I feel like I need to clear something up…
I do not endorse Trump for Prez.
If I were American I would not be voting for him.
Just felt like I needed to make that clear. I was talking to someone the other day who was bemoaning the slow moving train-wreck of the Trump campaign.
I said, “I know right? It’s amazing. Fantastic stuff.”
And she said, “What? How could you even think of voting for him?”
And I was like, “Hey? What are we talking about? Neither of us are Americans. Neither of us are voting. Why are we taking sides in someone else’s fight?”
I was just talking from a spectator’s perspective.”
But it seems, when it comes to Trump, there are no spectator seats. You are either with us or against us.
And I know I’ve talked in pretty glowing, half-masted terms about Trump in this blog. But for me that was never about what kind of president he would be, or what it would mean for the world.
It was about what he was doing to the game and what he was doing to the way we perceive reality. In my mind, they’re totally different things.
So today, for the record, I disavow President Trump. Let me break it down so we’re absolutely clear:
** Why I loved the Trump Show:
- The Outsider
There’s a few things I’ve loved about the Trump run. To start, he’s an outsider giving the establishment a shake – and doing it like a boss. I loved Sanders for the same reason. Both Trump and Sanders shone a light on the non-democratic way Presidential candidates are selected, and the entitlement mentality the two parties have.
Which is exactly what we’ve got here by the way. ‘Don’t risk your vote with a person who actually represents your interests. Your votes belong to us.’
I feel like the cracks are beginning to show in this structure. It’s past its use-by date. Trump is just the accelerant. And for me, the sooner our phony show of democracy is destroyed the better.
- The Persuader
Trump is giving us a master-lesson in persuasion and negotiation. (There’s a hat-tip again here to Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who’s analysis of the Trump game is fascinating.)
The short of it is that we have this delusion that we are rational beings. We tell ourselves a story that we make rational decisions between competing breakfast cerals, soft-drinks, political candidates, and ideologies.
It’s just a story. We are messy animals driven by emotion. We buy the soft-drink that makes us feel most optimistic about life. We vote for the candidate with the nicest hair.
(Not you, obviously. You’re rational. I’m talking about all other humans.)
The Trump Show has taken a battering ram to that delusion. Trump has shown us again and again that he doesn’t care too much about the facts. (Show me a politician that does.) But he works the emotional level like a boss.
As someone who works in deal-making and marketing, I know the value of these skills. And Trump’s skills are off the hook.
It makes me blush sometimes.
But not everyone gets what these skills about, which is why so many people just can’t understand why Trump is so popular.
But I get excited because I want you to see these skills in action – the magician’s hand moving behind the mirror. Because I want you to have these skills too.
** Why Trump would suck at President
But none of this means that I think Trump would be a good President. (Not that I’m saying Clinton would be any better either. That’s a whole other train wreck. I might share a few thoughts on that next week… stay tuned.) But President Trump is not what the world needs.
The system we have – an emotion-driven mash of massive egos and vested interests and money – does not do a good job of elevating talent to the top.
In fact, it seems to do exactly the opposite.
The best President for the US is currently working at a soup kitchen in Detroit. The best Prime Minister for Australia is currently working as a nurse in Western Sydney.
But these people, precisely because they are sensitive and caring, can’t handle the cut and thrust of politics.
We have a political system that rewards self-serving bastardry, and then we’re surprised at the results.
Trump is just another self-serving bastard.
Don’t vote for him.
** … But I don’t fear Trump.
I know there’s a lot of fear around Trump. I see that. I get that.
But I don’t think you should be too worried. When you don’t see the calculated, meticulous persuasion skills that Trump embodies, you see an angry, volatile tomato-coloured baboon.
And with that characterisation locked into your mind, you imagine that the only way he could be a serious Presidential contender, is if he was leading an army of similar tomato-coloured baboons.
A massive army of tomato-coloured baboons, with nuclear weapons, is a scary prospect.
But none of that is real. When you see what game Trump is playing, when you see how carefully thought out and meticulous it is (remember he took down the Bush dynasty like it was nothing), it becomes hard to see things going too rogue.
There’ll probably be shitty policies in the mix, sure, but its not going to be baboon Armageddon.
** So don’t vote for Trump
So don’t vote for him. Study him, master his skills, but don’t vote for him. (I know we’re not American’s but I wasn’t the one who said we couldn’t be spectators.)
As Plato said, the only people fit to lead are the ones who don’t want the job.
And just for the record, don’t confuse my fascination with his game for being all excited for President Trump.
Totally different things.
What do you think? Game-changer or baboon Armageddon?