We have revisited our previous analysis and designation of the character of our Commander-in-Chief, and would now submit, this amended description of his persona and dynamic.
In a previous blogpost, we expressed a worrisome concern as to whether the elevation of the Orange Magnificence to the oval office, as the populist choice of the low information and discontented voter, was a “one-off,” or singular, occurrence, or, (frighteningly) was a presenting symptom of a culturally and educationally degraded population, easily succumbing to a populist demagogue. Relative to this concern, we then chose to express hope for the future, based upon the reality that his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, an avatar of wise and just rule, was elected by that American electorate.
We have recently come to the realization that our perception and, consequently, our designation, of Mr. Trump as a “populist demagogue” erroneous; he is neither a populist, nor a demagogue. We would, in the interest of accuracy of description, label him, a “grifter” or con-man.
Trump’s non-specific, but enticing, promises of a better life, made to the poor and unfortunate of our nation, so mesmerized such people, that they were induced to vote against their own vital interest, government assistance (health, food, education). He promised to “drain the swamp” of rich influential politicians, especially intellectuals, who were pronounced responsible for their plight. He also appealed to their patriotism by undertaking to curtail the unfair practices of our international trading partners and achieve more respect from the world in general. It appears that these representations were effective in garnering a great many votes and materially assisting an unpredicted victory for Trump.
Following his inauguration, it took very little time before these visionary undertakings were ignored, and for good reason; Trump is not a populist and has no populist agenda. In fact, Trump has no doctrinal beliefs or political philosophy, whatsoever; with the sole exception of his neurotic, egotistical, game show desire to be a “winner.” The swamp was not drained, but deepened, and stocked with more political alligators than ever; generals, billionaire know- nothings and immediate family, were chosen by him for his “mad hatter” cabinet and Oval Office entourage. In international relations and world trade, he has been responsible only for widespread confusion and alienation, based upon his profound ignorance and impulsive ego. Recent events show many of these selected “rats deserting the ship” for their self-preservation and basic sanity.
It has now become evident that Mr. Trump will say or promise anything, and repudiate any of his prior statements or assurances, on a regular and subjective basis. Trump has no political theories or doctrinal preferences, whatsoever; he will simply and tactically tailor his insincere representations to his perception of the particular audience. This is the systemic essence of a classic con man or “grifter”.
We had also inaccurately referred to him as a demagogue, based upon his snake-oil salesman- like effectiveness in mesmerizing an audience, particularly, one containing low information auditors. But effectiveness, we now realize, is not necessarily an indication of eloquence. To call Trump a demagogue, might imply that he evinces the abilities of a great and persuasive public speaker. This would be empirically inaccurate; Trump has delivered no fireside chats, nor public pronouncements of any significant nature to the Congress or the people, as have all past Presidents. His public communications consist of unprecedented and sophomoric “tweets,” most of which are self-serving and contradictory, to the extent that they are at all rational.
In brief, Trump is neither a populist nor a demagogue; he is a skillful con man, a talented grifter who will shamelessly say or promise whatever he perceives will please and win over his audience du jour. We would like to expect that he is a [Presidential] rarity, but perhaps this bizarre experience will serve as a useful and necessary teaching experience for the impressionable American voter.