It is November 3, 2017. This is the sixth and penultimate occasional article on the Trump Revolution. We began the series with the primaries when it appeared that Trump was a new breed of revolutionary. That perspective had a short shelf life, just three articles (one, two, three). It became readily apparent that the revolution was floundering.
In the fourth article, I wrote that “my original premise has turned out wrong. Whatever Trump is, opportunist or charlatan, he is not a revolutionary.”
In the fifth article, I summarized that
Trump has so far mastered just one process of revolution, intimidation. His casual base is anachronistic (Make America Great Again). He has shown limited talent to effectively harness resources. We don’t yet know if he is capable of decisive action against his opponent.
And that is where I left things. The conventions and the three debates were fascinating theater but they added nothing that encouraged me to comment further. Events took a life of their own that enthralled and consumed pundits of all stripes.
However, the election is fast approaching and it is imperative and compelling that I document my perspective, for the record. I begin with a clear statement of what Trump has been all along.
What Trump Is
Trump is a businessman, always was, always will be. So, the question is what business approach looks like a revolution in its early stages? And the answer is hostile takeover.
Trump has, with some loose ends, completed a hostile takeover of the Republican party. Now he is attempting a hostile takeover of the nation. In Trump’s world bankruptcy has been the outcome. In Trump’s world, all others lose and he walks away a winner.
The Republican party is a bankrupt shadow of its former existence. The nation cannot afford the same outcome.
Ted Cruz, during the primary debates, and Michael Bloomberg, during the conventions, both labeled Trump for what he is, a con man running a scam. In Bloomberg’s words: “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us. I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.”
The con he is running is bait and switch, the same one he used at Trump University.
Bait and Switch
The “New Yorker” describes Trump University as a bait and switch operation. The “National Review” labeled the scam as “massive.” The “bait and switch” technique was no better displayed than students having their pictures taken with a life-sized cardboard cutout of Trump.
Now Trump is running the same con on the American people during his run for President. Two examples will suffice.
First, Trump effectively took the Supreme Court nomination issue off the table by producing a list to lull his base. Those who believe Trump has any allegiance to that list have not been paying attention. That list was and is the bait. The switch has yet to come.
Second is the wall and mass deportation. Both are bait. Only the true believers think either will happen. Trump has already foretold the switch. He set the table with the formation of an Hispanic council and with a sudden and inexplicable visit to meet the President of Mexico.
Most observers can see the switch coming. No wall, no mass deportation. Trump followers do not see that coming.
So that is where we are, today.
The State of Affairs
The Trump revolution never got off the ground after a nice start during the primary season. The Republican Party as a responsible entity in the national political system has been destroyed. Looming is a hostile takeover of the nation, fueled by incessant stories of gropings, emails, Access Hollywood tapes, and Wikileaks.Those are all depressing looks at the past.
Perspective on the future is needed in the final days leading up to the general election. The nation is at its most vulnerable as it transitions from one administration to another. A different discussion will help the electorate decide who will guide the nation next spring, summer, and fall as international actors, known and unknown, test a new administration and threaten the nation.
During a similar period 16 years ago, the nation was tested, threatened, and attacked. As we approach the 16th anniversary of 9/11 it might be helpful to review Presidential-level lessons learned from that day. That will be the subject of my last article in this series. Stay tuned.