'I can act differently for different people'.-President Elect Donald Trump.
'He’s a petulant, ignorant child, strangely promoted above the grownups'-Writer Ian McEwan
In November 2016 Donald Trump is President Elect. The fact McEwan do not like him is
irrelevant. I don't like him either but he simply isn't stupid as his
whole folksy posture is one big act. He never had that accent or used
words like 'yuge' or 'bigly' in the past. Not even when he acted the
role of ruthless businessman in The Apprentice.
One reason for Trump's victory is that he communicated in very easy
conversational and the sort of bar room language that seemed very
different from Obama's intelligent and far more thoughtful use of
language. Part of that was to show the US had an intelligent leader
after George W Bush and his 'catastrophic diplomacy' ( Brzezinski ).
Of course, Trump himself is not 'dumb'. Early interviews going back
to the 1980s reveal him as well and softly spoken, using plain language
without the raucous New York accent and intonation he adopted when he
became a reality TV star or when advertising 'Trump Steaks'. President
Trump is a fictional creation made real-by Trump.
In fact, Trump has a sort of cunning and ability to act that shows a
sinister clown-like form of intelligence, if not of a higher sort ( certainly nothing in the
way of wisdom or moral intelligence ). In truth, he's a
pyschopathological type, even though Clinton too was also a liar and a
sociopath with mediocre abilities.
But Trump pitched his 'personality' in the market perfectly and knew
his audience and shaped himself to represent their unconscious
fears,anger and alienation from 'the mainstream'. He was folksy enough
to make himself one of the people but appeared clever enough as a
businessman to be the 'man to get things done'.
After eight years of Obama and his laboured and pained explanations
in foreign policy and seeming failures and humiliations in foreign
policy, Trump pitted himself as the 'no bullshit' candidate who was
'telling it like it is' without 'political correctness'. A sharp
businessman to get America working again.
As is said in the US 'any solution is better than no solution'. The
world in 2016 is incredibly complex, but many electors would seem to
have had enough of leaders like Obama over-complicating things in lawyer style speeches or else by calling Islamic State supposedly
'politically correct' names like Daesh instead of 'Radical Islamic Terrorism'
Trump has built on the culture of fear that has grown up in the US
since 9/11 in this regard. Both Al Qaida and ISIS have been bigged up as
'civilisational struggles' and 'existential conflicts' by politicians such as Bush, Cheney and Clinton-who also supported the torture of 'terrorist suspects'. McEwan has put this context down the memory hole.
Trump's position is that this is all true but that previous
administrations and politicians have simply been too cowardly and weak-
or else greedy and self-interested- to put American's interests first.
They cause havoc in the Middle East, then they let just anybody in from
that region, endangering Americans.
One interesting thing about Trump is that he was prepared to break
the oil taboo and state that he only cared about 'grabbing the oil'
through striking deals or, if necessary, wars which dispensed with
pointless and futile efforts to install democracies or promote human
rights in lands where there is no history of them.
In practice, this means, as the future looks certain to be one of
pyschopathological wars to take resources, that Trump is looking forward
to a more 'realist' and brutal policy in which half-measures are
hypocritical and only the use of total force when and where necessary
would be both successful and win over 'the people'.
In that sense, Trump is a crude devotee of Machiavelli.
His admiration for Putin lies not in wanting somehow to collude with
the Russians, as Clinton insinuated, as though a 'traitor' but in
standing firm for US interests alone and not for more destructive and
self-defeating attempts to 'change the world' for its own good.
This 'no-nonsense' approach was part of his appeal. It is not that
his fan base and other electors have foreign policy at the forefront of
their minds but that the obsession with meddling, hectoring and
lecturing everybody both at home and abroad with human rights nostrums
became tiresome and abroad led to pointless conflicts.
Against Hillary Clinton, Trump was effective in exploiting the
revulsion a great number of Americans had against the Hypocrite, the one
who prates about human rights, the 'need to intervene' against Assad
while having 'created' ISIS, the one who advocates 'Love trumps Hate'
while being fond of war.
The old tricks of triangulation pursued by Clinton, posing as the US
nationalist while advocating US led globalisation for all, advocating
tolerance and 'diversity', while being prepared to use force to impose US
and so global 'values' failed, as Trump was astute enough to 'cut
through the crap' and put America first.
Overall, there are many reasons why Trump has become President.
Certainly fielding Hillary Clinton as his rival was the biggest mistake,
as was the desire to laugh at him as a buffoon, something which Trump
may well have encouraged so as to consolidate his outsider status and
one of the real people made good and so sneered at.