trump’s white voters do support the mommy state, but only so long as it’s mothering them. Most of them don’t seem eager to change Medicare or Social Security, but they’re fine with repealing Obamacare and its more diverse pool of 20 million insured people. They’re happy for the government to pick winners and losers, so long as beleaguered coal and manufacturing companies are in the winner’s circle. Massive deficit-financed spending on infrastructure? Under Obama, that was dangerous government overreach, but under Trump, it’s a jobs plan by a guy they know won’t let Muslims and Mexicans cut in line to get work renovating highways and airports.
Nonetheless, we need to keep calling it out. We cannot accept it. We can make the broader message palatable if we sugar coat it - reminding people of the founders, the Constitution and apple pie are democratic institutions.
In the aggregate, though, these calls for civility threaten to impose a burden on people of color. If calling out racism is largely counterproductive, using a systemic definition like white supremacy is also unacceptable, and stigmatizing or shaming those who espouse racist beliefs is self-defeating, what tools remain? The only form of productive debate that people of color can engage in, it seems, is the gentle persuasion of white people who may or may not hold retrograde views.
That advice is of course probably most appealing to white Americans, for whom the social cost of being called racist may loom larger than the effects of racism itself, or for whom the ideal of a functioning marketplace of civil ideas is more important than the worry that they might be carved out of it. White Americans share a vested interest in not being called racist, straight people in not being called homophobic, and men in not being called misogynistic.
_________________________ A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.
Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich