Friday, May 27, 2016

Response to The Closer

Trump doesn’t read briefing papers, but he is a magnet for information, Manafort said. “He reads the newspapers, and he talks on the phone and to office visitors in a never-ending stream. You’re sitting there in his office and you realize that he is constantly picking up stuff as he goes.”
A "never-ending stream" is what you get from a fortune teller, who is able to use constant blithering to fool their mark into thinking they know more than they do.

I've heard this he-just-picks-up-stuff thing about Trump before, and every time I do, I'm reminded of that episode of "The Bullwinkle Show" in which Bullwinkle Moose, speaking to a confused shipping magnate named Pericles Parnassus, says ...
"Boy, for a powerful magnate, you sure don't pick things up very fast!"
We see Trump, the confidence-man, in action at his rallies where, rather than details of how he plans to do something -- like create jobs, which can be picked apart by people who actually know about this stuff -- he substitutes exclamational phrases ("Boy, I'm going to create so many jobs, so fast! Tremendous jobs, incredible jobs! It'll make your head spin!") that make you want to just trust that he knows how to do it; otherwise, why would he seem so sure of himself?

But another thing is, how can anybody pick apart something you say if you haven't actually said anything?

And this aversion to giving away too many specific details is why I'm thinking Trump may not announce his VP pick until the very last minute of the convention. It has to do with this "pandering" thing. Think about it: who is he worried about thinking that picking a woman or minority as his running-mate would be "pandering"?

His base!

The people who are attracted to him because he doesn't play the "politically correct" game! By not picking a "politically correct" VP, he is pandering to those people who, while so loyal they might even vote for him if he shoots down some stranger on Fifth Avenue, might start falling away if they actually see him give concrete details of how he would run the country -- for example, showing him picking an "insider" who actually knows how to do the job, despite making his appeal to the rubes on the grounds that he himself doesn't know Jack Shit.

So far, his campaign has been successful because it's been running on hot air, but just as soon as he actually does something, like announce his VP pick, the campaign starts getting real substance, which means it gets harder and harder for people to see in his campaign what they have wanted to see. His crusade just might lose its beguiling "incredibility".

Come to think of it, from the beginning, it's all been a question of incredibility. From the New York TImes
“We have had tremendous support of almost everybody, and even if you look at Congress, the support has been incredible,” Mr. Trump said.
It is! Literally! In fact, if he wins, he will make an incredible president! 

So it's coming down to a contest between those Americans who want an "incredible" president, and those of us who want a "credible" one.

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