Mood Shifts and History - Learning from Trump

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Pay attention to the following paragraph, written in a CNN article: "Less than two weeks ago, foreign diplomats at the United Nations laughed at Trump when he boasted about the historic sweep of his presidency -- and there was no doubt that he was, as usual, exaggerating." This was juxtaposed against Trump's recent 'wins' in the political and economic departments, that is, in the Kavanaugh scandal and his proclamation of having presided over the "best jobs data in 49 years". This adds to his already impressive achievements in foreign policy (see North Korea-South Korea conciliation, among others).

Stephen Collinson goes on to opine in that article that one can no longer deny that "something significant" is taking place to change the country.

I agree with the Collinson's latter pronouncement. There is no doubt at all that President Trump has been a 'President of consequence'. It is another question altogether (and it is a far more shallow question, asked by petty moralists) whether those consequences have been good or bad.

However, I take issue with Collinson's characterization of Trump's 'boast' at the UN -- this was no boast, but another strategy predicated on self-aggrandizement. His 'exaggerations' have, up till now, been the subject of much controversy. Yet by and large, they have resulted in historic milestones for President Trump and his supporters. I do not suggest that these milestones were the goals of a specific method that Trump rigorously developed and adopted. Yet his 'exaggerations' are by no means unconsidered. They present a consistent picture of a person who understands how the world works. Time and again, he has outplayed the media and his political opponents. Nevertheless, his Art of the Deal is consistently deprecated -- To his opponents disadvantage. (Watch this video by Timcast, a moderate social liberal, or 'centrist' if you like, for a balanced take on the whole issue of Trump's 'Winning Streak')

Beyond politics, Trump has inaugurated a  'cult of personality' that is very much justified by his achievements. He presents an unorthodox role model for the modern man -- the man who will not bow to pressure or niceties. As I will discuss, his behavior is a far more viable option (in future) for the common man to emulate, at least relative to the degeneracy that 'the Left' presents.

What is this 'Trumpish' behavior?

First of all, it involves a realist approach to interpersonal relationships. He eschews liberal shibboleths and favors blunt but harsh pronouncements. This only works if one has the power to back up those pronouncements, but the common man might emulate this by disengaging when the stakes become too high. In other situations, the focus should be about abiding by one's principles while tailoring the expression of those principles to the audience. Trump does this on a colossal scale, and his success only attests to his expertise.

This applies no matter your political orientation.

Secondly, do not abandon those who share your principles. You might recall that Trump stood by Kavanaugh in his darkest moments, instead of throwing him to the wolves and backing another conservative judge. This could not have been entirely easy to do. However, principled support such as this conduces to greater loyalty amongst the like-minded, and greater respect among the more discerning of your opponents. Your more unscrupulous opponents might attack your principles, but in doing so they attack all your supporters. Any allegation that you might be a conniving schemer would be lost on your own supporters.

Finally, never buckle in the face of intense hostility. While one might be able to cede ground in a less contentious setting, doing so in the face of dogged opposition will be interpreted by all as a sign of weakness -- the greatest failing in a leader. Rather, show a front that is worthy of support.

Note that I do not say 'never retreat'. It is incumbent on a man taking a principled stand to retreat when things are obviously wrong. Friends and peers will understand. But do so clearly and confidently, not surreptitiously.

Sticking to your guns is an exercise in perseverance. Should you have enough fortitude, you might last long enough to see the slow, inevitable turn of the tide in your favor.


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