- Scott Adams
I think I figured it out. TRUMP made politics fun again.
Let's be honest - had the GOD-EMPEROR not descended, there was every chance that the 2016 elections would have devolved into Clinton II vs. Bush III, after the obligatory theatre of drowning their opponents with cash and backroom fixes, which would then have led into some of the most hackneyed and yawn-inducing "debates" ever:
Clinton II: I'm a woman. No, I'm not going to release my Wall Street speech transcripts. Woman, me. What classified emails? Female here, hello. I'll do whatever Obama did to get elected. Look, those were a long eight years waiting. I got the Secretary of State appointment because my advisors told me it was the most relevant resume booster for this job, 'kay? Is this gender discrimination? I'm for this, unless I'm not, but most importantly, time to progress to a woman head of state, everyone. Status quo, otherwise. Thank you.
Bush III: Uh, Reagan Reagan Lincoln Reagan. Lincoln Lincoln Reagan Reagan. Roosevelt Reagan, Eisenhower Reagan Reagan. Oil Security Finance Cut Taxes. Cut Taxes. Reagan. (please clap) Reagan, Lincoln! Latino, amigo! Arms Funding, Security, Cut Reagan... sorry, Cut Taxes. Guacamole! (please laugh) Ummm... yes, Reagan. Cut Corporate Taxes, Cut Personal Taxes. (whispers) Bush I. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!
Then Hillary sort of doesn't lose by default because Jeb! is, well, a shrub (though he's kind of a nice guy in his personal capacity, I'm sure), the Republicans return to their corners to sulk and continue clogging up legislation in spite, while Bubba Bill reluctantly returns to the White House as First Laddie, on a strict no intern diet - but eh, good ol' days again...
Or not. Because, while Bill's the okay sort, TRUMP has this one, and we'll cover why in seven short and snappy snips (don't worry, no pagination here):
Reason #1: TRUMP is RIGHT
BUT EVERYTHING HE SAY IS CORRECT."
- BASED pro boxer Adrien Broner
Actually, he's more centrist-authoritarian, but you get what I mean. See, the point is, TRUMP's generally accurate. Spot-on. If you look past the garish packaging, you tend to discover that many of his supposedly-outrageous stands, are actually nothing very special when translated into the vernacular political weaselese.
Let's just peek at what the latest screaming's about - TRUMP said the USA can't default on its debt because it prints money? OMIGAWD DUMP DRUMPF111!! Except, eh, it's merely a simple statement of fact - and conventional economic wisdom, even. These people know that this was exactly what Bernanke was counting on, when he executed "quantitative easing", right?
Next up, TRUMP attacking the head of the Southern Baptist Convention... wasn't TRUMP a Republican? Doesn't that mean he has to pander to every last half-baked demand from the evangelical wing? Or perhaps, as Gingrich noted, he just calls it like he sees it? And just listen to the idiocy that he's spouting now: "...instead of trying to spread universal values that not everyone shares or wants, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions."
...okay, Obama said that, right?
I mean, for goodness' sake, TRUMP's continually ragged on for pledging to build a security wall on sovereign territory. A wall! After indirectly approving all forms of quasi-unilateral foreign "police actions" for years and years, the US public's suddenly developed an aversion to a glorified white picket fence?! What does a GOD-EMPEROR have to do, to set this right?
Our valued negotiation partners giving the Mexican good luck sign!
Come on, people; it's not exactly controversial that less-than-savoury characters have been sneaking over from south of the border, and it's not rocket science that walls, well, work. And, recall, TRUMP also promised a "big, beautiful door" in his wall; which is, like, the standard international border security setup? Then, instead of going after the root issues - the drug cartels and their lifeblood, the War on Drugs - the Mexican administration's working to... ban memes. [N.B. if past trends hold, weed may indeed soon be federally sanctioned.]
Furthermore, it so happens that many of the accusations flung against TRUMP, are largely unsubstantiated, as evidenced by the now-fabled saga of "You're Kidding Me" Carl. Yeah, maybe he has got a potty mouth, but racist? Xenophobic? Well, let's take a look at HuffPo's top so-called examples. Refusing to disavow white supremacists? Actually, he did, while Hillary's gotten a free pass on her own Triple-K endorsement. Accusing "young men of colour" of only being "passionate about basketball or rap", and small-town communities of "clinging to guns and religion and xenophobia", etc? Oops, that's Obama.
