Wednesday, March 16, 2016

20/20 Hindsight on Trump

  • He has carefully studied the art form of Reality TV, especially the winners of Big Brother or Survivor. An early alliance with the least likely prospect (Cruz), helped him avoid serious attacks while encouraging other candidates to attack one another. In later rounds, people had voted off any other plausible victor.
  • As the only candidate who uses Twitter (another art form neglected by  politicians), he honed his message using the Twitter feedback loop.
  • The transformation of media has gutted the budgets of newspapers -- the advertising budgets that comprise the profits of Google and Facebook used to pay the salaries of investigative journalists -- and many reporters simply spend time on Twitter to report what is happening on the Twittersphere.  No other major politician personally uses Twitter, only five percent of American use twitter, but 95% of journalists do.
  • Like many bullies, he is a gifted clown, lacking humor.
  • The real-estate rich are just poor people with money.  Those who would exclude them from country clubs sometimes forget that country clubs are, in fact, real estate -- and can be bought.
  • He is very smart, and has all the best words.
  • The educated establishment did not challenge his rise, hoping he would destroy the Republican party, imaging that he would be an easy opponent in November.  This sort of too-clever-by-half strategy has backfired before.
  • The "establishment" believes that Trump supporters are stupid, thinking  that they only need to make the case that Trump would be disastrous for the "establishment".   Their anxiety about a Trump election is exactly what most excites Trump's supporters.
  • A hacked electoral system -- and maybe a hacked electoral college -- shows the need for constitutional reform, if we are going to survive as a democratic republic.