President Donald Trump: political mastermind

President Donald Trump: political mastermind, by Freddy Gray. Through the sheer force of his obnoxious personality, the Donald won the race.

[D]ays after President Barack Obama had defeated Mitt Romney, Trump filed a trademark application for the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’. It was, like all things Trump, a bit of a rip-off. Ronald Reagan’s successful presidential campaign of 1980 had coined the phrase. But Make America Great Again was even more potent in 2015-16.

Whenever the Trump campaign floundered, the candidate and his spokesmen could fall back on that hypnotic incantation: Make America Great Again. … Three weeks ago, commentators were chortling at reports that Team Trump spent more on its Make America Great Again baseball caps than on professional polling. How amateur! How tacky!

godzilla-trump

Well, who’s laughing now? Those silly red hats proved to be a PR masterstroke. While the snobs were sneering, Donald Trump was creating a movement that would take over America.

Political entrepreneur who spotted a “hole in the political market”:

Trump may not be as good a businessman as he thinks he is. We’ve all read about his bankruptcies and myriad commercial failures. It must now be acknowledged, however, that he is the greatest political entrepreneur of our time. Long before anyone else, he spotted a huge gap in the disgruntlement market. …

By not caring about his own popularity — and insulting as many people as he could — he made himself popular. Through the sheer force of his obnoxious personality, he has pulled off the most extraordinary election victory in US history. Dislike him or hate him, Trump has upended American politics and shaken the liberal world order to its core. The pollsters were wrong. The betting markets were wrong. The media was wrong. The Democrats were wrong and so were the Republicans. Only the Donald was right. …

His whole campaign had the air of an elaborate hoax. For the last few weeks, it looked as if his advisers were more interested in launching a Trump TV channel than in preparing for government. But there was art to his campaign. It managed, at once, to be fake and sincere. And it was that sincerity that the media could not comprehend. They thought the Donald was joking; voters, by contrast, knew he was serious. …

Random comments:

Trump has shown a genius for snarling at people in a way that Americans like. …

[T[he average American is not as Russophobic as the average wonk on Capitol Hill. When Trump said ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with Russia?’, most Americans didn’t think ‘Traitor!’ — they agreed with him. …

It didn’t matter that he was a sociopath, a misogynist and a pervert. At least he wasn’t Hillary Clinton … ‘With Clinton, there is neither hope nor change.’  …

There’s no denying that, in manner and style, Trump will more closely resemble a dictator than any previous commander-in-chief. American thinktanks have been quick to point out the similarities between Trump’s populist approach and that of the Latin American dictators who have plagued their continent since the second world war. In his ostentatious anger, obvious shadiness and batty orange campness, Trump looks like America’s answer to the late Hugo Chavez.

hat-tip Stephen Neil