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The Trump Presidency - an analysis


old man emu
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Now that the Trump Presidency is drawing to a close people will start analysing those four years to judge his performance. For the most part, I think his behaviour in 2020 in relation to the election was dismal. But I want to ignore that here. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and I think that Trump's clouds did at times contain some silver for the US political culture.

 

Trump, Bush and Obama were the first Baby Boomer Presidents, and probably will be the last. Biden is a War Baby. Here Obama is the odd one out as Trump, Bush and Biden grew up in the booming 50's , while Obama was a child of the 60's. However, Bush, Biden and Obama are products of the political system, which affects their approaches to government. Trump, on the other hand, learned his trade during the Greed decade of the 1980's. A completely different operating system.

 

The Generations are important to this discussion, so here they are:

Baby Boomers:    Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They're currently between 56-74 years old (71.6 million in U.S.)

Gen X:                   Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979/80 and are currently between 40-55 years old (65.2 million people in U.S.)

Gen Y:                   Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1994/6. They are currently between 24-39 years old (72.1 million in the U.S.)

                                         Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old (around 31 million people in U.S.)

                                        Gen Y.2 = 29-39 (around 42 million people in U.S.)

Gen Z:                   Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1997 and 2012/15. They are currently between 8-23 years old (nearly 68 million in U.S.)

 

So, has Trump had an effect on the US political culture?

 

He definitely moved political discussion amongst the citizens from the controlled media to social media. No other President has communicated directly with the people as much has he has, for good or bad. He took advantage of the social communication formats of the 21st Century to get the people engaged in political debate. 

 

He has been called divisive. But he put a voice into the Silent Majority. Baby Boomers saw this voice as the thing they were calling for during the 60's and 70's. Power to the People, and all that. The people of Gen Y echo that cry.  

 

In International Politics he has shown that he is a master of Brinkmanship. He faced up to the North Koreans and challenged them to do their darndest. That seem to make them back up a few steps. He has claimed to have brokered some peace deals between the Arab Nations and others, but those deals might be the results of long term diplomatic work in the background.

 

He told the members of NATO to stop bludging off the USA and to put up the money they promised for their contribution to NATO protection. However, the USA has had an ongoing debt to the United Nations over many Presidencies, and Trump pushed to withdraw the US from the UN.

 

He promised to restore the US manufacturing bedrock. He took on the Chinese by various means to reduce the impact of their trade on US jobs. It is said that the economic growth of the USA is based on Obama's work, but at least Trump hasn't pulled that apart.

 

So, what's the verdict?

He has woken the Silent Majority. He has changed the way people carry on political discussion (but no necessarily the quality). He has shown the US politicians that the People appreciate  a President who will stand up to other countries who try to make the American people jobless. He will stand up to other countries who don't share the burden of their own defence.

 

As I said. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Unfortunately, Trump's cloud only has a small vein of silver in it.

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3 hours ago, old man emu said:

In International Politics he has shown that he is a master of Brinkmanship. He faced up to the North Koreans and challenged them to do their darndest.

The thing with Trump is he is a salesman (scam artist),  He claims to have achieved great things in North Korea but what are is actual achievements?  North Korea: What we know about the 'massive' new missile on parade

 

I am sure if we look hard enough we could find the odd achievement (Mussolini reputedly made the trains run on time) 

 

The achievements I can see seem to tend towards the negative.    Trump has dragged the political discourse down into coarse thuggery.   If anyone can find any good he has done it surely is outweighed by the bad.

 

Something I have always found alarming about him is the magnitude of his lies, All politicians  can be creative with the truth but it is much more dangerous when the lies told  can be debunked but a portion of the public know he is lying and don't actually care,  shout it loud enough and often enough and it can become "the truth" During the Trump  reign the bar has became set so low that his  outrageous lies became acceptable because we expect so little of him.

 

Earlier in this thread I suggested that Trump was the a much more dangerous option than Biden (whatever his shortcomings may be).    As far as I know there has never been a President who would not concede and in fact is happy to incite his nuttier followers. I really fear what he might do in his next 70 days,  I think he will break as many things as he can.

 

I believe Biden has appointed a panel of Doctors, Immunologists etc to a Covid advisory panel.   And not a single son in law or family member among them. 

 

I find it amazing that anyone can listen to a Trump speech and think he is anything but a spiteful buffoon. 

