How Donald Trump Could Win the USA Election – by Matt Lewis – Independent UK

How Donald Trump Could Win the USA Election

by Matt Lewis – Independent UK

trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is neither a statesman nor an everyman. He’s a political schizophrenic.

Anyone who doubts this need only look back to Wednesday (August 31, 2016) as a microcosm of his mercurial campaign.
It was a tale of two Trumps: one, the aspiring statesman; and the other, the demagogic hero of the American workingman.

It started in Mexico, where Trump met with President Enrique Peña Nieto. He shrewdly positioned himself next to a
foreign head of state, as if the president’s power and status were contagious. If the goal was to make him look statesmanlike and diplomatic, it worked.

But it wasn’t just the optics. Rhetorically, Trump struck a conciliatory tone while talking about “shared goals.”

For a moment, at least, it appeared that he might have outflanked Hillary Clinton.  ……..  Then he crossed the border into Arizona.    

Trump immediately reverted to his hard-line message, hurling red meat to his adoring fans. He recommitted to mass deportations (even mentioning a new “deportation task force”) and suggested an elaborate vetting process for immigrants.

“We will build a great wall along the southern border, and Mexico will pay for the wall,” he boasted, not for the first time.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a sovereign nation wanting to control its borders. But statesman Trump had disappeared, only to be replaced by a populist rabble rouser. He even joked that Hillary Clinton might be deported. It was almost as if there were two Donald Trumps. South of the border, he was civil and irenic—north of the border, he was a vulgarian.

But this isn’t just the story of an image torn asunder. Trump’s campaign team, like his campaign message, is a house divided against itself. His two top aides couldn’t be more different: Steve Bannon (the newly hired, hard-charging CEO of the campaign) has no campaign experience, and Kellyanne Conway (his campaign manager) is a veteran political operative who wants a kinder, gentler Trump.

Bannon comes from Breitbart.com, the right-wing website that has been instrumental in mainstreaming the unseemly “alt-right” movement.
Picture him as the whisperer on Trump’s shoulder who reinforces his worst instincts.

Conway is a pollster by trade, and she understands data and realises Trump must perform better with women, minorities, and so on if he wants to have a prayer of winning in November. Picture her on the other shoulder. She’s whispering in his ear, “Remember the ladies.”

Speaking of ladies, scuttlebutt suggests that the ladies in Trump’s life (Conway and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka), along with ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes (who had his own trouble with the ladies), are responsible for the recent instances when Trump has pivoted and softened his stance on issues such as immigration.

So who’s right? Devil or Angel?

There are basically two theories on how Trump can win this campaign. One suggests you should just “Let Trump be Trump.” After all, he has managed to defy the odds thus far by following his own instincts. Maybe his minions should double down on recruiting the support of working-class white men. Perhaps the polls are wrong, and there is an appetite in America that rivals what happened during the Brexit vote. Most strategists would advise against this, but if Trump loses, he might sleep better knowing he ran the campaign his way and didn’t compromise or water down his message.

The competing theory insists Trump simply cannot win if he continues to alienate women and minorities. People who espouse this view realise that Trump can’t suddenly abandon his core beliefs, but, they insist, he must be more eloquent and disciplined in how he presents his ideas. They argue that Trump must maintain his support with the Republican base but present his positions in a more eloquent and palatable manner.

Both of these philosophies are defensible. But a choice must be made. What does not work is oscillating between the two. And that’s just what he’s doing.

Rather than settling on one guru or Sherpa, Trump’s latest strategies tend to reflect the thoughts and ideas of the last person with whom he spoke.
Rather than settling on one theory of winning and then ruthlessly adhering to it, the strategy instead is ad hoc and reactive.

The frightening thing for voters is that it’s impossible to tell who Trump is, what he really believes, and whether he would listen to the devil or the angel
on his shoulder in the Oval Office. What it all ends up looking like is that he is a nihilist who lacks a coherent worldview, much less a consistent strategy.

Sometimes it’s not so much what you decide but that you do decide on something. You’ve got to decide who you are and what you believe, and then you
must stick by it—come hell or high water. Success, honour, and loyalty require making commitments, and (for better or for worse) sticking to them.

F Scott Fitzgerald once, in vain, warned Ernest Hemingway that “a man, torn between two women, will eventually lose them both.”

A man torn between two messages has the same problem. Trump must make his choice.

[I believe it is written somewhere else that no one can serve two masters.]

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Comments

  • winston  On September 6, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Making America great again?
    With his political rhetoric softening, we believe Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States, although it will most probably be a very close election poll. And Donald Trump, as the next US President, could be very good for Wall Street. Whether he makes America great again is a conversation for another day. We see Wall Street rallying strongly into the New Year, and giving Donald Trump the thumbs up, if he is elected President.
    Donald Trump’s current predicament is not dissimilar to Reagan (although he doesn’t have Ronald’s polish), but he does have a commercial disposition that Hilary Clinton will never have. It is worth noting that between 1980 and 1988, when Reagan occupied office, was one of the best performing periods in American history for the Dow Jones. Even taking 1987 into consideration, America prospered enormously. Who is to say that it won’t happen again?

