By James Moylan
Mr Trump is a reality television star. As a businessman he would be a flop without his PR glitz and smarm. He inherited a medium sized second tier business and over the years has managed to build that into a medium sized second tier business. But most critics of Mr Trump’s business acumen just miss the point entirely; Mr Trump is a moderately good businessman. But his business is not business, his business is ‘Celebrity’. His job is simply to have a BIG name.
You see Mr Trump is not a creator or organiser. He licences his name to brands and business ventures. Every now and again he hits on one which he can milk for a tidy profit. Most often the venture fails and it is quickly forgotten. It doesn’t matter, Trump wins either way. But it all depends on notoriety.
I have a theory.
I think it’s all an accident. I doubt Trump ever intended to be where he is now. Remember this guy is a celebrity who already has one of the cushiest gigs you could ever imagine. A big desk and fawning flunkies everywhere. Wall to wall smarm and champagne. Full of gee-whiz gold plated Gucci disposable everything. A place where no idea is a bad idea (or you are fired). Where every whim is serviced and catered for. With lots and lots of holidays in exotic locations with selected fawning flunkies.
So: Yes Mr Trump wanted to run for President because it would give him ‘cred’. He thought he’d run for Prez because that would be brilliant PR for his next HUUUGE television EXTRAVAGANZA. But I do not think that Mr Trump ever, in his wildest dreams, ever believed that he would be in the pickle in which he finds himself.
Because now he is accidentally running for President. So give the man a break. I think the person who is likely most astonished is Mr Trump himself. I do not think he’s insane: just deluded. But he is a successful enough reader of ratings to be able to know that he is headed for a defeat. And not just any defeat.
The Republican Party are about to be beaten by more than ten points in the presidential race. The turnout is going to be woeful. Even the most ardent and deluded of the Tea Partier’s, even those who tend to scrimmage right in the midst of the pack, can feel that there is change in the air. But not good traditional gun loving change. No. More like solar powered gay married gun control.
Yup. Traditional Republicans are all so glum because they can see the writing on the wall. After all there is so much to be embarrassed by.
Not even the most insane individual in America (outside of an insane asylum or the thirteen million core ‘Trump fans’) actually believes that Mr Trump will become president, or build a wall, or arm wrestle Putin, or marry a European Princess before leading America into a new promised age.
And Mr Trump knows in his water that the Republican Party are headed for a tremendous and significant defeat. A defeat moving the senate beyond the reach of a GOP filibuster. Providing for a liberal majority in the Supreme Court. A HUUUUGE defeat. A gerrymander neutralising defeat. In other words a defeat that the USA needs very badly.
So, of course, Mr Trump oscillates between outrageous PR stand-up routines that are all about playing to his audience, filled to the brim with outrageous and simply indefensible statements. Full of – build a wall, get them to pay for it, round up 11 million people, rapists and drug users, lifters and leaner’s, the righteous and the undeserving, the white and the rest. And all the rest.
Then he turns to giving a few scripted speeches and ‘discussions’ with a few favoured news outlets. Full of conciliatory bonhomie and good humour. It does not make sense for a politician. But Trump is a celebrity. That is the key. He plays on generating controversy to fuel publicity to fuel notoriety. When Trump loses he will still be a winner because in his ‘media world’ it will be as a result of a conspiracy. He will have been cheated. And he will trade off it for the rest of his life.
Trump knows he is well out of his depth, but he knows his ‘character’. He knows how to simplify the sum to ‘winners and losers’ and name who is to blame. He knows he will lose but he has to retain as much ‘audience’ as he can as he goes down. So he talks with two voices. Outrageous and conciliatory all at once.
So of course he didn’t pay for anything or really organise anything in his campaign until relatively recently. Even now most of the money raised is going into Trump merchandising and ‘speeches’ in massive venues all across the country rather than into doing anything that really resembles any other national Presidential campaign. It’s far more like a low budget Springsteen tour backed up by a HUUUGE PR campaign.
So the next time you see Trump up on a stage in front of his fawning audience, do not consider him as a politician. He’s a celebrity who is milking the moment for as much collateral benefit he can. Moreover: who can now deny that the system is at least a little bit broken?
So do not panic. Nobody, not even Trump, thinks that he can win. And this might be the big loss that America has to have.
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