Apparently, it's no longer acceptable to state facts anymore. When TRUMP wants to discuss the issue of certain ethnicities committing more violent crime, it's racism; if the Blue Donkeys acknowledge it, it's a call for affirmative action. Maybe TRUMP can be blunt and insensitive, but all considered, he really isn't that far out of left field - which brings us to...
Reason #2: The Great Lefty Swingback
Nobody asked. They all assumed.
Tolerance. Freedom of expression. Right to be heard. All well and good... if you're on the lib side, that is. Otherwise, if you - gasp - support TRUMP, you must be a low-information voter.
If calling names were all to it, that'd be fair enough, but we're talking about institutional censorship here. Facebook has been systematically suppressing conservative news postings, even as Zuck persistently shills for followers; Buzzfeed has banned pro-TRUMP opinions; Imgur is taking down TRUMP content. Certainly, all these private companies may be within their rights, but it doesn't mean that people have to like them for it.
As it so happens, many don't.
Yes, racism, sexism and other -isms may be bad. However, they have also been egregiously overused. An auto-win card can only be played so many times before it gets stale, and the backlash has finally arrived. Moreover, while TRUMP gets slammed for "treating racial groups as monoliths", his is not the party that promised a "special place in hell" for women who don't support Hillary! As singer Azealia Banks has non-politically-correctly observed, Hillary's the one who has been "talking to black people as if we're children or pets".
Oh, there's the expected mainstream media hit jobs, definitely, but consider: TRUMP has tanked US$43 million of direct attack ads already, far more than all other candidates from both parties combined. One suspects that the general public will, if they haven't already, tune out from these efforts, as well as the skewed putdowns from left-leaning pundits. Positing an aggregate negative 4% chance for TRUMP's nomination can't have done their credibility much good, nor downplaying polls once they show TRUMP 4% up in swing state Ohio, before accounting for social desirability biases...
Reason #3: Americans First
One Hillary shovelled out!
And, pray tell, why shouldn't Ohio, and the other Rust Belt states, stump for TRUMP? Fact is, the vanilla working class has been played out for a long, long time. Economists recognize that although the gains from free trade are broad and shallow, the losses are narrow and deep, and these places are just where those losses have been stuck. Obama's hope never quite came, and the GOP establishment certainly didn't deliver either; can you blame them for taking the plunge on TRUMP?
We'll get to how amazingly lousy Hillary is as a popular politician soon enough, but her performance in West Virginia deserves special mention here. Her stump speech basically consisted of telling the constituency that she would put them out of business, which is practically equivalent to pledging to sink them into bankruptcy and break up their families. TRUMP, on the other hand, delighted by modelling a mining helmet.
Sure, she was probably gonna lose W.V. in November anyhow. Yes, coal has its environmental costs, and she was being upfront with her intentions. But still - how dumb was that?
She duly got routed by the democratic socialist from Vermont, while driving the previously staunchly pro-Democratic Teamsters union towards TRUMP. It was so bad that CNN struggled to find a Democrat that wouldn't vote for TRUMP over her, and this is before considering that half of Sanders' voters would cross over for TRUMP!
Reason #4: Sandernistas For TRUMP
Over The Bern!
(Original source: imgur.com)
TRUMP has been saying that the Democrats have not been giving Bernie a fair deal. Obviously, he has his own motives - Sanders remaining in the game forces Hillary to tack to the left, opening up the center for him - but recall Reason #1. Again, TRUMP is right.
The Democratic establishment were never prepared to accept Sanders. Well, to be honest, him being a seriously crappy general election candidate may have been part of it, but the point stands. They were after a ceremonial walkover, a fuss-free coronation, and one can only imagine how the vetting might have gone down at headquarters:
Well, ten rounds into the twelve-round bout, Hillary's the one on the defensive. Far from the planned decisive knockout, one-armed Bernie's swung his way to 20-26 on points on the rigged scoreboard; Obama and Biden have been nervously pacing the floor, their legacies at stake, as their champion staggers towards the final bell. Biden is the latest one to try and influence the judges, to stop the damn match now.
It is a very sad sight.