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I do not believe that Donald Trump will win the elections in the USA in 2016 – or ever! But, I will sit up and take note of anyone who believes otherwise ….

    Donald Trump wants to make America Great Again – as in a White and Christian Nation again …. but take note: It is okay for a White Donald Trump to say that the USA is NOT Great …. Colin Kaepernick is finding out that it is NOT okay for him to say such things – imagine that?

    A White Donald Trump is telling a Black Colin Kaepernick he should find another country …. WHY??

    I suppose Colin Kaepernick is NOT white enough to speak up – to have a say, in the USA??

    And that is what we have to look forward to with a President Donald Trump!

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Why Trump Wearing a Tallit in a Detroit Church Unsettles Many Jews

    ‘This is a totally absurd distortion of the meaning of an important Jewish ritual object, which is used by Jews for prayer all over the world.’

    by Allison Kaplan Sommer – Haaretz

    It was an image that made many people – especially Jewish people – stop in their tracks and ask what the heck was going on. Some Jews took offense, some joked uncomfortably that it looked like the world’s weirdest Bar Mitzvah, but to most, it was unsettling.

    African-American pastor Wayne Jackson stood proudly beside the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in his Detroit church, after he had draped Trump in the Jewish prayer shawl known as a tallit, in which Jewish men cloak around them when they pray and completely cover themselves with when they perform the Priestly Blessing.

    Dislike of the scene was probably a rare point of agreement between observant Jews, who resent the appropriation of their ritual objects and Trump’s supporters on the Alt-Right, who are most likely neither fans of African American pastors nor of tallit-wearing Jews.

    Surely the Trump team that set up the Detroit visit, and former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, and Omarosa Manigualt, the alumna of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” who stood beside him at the Great Faith Ministries in Detroit, Michigan with African-American Pastor and televangelist Wayne Jackson, didn’t anticipate the rather awkward photo opportunity that would result from the visit.

    The problems with Trump’s gift and the way it was presented for traditional Jews increase if one pays close attention to Jackson’s remarks, which were partially drowned out under the enthusiastic applause of the crowd.

    When Jackson handed the Jewish ritual garment which came “straight from Israel” to Trump, Jackson used a verse from the New Testament describing one of Jesus’ miracles to explain why owning the tallit would be such a “blessing” for the candidate and that placing it on him was a way of “anointing” him to protect and comfort him on his travels.

    “With this prayer shawl, whenever you are flying coast to coast – I know you just got back from Mexico and you are flying from city to city – this is an anointing and the anointing is the power of God. When woman who had the issue of blood said that ‘I only touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made whole’ nothing else could help her but the power of God,” said Jackson.

    The New Testament verse Jackson cited, involved a miracle that Jesus performed on a woman with a 12-year “bleeding condition” – a continuous menstruation that made her ceremonially unclean. The woman was miraculously healed after touching Jesus’ clothing.

    Jackson said to Trump “There are going to be some times in your life where you feel uncertain you are going to feel down, but the anointing is going to be in your heart. I’ve prayed over this shawl and I’ve fasted over it. And I want to just put this on you.”

    Rabbi Ron Kronish, American-Israeli founder and senior advisor for the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, said he was appalled by the scene. “This is a totally absurd distortion of the meaning of an important Jewish ritual object, which is used by Jews for prayer all over the world. The tallit has no such miraculous meaning in Judaism. On the contrary, it is a symbol of humility before God. I would hope that Mr. Trump would not misappropriate this ritual object for his travels, but with this megalomania almost anything is possible.”

    Seth Farber, another American-born rabbi in Israel, said his discomfort stemmed less from the desecration of a Jewish ritual object than a wider issue. “As an American I am very concerned when people in power are seen as relying on miracles … What bothers me more is the evoking of the supernatural – using religion for its miraculous content, not its moral content.”

    “When any religion’s holy objects are mobilized for political purposes – that makes me very uncomfortable,” he said.

    Last October, Messianic Rabbi Kirt Schneider joined a group of televangelists and visited then-primary contender Donald Trump in his offices and stood in line to deliver him the Priestly Blessing.

    Then, with his hand on Trump’s face, fingers spread, Schneider asked God to bless the New York businessman “for the sake of you, your glory, your kingdom, because of your love of Donald Trump.”

    Few observers – Jewish or Christian – took the prayer session seriously at the time, dismissing it as a Trump ploy to grab the support of the Christian Republican base away from his primary rivals. But neither did they believe that Trump would be where he is nearly a year later – the Republican presidential nominee, who, according to the latest polls is still within striking distance of winning despite having made nearly every imaginable campaign misstep.

    So maybe we shouldn’t discount the power of evangelical miracles so quickly where Donald Trump is concerned – with or without a Jewish prayer shawl.

    [A Chilling Commentary, I say.]

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