No B.S Friday: What I think of the end of the Trump era.
So it looks like Trump is cooked.
I know it looks like he’s going to fight it, but I think he’s got nothing.
If he had something, we would have heard about it by now. There’s been an usually long period of silence from the former president.
And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets for him.
He’s an optics president. And the more people call him ‘former’ president. The more people who call Joe Biden “President elect”, the more world leaders who call to congratulate Joe on his win – the more Trump looks like yesterday’s news.
So I think we can expect a bit of messing around in the transition, but unless Trump is planning on a military coup, he’s on his way to his unique and unusual place in history.
What a ride.
I remember when I first caught whiff on Trump. I like to say I was on to it before it was cool. I saw his full potential in the early rounds of the Republican primaries. I put money on him when Sportsbet were paying 7 to 1.
I knew we were witnessing the birth of an entirely new political animal.
And I think it’s pretty fair to say that Trump has changed politics forever.
People like to call him a ‘populist’ president, but I think that misses the point. He was a partisan president. He knew how the political calculus worked. He knew he didn’t have to win any middle ground if he could rout enough energy into his base.
And so that was the game he played. And he played it like a maestro. He worked his base into a frenzy.
Remember in the middle of the Black Lives Matter protests how he went and stood in front of a church and waved a bible about?
There was never any doubt about what side Trump was on.
And remember, even though he lost the popular vote, he still delivered an incredible turn-out for Republicans.
But while Trump had game, he was also a man of the moment.
Over the past decade social media has created identity silos – isolated echo-chambers. He saw that his new brand of politics was perfectly tailored to this reality.
It didn’t matter what the facts were or what you did. Your fans were going to love you and your haters were going to hate you, no matter what you said or did.
And so Trump just said and did what he liked.
The shock the collective world felt at this was partly about Trump, but it was also in recognising how divided and isolated we had become – that we had entered a ‘post-truth’ universe where the facts just didn’t matter anymore.
And I don’t know that there’s any way back from this. This is just how the world works now.
And Biden might talk all he wants about ‘uniting America’, but you can bet that message isn’t making its way through to Republican thought-silos.
So, Trump will go down in history as an emblem for the social-media age.
And until that changes, expect more Trumps.