As it stands, close to half of Bernie's supporters are going #NeverHillary in November (though their donations might yet be pressed into her service; capitalism always wins, dearies), and 15% are prepared to board the TRUMP TRAIN, to finally back a WINNER. Fair enough, some of the Bernouts could yet change their mind, out of some misguided sense of party loyalty - however, it probably won't even matter, because...
Reason #5: Hillary Is Clueless
This is... frankly not very reassuring
(Original source: huffingtonpost.com)
Hillary has a problem. Many problems, in fact. The Democrats also have a problem. Mostly Hillary.
Let's be fair - Hillary Clinton is an exceptional person, in many respects. Unfortunately, she happens to be a distinctly average campaigner, at best... which just so also happens to be a key prerequisite for the post that she's seeking.
Just as Obama benefitted greatly from coming after Bush II, Hillary is suffering from the contrast with her would-be predecessor. The vibes that Obama put out, with his core demographics particularly, were incredible. Bush II, before messing it all up, beat Cyberman Gore in large part due to being more approachable, the "kind of man you'd like to have a drink with". Clinton I, for all his sybaritic faults, had charm in spades. Bush I was fortunate to face Tanker Dukakis, and was riding on the highs of Reagan... who was acknowledged, even by his political adversaries, as "The Great Communicator".
And, of course, there's the classic lesson about the importance of presentation in politics - the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates. Nixon, at that time the incumbent vice-president, appeared sickly from a recent illness, in contrast to the young and sprightly Kennedy. Although Nixon arguably beat Kennedy on content alone, with radio listeners favouring him, Kennedy was the big winner visually - right on time for the TV revolution. Admittedly, this retelling may be oversimplified... which ironically bolsters the original point: it's all in the perception.
Television has however become old hat, with print media endorsements - and old-fashioned endorsements in general - only becoming more inconsequential. Sadly for Gore perhaps, the Internet only truly entered the mainstream in the 2000s, and it was left to Obama to master the potential of social media. Moods and trends are changing faster than ever before, though, and of the two presumptive major party nominees, only one has displayed a near-genius affinity for leveraging the medium. Clue: it's not Hillary.
As Kennedy and Reagan didn't see themselves as above the lowbrow everyman appeal of television, as opposed to issuing haughty proclamations to the broadsheets, TRUMP is embracing the full potential of the snappy soundbite - the 140-character tweet. Hillary and the DNC are playing catch-up, and they're belatedly recognizing that they've brought a stick to a flamethrower fight.
Take branding: Lyin' Ted, Little Marco and Low Energy Bush are now stuck with those nicknames, for the remainder of their public life. Little Marco's best counter was "Big Don", which I guess deserves a pat on the head. Now, I understand completely if TRUMP's opponents try the same thing with him: live by the sword, etc, and one senses that he's down with the bantz anyway. So, what does Hillary & Co. come up with?
...can I be your running mate?
(Original source: wnyc.org)
It makes one wonder, who are these people focus-grouping for Hillary? Interesting men are dangerous. Strong men are dangerous. Special forces marines are dangerous. National heroes are disproportionately dangerous. Old West sheriffs are dangerous. Lord Byron is dangerous. Lawrence of Arabia is dangerous. Frank Sinatra is dangerous. James Bond is dangerous. Batman is dangerous. Deadpool is dangerous. Edward Cullen is dangerous. Christian Grey is dangerous.
The guy you want to have your back when shit goes down is dangerous. The commander-in-chief had better be dangerous.
Hillary Clinton is clueless.
Since when have people been turned off by their leaders being at least capable of danger - both at handling it, and dishing it out? Danger, as an abstract concept, is about as neutral as it comes. You may have heard of the Chinese expression for "crisis": with danger, comes opportunity.
Indeed, the online negative response to TRUMP being labelled "dangerous" was, as far as I could find, nil. Adams explained why in so many words, while the masses who actually ride the subway immediately recognized how self-defeating of an attack it was. Undaunted at the colossal backfire, Hillary & Co. next tried calling TRUMP a... loose cannon. Yes, a big, yuge, phallic object that shoots tirelessly and energetically.
There are rumours that some of Hillary's campaign media advisors are sabotaging her from within. On the available evidence, I have to say that this is highly plausible.
It'll slowly dawn on the electorate, as her campaign trundles on - Hillary's the Lisa Simpson overshadowed by Bart. She's the guidance counselor who will never change your schedule. She's the Dukakis trying desperately to be something she isn't. She's the bean-counter ticking boxes as the world burns, the embellisher dodging sniper fire in her imagination (so danger's attractive, eh?), running on a platform that boils down to: first female President in US history, me.