 

By the way anyone who would like to read the book about Trump written by his niece here is  the audio version  Too Much and Never Enough - Mary L Trump - Audiobook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by octave
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1 hour ago, Marty_d said:

Are they still stuck in that McCarthy era of "reds under the bed" where the slightest sniff of what they perceive to be socialism (where we see "normal, even to the right of our Labor party") makes them recoil back to the Republicans, no matter who the maggoty figurehead is?

Short answer - yes.

 

As far as what he's achieved, about the only good thing he's done is something he didn't do, and that's starting new wars. Having said that, his administration has continued supporting and funding existing conflicts where they should not be involved (not talking about Afghanistan). I think that record diminishes the no new war thing.

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What I was saying was that he has caused change in the political behaviour of the American People, and that is the topic for debate. 

15 hours ago, old man emu said:

He has woken the Silent Majority. He has changed the way people carry on political discussion (but no necessarily the quality). He has shown the US politicians that the People appreciate  a President who will stand up to other countries who try to make the American people jobless. He will stand up to other countries who don't share the burden of their own defence.

 I can't disagree with the individual examples that Willedoo and Octave have presented. However, they are examples of what the man did, or didn't do himself. Let's debate my proposition that there has been a change in the involvement of the people in the political activity of their country. In 1941, Japan woke the Sleeping Dragon of American might. In 2020, did Trump awaken the Silent Majority?

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26 minutes ago, old man emu said:

He has woken the Silent Majority.

 

I do take issue with the term majority.  The majority of American voters did not vote for him. That aside, it is interesting to question why a sizable chunk of American voters did vote for him.   American philosopher and author  Sam Harris suggests this:

 

"American philosopher and author Sam Harris addressed this very mystery in an episode of his podcast Making Sense, recorded just before the vote.

“I've been struggling for years to understand how it is possible that nearly half of American society admires or supports Trump,” he said.

 

Trump’s secret, Harris opined, is that no matter how boastful and narcissistic he is, “he is never actually communicating that he is better than you, more enlightened, more decent, because he’s not, and everyone knows it”.

 

“Because he is never really judging you ... he offers a truly safe space for human frailty and hypocrisy and self doubt,” said Harris. “His personal shamelessness is a spiritual balm.”

This appeal makes sense, Harris reckons, when you juxtapose it with the moral superiority, judgment and sanctimony that many of Trump’s supporters (and others) associate with the left."

 

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-did-so-many-people-vote-for-trump-like-it-or-not-he-is-a-safe-space-for-millions-20201106-p56c8c.html

 

This though doesn't address the question you posed. My answer to that (for what it's worth) is yes and no.    No he hasn't' "woken a silent majority  because they are neither silent nor a majority  Yes because Trump will disappear but some level of Trumpism will remain amongst some sections of society for the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

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C'mon, Octave. Recognise the terminology. I'm not talking about the numbers of people who voted one way or another in 2020.

 

You have to be old enough to remember when this term, Silent Majority, was coined by Nixon in a televised address on November 3, 1969, in which he said, "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support."  In this usage it referred to those Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not join in the counterculture, and who did not participate in public discourse. Nixon, along with many others, saw this group of Middle Americans as being overshadowed in the media by the more vocal minority.

 

Move along to 2020, and the demonstrations are about racial matters, the influence of foreign trade and a hundred other hot topics. The topics may have changed, but that group still exists. Trump has woken it with his skillful use of social media and novel behaviour.

 

From your same reference: 

But Trump has something better, in the eyes of his supporters – he has style. It is a style they enjoy watching – bombastic, iconoclastic, a f--k you to the morals and niceties of the liberal middle class. In Freudian terms, Trump is the ultimate id – all instinct and impulse, unchecked by any real controls. When you remember Trump’s route to the White House was via the yellow brick road of American celebrity, the passionate support of his followers makes even more sense. We need our celebrities to live large and be outrageous, and we forgive them everything if we like their style.

 

As I said,  he has woken the Silent Majority. He has changed the way people carry on political discussion (but no necessarily the quality). He has shown the US politicians that the People appreciate a President who will stand up to other countries who try to make the American people jobless. He will stand up to other countries who don't share the burden of their own defence.

 

The only upside of Trump's enormous personal celebrity appeal is it will be impossible to recapture when he goes. But his indelible mark on American democracy means plenty of others will try, both in the United States and abroad.

 

 

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I will agree that trump has caused change, but we all know that change is compulsory, but progress is optional.

