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Hope and Change: the big loss that America has to have?

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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  1. brickbob

    Yours is one of the best articles i have read on Trump and his so called campaign,i also believe he never thought he would get this far and will be mighty happy when he loses, but i am afraid there will be violence from some of his more radical insane supporters if that is possible,they will claim the election was rigged and will play the victim with i think tragic results.””””””

  2. helvityni

    I had lunch today with my American friend, he’s horrified that Trump has gotten this far. He wasn’t too impressed with Hillary either.

    I comforted him by saying that things are not much better in Oz at the moment, as a polite American he just smiled…

  3. wam

    (I subscribed to 3 years of ‘don’t panic the rabbott is not PM.)
    Let me introduce myself!
    I am nobody and I am sure America cannot vote for a woman.
    If you listen through the bluff and bluster there is mansplain and musth loud and clear..
    This signals to christian women that god made them with a flaw that cannot allow women to be a 24/7 leader.
    I hope hilary can over come the handicap(excuse the crudity) of her sitting down to pee behind a closed door!!!!

  4. flohri1754

    Here’s hoping that you are more than correct …..

  5. guest

    The real mystery is that angry people upset by current conditions in the USA could believe that Trump, with all his fakery, could possibly solve their problems. It is beyond belief. Even Republicans can see that.

    What it does show is a failure of some of the populace to understand the role of government, despite all the talk about the Constitution, about being of the people, for the people and by the people etc, about freedom and justice and all that flag waving and saluting…and it all comes down to : Give me what I want.

    We can see some of that here in Oz.

  6. Miriam English

    I don’t agree with you, James. I think he really does want to be Prez (for exactly the reasons you’ve given), and still hopes to. He’s cynically riding on a wave of dissatisfaction with politicians. All around the world people distrust the politicians, who are elected to supposedly represent them, turn their backs on voters and become the agents of corporations and wealthy individuals while pocketing huge bribes. The mainstream media have helped make this possible too, by using hate against all kinds of minorities as the favored tool for distraction. Trump is an instinctive master at manipulating hate and fear. He would make an ideal evil dictator.

    The worrying aspect of the whole Trump thing is that Hillary is leading by such a small margin. At the last election in USA the Democrats actually won by a gigantic number on a count of votes, but the Republicans had so gerrymandered the voting districts that the Republicans gained office with a ridiculously small vote.

    All through the build-up to the coming election Trump has been seen as a joke. He’s been (rightly) ridiculed and everybody has said that he couldn’t possibly get the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency, yet he’s still there, and he’s still steaming along with millions — millions!!! — of adoring fans. The only thing that stands between him and winning is one woman in the good ol’ misogynist USA. I say it’s not over ’til it’s over.

  7. David

    Mr Trump, Mr Trumpf, or Mr Drumpf? What sounds like the best brand name for the audience in USA?

  8. Anomander

    My concern is not that Trump will lose – that is a foregone conclusion, but Hillary’s win will come at an enormous cost to both the US and to the entire world.

    Hillary is one of the wealthy old guard, against whom anger is palpable – for the inequity, inequality and the utter failure the neoliberal, capitalist agenda to deliver outcomes for ordinary people, disenfranchised by the political system.

    With her win, that anger will not have been assuaged. It is likely to fester and grow. Hillary’s will be a term not of change, but of even greater consolidation of power for the wealthy. A continuation of the status quo.

    Trump was not the solution, but he was a medium through which the disempowered felt they could voice an opinion against the system that repeatedly slaps them down.

    Long-term, I fear, this will not end well.

  9. Miriam English

    Anomander, I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Hillary isn’t her husband. During his presidency Hillary pushed hard for universal health care, but was blocked by the Republicans. She does a lot of work (almost all of it unpublicised) around the world and in USA for the poor and disenfranchised, especially for women. Unlike other politicians, she doesn’t just do photo-ops with colored people in USA; she genuinely helps behind the scenes.

    It might turn out that she has her hands tied and doesn’t get to do the things she wants to do (similar to Obama), but Trump has severely damaged the Republicans and it looks encouragingly like the Democrats might get control of the entire government for the first time in… ages. If so then she could make truly sweeping changes. I imagine she would undo the Orwellian-named “Citizens United” which gives the wealthy a free hand in subverting democracy. I expect she’ll complete the health system changes begun by Obama. She’s committed to stopping climate change. I’m certain she’ll change contraceptive and abortion availability throughout USA. I wouldn’t be surprised if she stops companies escaping tax through accounting tricks. I hope she’ll stomp on the creationist/intelligent-design scumbags and stop them messing with schools. There’s even a remote possibility that she might try to bring in truth in news laws like Canada has — I kinda doubt that’ll happen, but it would be wonderful because it would put an end to all the lies and bullshit coming from Fox and the rest of the right-wing megaphone. We in Australia would benefit greatly from pulling Murdoch’s teeth.

  10. Annie B

    Great profile of Trump by James Moylan …. and a good read.

    I think you have summed him up ( his wishes – or rather, non-wishes ) perfectly.


    Not a huge fan of Clinton myself – i.e. in the White House, but certainly cannot stomach Trump. … But at least HRC knows how it all works ‘inside’ the White House, and who really calls the shots ( mostly the agencies that direct just about everything over there ) … and that at best she will be a figurehead on many more occasions than she might implement change.

    However – – – if there is a sweeping defeat of just about all things Republican there, she may have a bit of a chance at putting some good will to practice. We keep on reading all over the place, on how she is a warmonger, that she is a cheat, a liar, a thief and everything else unsavoury under the sun. Many even had a go at her mental and physical health – but then that’s politics isn’t it. …….

    Gets down and very dirty when power beckons.

    And so – we wait …….

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