No, seriously, her official slogan was "Hillary (i.e. Me) for America"! No grand vision, no kinda-clever pun, just the blandest default template introduction ever: Position. Me. Reading it, the automatic impression is that It's All About Her. Obama tried to joke about how "Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook" with an unsettlingly-apt "Trudge Up The Hill" jab, but the outgoing President has to be sweating inside.
Reason #6: TRUMP Has "It"
- Barney, Aristotle, On Trolling
Perhaps TRUMP isn't perfect, but he is the finest exponent of his art that we have. As the old proverb goes, the stars above, the environment below, and the people around are aligning for the GOD-EMPEROR. Yes, Obama knows. He's been trying to frame the engagement, as "not a reality show", but the reality is that his time is over. He's had his turn. He defined the battlefield to his advantage against McCain, but TRUMP is setting the stage this time. It's filled with memes and mind-centipedes and brakeless trains. Oh, and Crooked Hillary.
Then TRUMP, the consummate showman, swaggers in. He announces that he wishes that the primaries would keep going, but he's the only one left! The audience chuckles. They know that it's true. TRUMP is thoroughly enjoying himself. There's nowhere else he'd rather be, nothing else he'd rather do. He just wants to Make America Great Again. And he's proud of it. He tells you that you are the Greatest People, that he'd be the Greatest President (bar Lincoln). You know that's probably not true. But he's earnest.
You want to know how this story ends, right?
The world has responded, and it's shifting to turn with the GOD-EMPEROR as its axis; with zero political pedigree, he's on course to break the popular vote record for the GOP primaries. With no official governmental position, he's dominating the diplomatic rhetoric. In Europe, movements are rising with him as their inspiration, to say the previously unsayable. His most bitter foes are recognizing his potency, as they fall into ruin. He's influencing marriages. His style has resonated in the Philippines. He's worshipped in India.
The GOD-EMPEROR is pleased by your veneration, Imperial subject
Where is your Hillary now?
Reason #7: Hey, He's Not So Bad After All!
Oh, it's all been said. TRUMP is racist, sexist, a bigot. What you won't hear, in the mainstream media, is his history of kindness and generosity, because it doesn't fit their agenda. How many know the Real Donald?
Really, all this outrage, over TRUMP saying mean things, when it was quickly obvious what he was planning. Remember our forecast of a pivot towards the center? Well, he's not just pivoting, people. TRUMP is f**king pirouetting. That Muslim ban, that got so many knickers in twists? Oh, it was simply a possibility. He has put Giuliani onto it, which means that it'll probably get cut down to a ban on Syrian refugees, and while one might feel sorry for them, it's basically what near everybody else is after these days anyway.
If you ask me, TRUMP has demonstrated a quite astonishing ability to improvise and deliver - on time, and under budget, and just by talking. If ever there's a skill America needed, this is it. TRUMP says, like a fiscally responsible caretaker, that NATO should pay their fair share for their military equipment... and he's a bad guy? Please.
And TRUMP being so mean to Mexicans, saying that he'll build a wall to keep them out and deport them and separate families... do his critics actually know what's been going on? Do they actually recognize who sent the most of them back?
It was Clinton.
The Clinton adminstration averaged 1.5 million deportations a year, Bush II did 1.3 million, even Obama did 800 thousand... and TRUMP catches heat because he says he'll do what has been done all along. Oh, and Hillary voted for the wall too. What say the high-information voters? Or are they satisfied as long as appearances are maintained, while quietly stabbing their beloved undocumented migrants in the back? Frankly, I much prefer TRUMP's candour, in this respect.
TRUMP a racist birther? Guess whose supporters started it all?
Deep in their hearts of hearts, people know. Politicians promise many things, and don't deliver on most of them. Situations change. Exigencies happen. You yell when the other side does it, and hunker down when your side resorts to it. As much as it pains me to admit it, even TRUMP the GOD-EMPEROR will be no exception. The Great Game began long before he arrived, and will continue long after he steps down.
But, in the meantime, America can have The Great Tweeter at the helm, and the GOP can have the Second Coming of Reagan. And after that, who knows?
The TRUMP Monument has the best statues, folks!
Next: Soft Reboot
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