Saturday, June 4, 2016

Prepare for The Old "Expectations Are Too Low to Fail" Ploy

Before we get too far into the final stages of the Presidential race, and the talk then turns to what to expect from the winning candidate, we need to prepare ourselves for the quite likely pivot that a Trump Presidency will pull four years down the road should he win. And the basis of this pivot will revolve around how little disastrous his first term was and still have it stay above the expectations. The final takeaway being that, in coming in above that very low bar, his presidency was something of a success, and boy did those pointed head pundits who criticized him get it wrong.

I bring this up now for two reasons. First, because, if Clinton is the Democratic candidate he will have a very good chance of winning, and secondly, all he has to do is virtually nothing while in office, especially as it relates to the ridiculous promises he's made all over the political map (suggesting, of course, that he made them only for their courageousness), taking cover in the declaration that we went in with every intention to do these things, but the votes in Congress just weren't here so we couldn't.

If you look at that notion of "doing nothing on purpose" to beat expectations, can you then say that his term in office wasn't at all the disaster it was portended to be? And to that I just want to be on record now to argue that, even if this ultimate in cynical political manipulation were to come to pass, it would still be a disaster. And the reason for that would be the effect of a final blow to the propriety of the office itself that such "fucking with it" would represent. And to understand that better, you need only consider the primary reason he would have for doing it in the first place.

I have already posted on how his other, failing for the most part, brands have now turned around because of his brand success in getting the Republican nomination. Just imagine how much more successful they would be if he could pull off a term where things either didn't get much worse (if he were really lucky), or only got as bad as they probably would have if Clinton had been elected. And the real beauty of it all would be that it would hardly matter if he were only a one term president, the mere fact that he pulled off such a sales con job in the first place, would be branding gold for who knows how many Trump new offshoots that might come out of that amazing mix of pompous ego, and unbridled greed, that makes up his character.

The real thing to watch here will be just how much of that massive ego of his gets caught up in believing his own hype. Will it push him to really work for the policy extremes he been blandishing about with; the emotional hot buttons that have spurred the rubes out their to vote for him? Or is there, in fact, no cynical manipulation at all involved here, just a truly, disturbingly miss informed, megalomaniac who thinks he really does have all of the answers; even if a short attention span, and a love for bombast, has him jumping all over the map of outrageous extremes?

In either case the bar that really matters, as far as the election goes, is the one concerning how low you can go in becoming the President. His lasting legacy, in addition to, or despite, any of his policy outcomes, will be what he did to exalt branding, propaganda, and the complete irrelevance of fact, in getting elected to what used to be an actual position of leadership; and what will become no more than another product placement reality show.

Of course, if we, and/or him, aren't very lucky, what becomes of the Presidency won't matter much at all.

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Middle classes around the world seem weary of free politics and are open to strongmen like Trump.