Notes On The Crisis: Trump
You ‘accidentally’ become President of the United States the same way middle-aged men end up in Casualty with things ‘accidentally’ stuck up their bum.
This narrative – “Trump didn’t prepare for the debates”, “Trump didn’t know how to run a Presidential campaign” has run on to “Trump can’t do the job of being a President”.
Trump didn’t campaign to be President – he campaigned to be Autocrat . He has no desire to do the job of President.
The same applies to the ‘multiple loser’ Nigel Farage. He learnt to win by losing again and again – like that other winner Nicola Sturgeon. The never-lost politicians like the Miliband brothers, whisked from Oxford to safe seats to cabinet, are the ones who are frozen like rabbits as their world burns down.
Farage can threaten to become a Tory, have Aaron Banks talk about a new party, because he is the leader of a movement. The big division between UK and US politics used to be that political advertising on TV was banned here: it isn’t online.
Whilst the old parties stick to their old ways, keep an eye out for ‘maverick’, ‘loose-cannon’, ‘out of control’ Farage running the new internet politics backed by American muscle.
We are now in the phoney war between election and the inauguration, it is a time of honeyed-words and best behaviour – but the campaign cannot be unsaid.
Trump put together a capable and decisive core group for his transition.
Bannon, the white nationalist, has been beavering away for years building a new media behemoth from nearly scratch.
I only met Peter Thiel the once, when I worked at HBOS and we were in a dance with PayPal. Even then he was politically wild. PayPal wasn’t a payment company, it was an attempt to launch a new world payments system that would allow individuals to break away from their government currency and opt out of their national economy. In 2000 this talk, now more normal, was quite extraordinary.
But these smart people underestimate Trump too. Poor dithering Trump can’t decide between mainstream Reince Priebus and wild man Bannon? In fact he is playing the old game of ‘indispensible man’ – a game Farage plays so well, and was played by Hitler before them. (Didn’t you get the memo? Godwin’s Law has been repealed.) By overlapping their roles he remains in control. And neither will control access to him – his children will be gatekeepers as well.
The key thing to watch in the transition is ‘who runs the justice system?’. There will be many explosive suggestions about other appointment to kick up smoke and distraction.
So when there is a deafening din about Roe Vs Wade, energy lobbyists or anti-science appointment ignore them. Already claims that the GOP establishment have knocked back his wall and the Muslim ban have surfaced – Trump can be tamed!
Everybody needs to watch the judicial and security positions. Control of the judicial system is the critical one. When Trump got the audience to chant “lock her up” he wasn’t kidding – he needs that power.
Our own Boris Johnston is right to say that Trump is a New York liberal. He doesn’t care if you’ve had an abortion or take drugs. He doesn’t mind if you’re gay, he’s digs hot black chicks and lesbians. He loves his Jewish daughter and her husband.
He is so liberal he doesn’t mind if you are neo-Nazi, or a Confederate flag waver. You don’t believe in evolution? Terrific. If somebody who is more important to him than you hates you, maybe wants to lock you up, he’s ok with that too. As long as you are for Trump, Trump is for you.
Brexit means Brexit is a riddle, wrapped in mystery inside an enigma. But Trump means Trump is as unambiguous as the golden crapper he shits in.