Monday, October 17, 2016

What is Trump's End Game?

For the past three weeks Trump has been playing to his base, he's selling to people who already drink the cool aid.  It begs the question what his plan?  What is he doing?

Over the past few months (eg the Primary period) he was selling to the die hards of the party -- the party activists that voted in the primaries.  In many instances these voters are not very representative of the nation as a whole or for that mater of the GOP, although with the GOP's action over the past 20 years (if not more) the attractiveness of the party to non whites has been lets say less than strong. Bluntly, by speaking to the already converted he is not growing his base!

In fact, he's become even more aggressive; doubling down on "Clinton in jail" and adding a new twist -- if we don't win then the election has been stolen!  That the Jewish media/banking (no joke here) are taking over!  He's also been making promises that are impossible to fulfill.

Take coal -- Trump has gone anti-green (eg no solar) to "re-create" an American coal industry.  Of course the problem is that solar is now cheaper (as is natural gas -- also produced in America) than coal, there would be the idea to scrap the EPA and allow energy producer to pump as much CO2 as they want -- sure that would make coal cheaper -- but ask anyone who has lived in Pittsburgh how much fun that was in the 1980s...

In fact, by temperament ,Trump has no interest in public policy.  He cares about winners, and they are not the coal miners in the Carolinas.  However, Trump does speak to a real anxiety faced by million of Americans -- that the NAFTA trade agreement has been a disaster for ordinary blue collar workers. Ask trump he's off-shored tons of job to Asia to reduce his operating costs and increase profits, because the true problem of NAFTA is that the winners have been the capital owners (EG Trump) and the losers have been America's blue collar workers that today find the median wages lower than it was 30 years ago! I cannot think for one second that this is a problem that Trump really wants to fix.  He's on the side of the winners.

Clinton's mistake to name Trump's "deplorable" gave the tribe an identity that it could use to cement its future; whether we are talking about the racist or the ignorant (and by the way that's not a very good description of Trump supporters that have $72k median family income -- not that bad).  The truth is that his supporters while not racist like a good "black joke" from time to time -- and they are mad because they feel the got cheated by the great American dream.  Trump for all his faults did a few times speak to power ("I give to everybody, and when I need something I get the gold treatment...").

But still what's his plan?

I think there are two ways of looking at this:

(a)  Vengeance

(b)  Making money

(c)  Incompetent buffoon

Realistically Trump is not a real republican, I don't think he cares that much about abortion (it doesn't concern him -- he will always have access).  He certainly doesn't like the ACA -- he would rather have a universal health care system (not GOP stuff rather Bernie Sanders stuff).  The GOP tried to screw him over repeatedly and failed as such he probably feels little empathy for the party or its leaders, and his advisors despise the GOP's leadership.  So over the past few weeks he has gone out of his way to make their life miserable and insure that their losses are simply so substantial that the entire leadership of the party will have to resign -- and the modern GOP may not survive the fall.  But then he doesn't care -- he's not a member of the tribe.

Trump is an interesting business man; he manages to make money even when his investors face bankruptcy.  There have been so many failure over the years -- even his golf course seem to lose lots of money -- although I am certain that he receives healthy management fees.  Again, if he is trying to build a brand (or shall I say a firebrand) then he seems to be doing the right thing.  Roger Ailes one of his advisor who was kicked out for sexual misconduct is certain to be looking for revenge, and new business opportunity.  There is no doubt that for all his terrible behavior he is a master at building communication companies.

Of course there are rumors that his son is looking for investors to start a new news network -- think of a more rabid version of Fox News & Breitbart.  Now I have no idea how true these things are, in fact a lot of what Trump says makes sense, but the man's reputation is such that there is no way in hell that he will address these issues as President -- and in some case there is nothing to be done.

The last possibility is that Trump is delusional that he's living in his echo chamber and is unable to hear what the world is saying.  I find that hard to believe!   If the man is tweeting at 3 am he's certain to be surfing the net.  He knows that his numbers are very bad and the past 3 weeks must make him happy that all this will be over on November 8th (and not November 28th).

Overall, I think that his brand of crazy conspiracy theory -- still uses brackets when talking of "president Obama" will have a audience in America -- and that's what Trump is building -- the new king maker for a reformed/reforged GOP.  The MSM (which apparently now includes Fox) will steal the election from all right thinking Americans.  I've heard stories that the 19th amendment should be revoked (giving the vote to women), that armed insurrection is the answer should Clinton win.  This is all wonderful stuff if you are thinking of starting a far right news network -- don't laugh we could see a TNN better know as Trump News.

The only killer for Trump is if he loses by a very wide margin, then his "stolen election" theory will not fly, if Clinton wins the vote with 55% of the popular vote -- which would mean millions of vote then the whole story falls apart, and that's the problem with Trump's latest game -- by now he should be reaching out to mainstream voters.  If his partisan will vote for him no matter what -- he should feel free to move to the middle -- the next debate could be interesting.

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