Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Big Picture: Trump's Brand is "Scoundrel"

Americans voted for a scoundrel.  On purpose. 

That's why when he is shown doing outrageous, embarrassing, hypocritical, dishonest things it doesn't hurt him.  He never claimed to be good. Being a self-serving finagler is his brand.   He is playing a role.  In professional wrestling he is "the Heel", the Bad Boy.

"He is a fraud and comfy with it."
So what, if it is hypocritical.

Enough Americans in the right states to win the electoral college voted for the guy who positioned himself as the tough, politically incorrect, anti-elitist bully, who openly and flagrantly trafficked in lies and conspiracies.

Trump never promised virtue.  He promised he was on the side of regular Americans.

Democrats haven't yet figured out that Democrats and Trump are playing by different rules.  What Democrats see as outrages of head-shaking proportions are actually brand strengtheners among his base voters--a base big enough to be the majority of the majority party.

The news is all aflutter with new Trump outrages of the past 24 hours: Trump speculates that the Access Hollywood tape is faked, him calling Warren Pocahontas, him re-tweeting anti Muslim photos immediately shown to be faked, him demanding the Deep State investigate Hillary, his calling for NBC to fire "Morning Joe" Scarborough for low ratings, his empty threats to North Korea, and his unseemly celebration of the firing of Matt Lauer, all while telling voters to vote for Roy Moore.

Could Elizabeth Warren respond in kind?  She shouldn't.  She has a different brand.  This blog speculated that Elizabeth Warren might demonstrate her standing as a Trump opponent by counter-punching in kind, perhaps calling him "President Bone Spurs."  

There is a problem with that.  One correspondent said, "Getting in the mud with Trump is like jumping into a shark tank. She is a fraud faking virtue, he's a fraud and comfy with it. She loses big time in any head to head with him, like all he's vanquished."   Thad Guyer.

Another said, "Her lame claim [to Native American heritage] is just too apt a metaphor for the identity politics that Trump's supporters hate so much. While infantile, Trump's caustic joking about it is almost funny and is truly excellent (by his standards) as a negative brand for the senator. Nonetheless, Senator Warren is not infantile, and she should not stoop to adopting any Trumpian behaviors, including responding 'in kind.' Warren should stick to her own authentic brand, which is as a serious, passionate, progressive advocate for citizens' rights." Tony Farrell

"Nature Boy".  #1 Bad Boy of Wrestling
Both correspondents point out the branding problem.  In the big picture matchup there is room for one "bad boy" and that is Trump.  Impolite, un-civil behavior by Elizabeth Warren undermines hers.   

It is unfair and un-symmetric.  Trump can be bad; Warren must be good. 

Outrageous and flagrant dishonesty by Trump doesn't hurt Trump, but an unprovable assertion that she is partially Native American by Warren is the basis for branding her a fraud.  Why?

Trump is not a fraud when he lies or is flagrantly hypocritical. He can grab crotches but call Franken a pervert; he can manufacture clothes in China and condemn people who do that; he can say it is wrong to hire foreign workers while simultaneously hiring foreign workers at Mir a Lago.  He doesn't hide his self-serving behavior.  Paying no taxes makes his smart, not unpatriotic.  He shows contempt for Muslims?  So what; lots of people share his contempt.  He is who he is.  He is the bad boy who the Establishment cannot control.  

As Guyer said, "he is a fraud and comfy with it."  For now a great many people are enjoying the show.

1 comment:

  1. I have come to the opinion that Trump is not the issue. It is the cult.

    Sometimes the wrong question is asked. It's not "how can they approve of him?", it's "what's wrong with them?". It may be shown that Trump is unique in American history where the disgruntled minority finally found a champion. This group has always been with us. It is a complicated psychological, economic and cultural equation, but in one sentence it could be said that this group of people are for a variety of reasons do not understand or believe in the American ethos.

    After Trump is expelled they will still be here, and looking for another savior.


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