Warning: If you are a Donald Trump supporter you won't like this blog posting. My friend Mark D. Swendsen, Sr. and I have shared ideas including those dealing with politics. Mark has been a California attorney for four decades and a former hostage negotiator. He has published books and lectured. He has monitored the presidential campaign and Donald Trump. I asked him to comment on the Trump election and here are his views which I share:
THE SECOND COMING
Donald Trump is generally regarded as either the savior of the American working class and the creator of a renewed nation, or a supremely evil, beastly fraud who will bring about apocalyptic disaster. Sophisticated people laugh. That is an error.
By any conventional standard, he would have been expected to lose. He insults women. He insults the disabled. He insults Latinos. He insults the poor. He insults the rich. He insults Catholics. He insults Muslims. He insults industrial donors. He insults Republicans. He insults Democrats. He insults liberals. He insults conservatives. He insults the fat. He insults the ugly. He insults the short. He picks a fight with the Pope–this Pope. He insults the newspapers. He insults radio hosts. He insults TV hosts. He admits to multiple sexual assaults–criminal sexual assaults. He brags about the size of his schwanzstucker on national TV in the middle of a formal presidential debate. He insults a Muslim Gold Star family, repeatedly, despite clear advice from his supporters and staff that it is a consciously set trap, which, indeed, it is. He is unable to avoid stepping into that trap, again and again and again, compulsively attacking them whenever they criticize him. He cannot abide criticism. He insults military officers. He insults judges. He insults senators. He insults governors. He insults Hawaiians. He insults Mexicans. He insults Canadians. Reading is hard for him; he relies mainly on television and personal conversations for information, as if Chance the gardener finally came to life. Born to riches, he became a billionaire, separating himself from most of the people who support him. He got rich cheating his customers. He got richer cheating his contractors. He sues everybody. He notoriously had his wife living on one floor of his tower, and his mistress on the floor below. He is on his third marriage. His current wife shows little interest in being close to him, even in public. He ran a fact-free campaign. His policy briefs could be written on the back of an envelope. His asserted facts only occasionally comport with verifiable reality. He has no identifiable core beliefs except loyalty to himself. He shows signs of severe mental illness, of a narcissistic personality disorder and an obsessive-compulsive need to defend every slight on his name, a compulsion so strong that it becomes disabling. He craves praise and admiration with a hunger so overwhelming that he is always in danger of being manipulated by anyone, anyone at all, who says good things about him. He is best known for telling people they are fired, which surely is the worst thing most working people ever hear, but no one cares.
No one cares. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
No one cares. News organizations abandon journalism and turn to cynical open advocacy and bald lies. It is all for our own good, of course. All for our own good.
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. Evangelicals march behind the golden banner of a pagan. Out-of-work laborers shout their support for a robber baron. Unemployed coal miners, their lungs black with disease, demand the reopening of the deep hells that have ruined their lives. Republicans ignore a desperate, savage, apocalyptic philippic from their previous candidate, Mitt Romney, and heedlessly nominate a man with no principles at all.
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.
His supporters ignore all, forgive all, and even rejoice in all. Chaos reigns. None of it matters to them.
It was to this man that we chose to give the launch codes that can blow up the world.
It was in this man that the unwashed recognized their doppelgänger. They embraced his candidacy with a berserk ferocity that was bred by their soul-crushing hopelessness and seething anger at being sheep, always led to economic slaughter by the Armani-suited corporate executives, serpents who foreclose on their humble mortgages and ship their miserable jobs to China. At long last they realize that they no longer have a republic, but an auction, an auction at which they cannot even bid, and their rage is indescribable. They came with torches and pitchforks after the politicians who have been bought by corporations.
The nation descends into naked savagery. Trump supporters wore the red hats and slugged it out with masked anarchists on the way out of Trump’s rallies while police under control of Democratic mayors simply watched. Elderly Trump fans wore the red badge of courage under their red caps. No one is safe. The police take three hours to enter an Orlando nightclub while 49 people are murdered inside. The message for everyone is: don't bother calling the cops, you're on your own, so don't give up your guns. Gun control advocates call for more laws; the general public, unpersuaded, answers with their purchases of a record number of new guns. Bad things have happened, bad things are happening, bad things are predicted, and they want to be prepared.
Trump claims to be ahead. Polls be damned, he has great rallies, so the polls must be wrong.
The despair of the unlearned, aware that life will have ruinous things ahead for them, with no pension, no house, no education, no career, and no respect, drove them to scream for this man, even as he insulted them, but they didn't hear the insults over the groans of their dying hopes.
Sophisticated people laughed.
He ran against eighteen professional politicians, most of whom had better organization, better funding, and better experience than he did, and despite insulting almost every major group in the electorate, he beat them all.
In the middle of 2016, very few considered Trump to be a possible victor. The Huffington Post had been covering his campaign in the entertainment section. A Clinton presidency was assured. Surely, the professional savants said, not even the most addled of the rightist booboisie would get behind such a barbarian in sufficient numbers to constitute a threat. President Trump?
Sophisticated people laughed.
Only a very few thought he even had a chance of winning. America is our dream, and we wanted to enjoy it. But now we know that years of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a reality show star in a garish gilded tower.
Sophisticated people laughed.
They laughed until about nine o'clock on a Tuesday night. Then it wasn't funny anymore, and their new hobby was trying to blame somebody, anybody else.
How did he do this? What dark miracle occurred that such a man could alienate so many voting blocs and still win?
There are always multiple reasons for any historical event. Clinton was indeed corrupt. Know it, understand it, grow up about it, own it. The emails were awful. She had covered for her husband's sexual assaults. She had defrauded the Haitians. She had sold her office. She was just a terrible speaker, screeching at audiences. She was a robot, making emotional connections with nobody at all except those who had previously decided it was time for a woman, any woman. Her smile was a frozen rictus, her every word memorized and focus group tested, her gestures mechanical. The Russians did something, we are assured, and whatever it was, it hurt Clinton. Democrats stayed home.
Clinton was doomed, and she never saw it coming. The sophisticated laughter drowned the warnings. Those who think his election was a unique event are likely to ignore the real lessons of his victory, and so it will be repeated. He did not defeat such a strong candidate as Hillary Clinton simply because Boris and Natasha, those piroshki-eating, vodka-swilling Russians, somehow tipped the vote. The bumpkinry are not his sole supporters; they are just the only ones not embarrassed to say so. This man is intelligent and powerful and extremely dangerous, and his use of communication techniques is magic. every word memorized and focus group tested, her gestures mechanical. The Russians did something, we are assured, and whatever it was, it hurt Clinton. Democrats stayed home.
But there is one factor which has been ignored, and it is an important one.
He had no facts, no evidence, no logic, no principles, shot himself in the foot innumerable times, and still won the election. He stared down his betters with a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun. He uses psychological techniques which are explained in my new book, Target the Unconscious! The Modern Psychology of Rhetoric for the Plaintiff's Lawyer. These communication devices are part of Neuro Linquistic Programing, a well known communication program.
When you read Target the Unconscious!, and then review any of the presidential debates, you will see how he hypnotically influenced his audience. “Let me be your voice!” implants his voice in the psyche of his listeners. By the standards of academic debate coaches, who count logic and facts, he lost the debates. By the standards of conversational hypnotists, it was all Trump. He set time bombs in his listeners’ unconscious that did not go off until much later. But go off they did. This man is intelligent and powerful and extremely dangerous, and his use of NLP principles of communication is magic.