The only thing people seem to think he really achieved was a peace agreement in the Middle East. That was nothing to brag about. it only cemented the Israeli, US get into bed together outlook and get rid of any Arabs. General concensus being that Arabs should not have any rights, even though Britain, the USA and Israel have stolen everything they had in the name of religion and God giving the jews the holy land. That agreement is even more shonky than his wonderful achievments with N Korea.

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4 minutes ago, old man emu said:

C'mon, Octave. Recognise the terminology. I'm not talking about the numbers of people who voted one way or another in 2020.

 

Perhaps we could say that Biden has now woken a "silent majority" who want a return to civil discourse. 

 

 

 

 

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The history record will eventually list nearly all of Trumps claims as disingenuous, lies, and continued fabrications. The man always claims he's a "deal-maker", but he only knows business and real-estate deals - he knows nothing of diplomacy, the art of subtle gains by "speaking softly and carrying a big stick", as Roosevelt outlined.

 

Trumps methods are abrasiveness, intransigence, shallowness, abruptness - and vitriolic, demeaning abuse - all designed to make sure that the spotlight remains on him at all times.

 

This is a man who carried on about the crookedness of China, yet was happy to do business with them on any scale that benefitted him personally. A man who used the Oval Office to amplify the Trump brand, and promote his own business interests.

 

This is a man who is supposed to provide leadership to the nation, and display statesmanship-like qualities. He's incapable of either. He provided no vision, and no roadmap to what a future, improved American society would look like, under his leadership.

He promoted family and friends above others more qualified - with nepotism a classic symbol of a tyrant. He claimed to be a God-believing Christian, but no-one has ever seen him go to Church or worship. He used religion only to curry more favour.

 

He antagonised many powerful, important and right-thinking people - including many military leaders, who had a track record far better than Donald Trump. When these people criticised him, he abused and denigrated them. A classic example of his insecurity.

 

This is a man whose childish petulance is now on display on a worldwide scale, as he refuses to concede his cherished position, despite the fact that he lost the election. A man who is abusively denigrating the entire democratic process, including the electoral vote counters, and the USPS - all without a shred of substance as regards evidence of wrongdoing in the vote-counting process.

 

He's a narcissist of the highest order, and he would make an ideal candidate for a psychiatric examination to provide a perfect example of NPD. 

 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder.htm

Edited by onetrack
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There was record turnout in a country that traditionally has a low turnout.  There is no doubt that Trump motivated many more people to vote. Some of them were motivated to vote for him and but a greater number were motivated to vote against him.

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It appears at least one Australian psych professional has picked up on the classic “grandiose narcissism”, and cognitive dissonance symptoms, that Trump is currently displaying.

 

It is becoming very obvious that the only way that Trump will be persuaded to leave the White House - even when he is presented with irrefutable evidence of his electoral loss - is if the persuaders can convince him there is a way he can hand over the Presidency without losing face, or admitting defeat.

 

There apparently already has been talk along these lines within the Trump family - that Donald can only be persuaded to leave office, by telling him that his hanging on, is damaging the Trump brand, and he could walk out of the White House, and go right back to promoting the Trump brand with a "great presidential record" line.

 

I'll wager he will never, ever, produce a Presidential election concession speech, because he is psychologically unable to do so.

 

https://theconversation.com/why-cant-some-people-admit-defeat-when-they-lose-149740

Edited by onetrack
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Trump survives on creating division and potential chaos. He is more a Cultist than a politician genius or statesman. His giant ego and vanity dominate his motives.He just cannot accept being beaten. He constantly refers to servicemen as "Losers and Suckers" He is drunk on Power. and the need for adulation.. Just who you need to have a hand on a big red button and be Commander In CHIEF of the US armed Forces. Thanks GOP. Well done (I think NOT.).. Nev

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All those things you have said about Trump are true, but the real fault lies with the US voter. None of them could say honestly that they did not know what sort of a bloke he was. They voted him in and then they propped him up, thinking the Potus would have to be intelligent and a thinker who could work things out. There has only been one person other than Trump to really gain anything from his presidency and that is G. W. Bush, who has come out looking as if he was not after all a complete disaster and compared to Trump he is not.

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3 hours ago, facthunter said:

...He is drunk on Power. and the need for adulation.. Just who you need to have a hand on a big red button and be Commander In CHIEF of the US armed Forces...

I have some faith that the military people surrounding him are sentient humans and would resist any extreme orders. During the Cold War the world was saved at least twice by Soviet officers going against orders.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Arkhipov_(vice_admiral)

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/26/17905796/nuclear-war-1983-stanislav-petrov-soviet-union

Not too long after Clinton’s presidency ended, it was revealed that for months the suitcase which always accompanies POTUS did not actually contain valid launch codes. Perhaps they figured the recently-collapsed Soviet Union was no longer a threat. 

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6 hours ago, onetrack said:

 

It is becoming very obvious that the only way that Trump will be persuaded to leave the White House - even when he is presented with irrefutable evidence of his electoral loss - is if the persuaders can convince him there is a way he can hand over the Presidency without losing face, or admitting defeat.

 

There apparently already has been talk along these lines within the Trump family - that Donald can only be persuaded to leave office, by telling him that his hanging on, is damaging the Trump brand, and he could walk out of the White House, and go right back to promoting the Trump brand with a "great presidential record" line.

I hope he keeps blustering and refusing to leave.  It would be so funny, on 20/1/21, if he refuses to leave and is manually dragged out by the Secret Service while chucking a huge tanty.  

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Mybe eventually the Republicans will realise that trump is not doing them any good and they will agree with the democrats to have him declared incapable of doing the job. In which Pence will become President until 20 Jan and he would concede defeat to Biden. Otherwise Trump will never go and become like some third world dictator, of which we already have too many.

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3 hours ago, Yenn said:

Otherwise Trump will never go and become like some third world dictator, of which we already have too many.

He literally has no choice.  As at 20 January, he becomes a trespasser in the White House and can be forcibly removed.  No one is going to listen to his ravings that he's still the president.

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It is absurd and troubling that Trump's administration is refusing to provide the incoming administration security briefings as is the normal practice. Even more troubling is on a day when covid infections have reached record levels the president is doing stuff all as he seems to be too busy watching right wing news shows and tweeting his insane rantings. 

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22 minutes ago, octave said:

 

It is absurd and troubling that Trump's administration is refusing to provide the incoming administration security briefings as is the normal practice. Even more troubling is on a day when covid infections have reached record levels the president is doing stuff all as he seems to be too busy watching right wing news shows and tweeting his insane rantings. 

Don't sweat it...

 

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/biden-could-receive-classified-intelligence-just-by-hanging-out-in-mar-a-lago-dining-room?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Borowitz_111220&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bea16ee3f92a4046973a031&cndid=31732892&hasha=5a9c0746f92d107e154d883e568b7b9e&hashb=059346b55303c4a10b706993f970ddb62f706bf7&hashc=26b770f1f676e1265814898f8d7852b71ab68235a6e428825f8319a3bae3cb12&esrc=&mbid=mbid%3DCRMNYR012019&utm_term=TNY_Borowitz

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On 11/11/2020 at 1:17 AM, Yenn said:

I will agree that trump has caused change, but we all know that change is compulsory, but progress is optional.

The only thing people seem to think he really achieved was a peace agreement in the Middle East. That was nothing to brag about. it only cemented the Israeli, US get into bed together outlook and get rid of any Arabs. General concensus being that Arabs should not have any rights, even though Britain, the USA and Israel have stolen everything they had in the name of religion and God giving the jews the holy land. That agreement is even more shonky than his wonderful achievments with N Korea.

C'mon, Yenn (and Old K).. Really.. to get rid of any Arabs.. In a different thread, you threw that gauntlet down.. and I responded as to why that is not necessarily the case (although I agree, the West Bank settlements are provocative).. So far, all you have said is that the Israelis (and now the yanks) want to get rid of the Arabs.. but not proferred proof.. Let's have it now... 

 

BTW.. if you want to know what is "driving" me to challenge you.. it is my last car in Australia.. A Jackaroo.. You see, when I sold it to come back to the UK, I sold it to a Filipino.. The day he picked it up, it turned out he was only in Aus for a few months.. Having immigrated from.. Israel. He spoke quite endearingly of the place, even though he was (and probably still is) a Catholic.. and how good it was living there until the modern day Russian jews sort of mucked it up a bit.  I think he was working at @red750s son's pub at the time... (it was Ascot vale).. as a chef.

 

Fellas.. as I have said.. if I end up in the ME, I have effed up badly... 2 Weeks in Abu Dhabi and a few days in Kuwait was enough.. But, I do like to see people back their claims up with evidence.. Everyone deserves a fair go..

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2 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

and how good it was living there until the modern day Russian jews sort of mucked it up a bit. 

I was wondering where they all went. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast in South East Siberia has less than 1% Jewish residents these days.

Edited by willedoo
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