Current Events

A Trump Phenomena Theory

This is pure speculation on my part as I am unable to perform the research necessary to support this argument. Nonetheless, here it is:

One day Donald Trump had a thought resembling one of the following:

“What can I do to top off this incredible life I have had?” or,

“I am awesome! But something is missing in my life. What can I do?” or,

“I need to leave a legacy for my children that will help them continue to build the Trump empire. What can that be?”

Whatever the question, he then concluded “I shall run for president.”

He and/or his advisors knew he could not be successful on a moderate platform. He knew he couldn’t match wits with, or intellectually stand with, his opponents. A moderate platform (Left or Right) aimed at improving the inevitable move of the US and other countries to a global culture and economy would not get him elected.

Almost like a company seeking a niche to gain market share, Trump needed to find a large enough group of people that, if he could mobilize them, would get him elected. This group or niche could not be very intelligent and it had to be large. It just so happens he found it. It was the radical right.

He was successful. He found a large group of citizens that have a majority of these characteristics:

  • Xenophobic
  • Down-trodden and/or disenfranchised
  • High school education only, maybe some trade school
  • Lacking in communication skills. Trump can’t speak (i.e. expressing coherent ideas with supported facts) and they like that. They call it speaking frankly.
  • Lacking in critical thinking skills (thinking that building a wall will somehow make them safe or improve their standard of living.)
  • Scared (thinking that they need more protection in some way from terrorists.)
  • Paranoid (believing there is a higher likelihood of a terrorist attack than there is.)
  • Religious (which in itself is full of errors in thinking and most often shows a lack of critical thinking.)
  • Misdirecting their frustration at not having adequate real income growth over the past 20 years as something Trump can fix. He can’t even speak well.
  • Get their news from Facebook and Fox.
  • Believe pride is a virtue.

It was his wealth that gave him the opportunity to run for president. And so he found a large, alienated group and tailor made his platform and antics to win them over.

Unfortunately it seems this Trump-targeted group believes that because Trump won, it is their time. As they send out speakers to preach their gospel they are forgetting that there are a majority of Americans that voted against Trump. These Americans also believe the radical right’s polemics are anathema to peace and prosperity.

Reading Tyler Cowen’s  America’s Placebo President today inspired me to think about this. Dr. Cowen and many others who have written about Trump try to explain why the group voted for Trump or worse yet, why America voted for Trump. It seems to me that it is only because he targeted them and pushed their buttons. Trump said whatever he thought would rile them up and get them to the polls.

I believe this addresses the reasons why most pundits thought he could not win. They were not aware of the size of this group of Americans to whom Trump was pandering. I also believe it is an error by the media and others to think that America elected Trump. America did not. It was a subset of America and a minority at that.



Big Think on Invisible Children

Big Think says:

What’s the Big Idea?

One criticism of the video is that it uses social media to advocate for armed conflict. Foreign Policy‘s Michael Wilkers says it is extremely dangerous to essentially sell a foreign intervention in a reductive and highly-produced video (apparently that sort of thing must be left to more sanctioned media). The biggest criticism of Invisible Children comes from a blog called Visible Children which accuses the non-profit of spending too much money on awareness efforts and not enough on the ground in Uganda. What do you think? Can the video have a multiplier effect on funding given the incredible success it has had?

I commented:

Michael Wilkers is towing the old coward’s line; “best not get involved, it could be dangerous.” Its a global community now and we are a part of it. Invisible Children is trying to get someone to bring Kony to justice to save the children. The ICC wants him and Invisible Children would like anyone to bring him in. It is the best effort I have seen to bring these Central African criminals into the world’s awareness and hopefully into court. We can look the other way or we can do something. A little bit of money every month from everyone will bring in some great bounty hunters. It’s that simple.

I love it, some tough bounty hunters should get together and create a Kickstarter-like  project (the Kickstarter Vig is too high for charity work). When they bring in Kony, all contributors to the project should get a finger painting from a Ugandan child.

It doesn’t have to be direct services or direct aid because we really don’t know who the good guys are. We do know though, that Kony is a bad guy. Building awareness is the key and someone will bring Kony down (most likely his own men).

It will raise my spirit tremendously if we save the children of Central Africa this year by bringing down the LRA!

Juan Cole weighs in on Andrew Breitbart.

I respect Juan Cole immensely. Dr. Cole is a distinguished University of Michigan History Professor and author of several books on the Middle East. Today he characterizes Andrew Breitbart accurately I believe here.

I also have tremendous respect for Peter Hart and Jim Naureckas and all the analysts at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and lest you don’t hear enough objective information about Mr. Breitbart today, there are links here, here and here that help explain how Mr. Breitbart duped not only the public but major media outlets as well.

I am also of the opinion that each of our roles in life, no matter how we or others feel about them, are sacred and are all a part of what makes up this world. Hence no rancor just the facts.

Hate Speech By Public Figures

Juan Cole is a brilliant educator at the University of Michigan and he said this today on his blog:

“Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other far right-wing demagogues have been quick to defend themselves from the charge of fostering a climate of poisonous political hatred in the United States, in the aftermath of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford and the killing of Federal Judge John Roll, along with the injuring or killing of 10 other victims.

Just so we are clear, Glenn Beck playfully spoke on his radio show of murdering Michael Moore with his own hands. Rush Limbaugh suggested that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were worse than Middle Eastern terrorists and that maybe our Pentagon has the wrong people in its sights. Ann Coulter expressed the wish that Timothy McVeigh had bombed the New York Times building rather than the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. These are major media personalities with millions of followers, who have been made multi-millionaires by corporations precisely because they routinely authorize the intimidation of workers, ordinary people, and thinkers who challenge the political status quo. So let us survey their hate speech, which in a civilized country would make responsible businesses ashamed to employ them and a conscientious public ashamed to listen to them. [bold and italics added]” – Juan Cole 1/11/11

Read the whole post here: