Jan. 16th, 2017

hudebnik: (Default)
TL;DR: you can't, because what you want to fight isn't Trumpism.

Longer version: Reaganism had several fundamental principles: "cut taxes, cut government regulation, cut government benefits for poor people, build up the military, Communism is bad, m'kay?" You could agree or disagree with various of these principles, but there was a fairly small, coherent list of principles. Essentially the same list of principles defined Thatcherism at the same time.

Trumpism has one principle: "make Donald Trump feel good." What makes Donald Trump feel good? Making and flaunting money, being flattered and adored (especially by beautiful women), and beating people in contests. None of which has anything to do with specific national or international policies.

If you come up with Idea X that helps him or his kids make money, he'll use the power of the Presidency to make Idea X happen. If you tell him how smart he was to come up with Idea Y, he'll think Idea Y was his own and use the power of the Presidency to make it happen. If you oppose him on Idea Z, it becomes a matter of personal honor for him to beat you into submission, even if he never really cared about Idea Z before.

Cutting taxes for rich people would help the Trumps make money, and the rest of the Republicans on Capitol Hill want it for similar reasons, so it'll definitely happen. Repealing Obamacare, whatever that is, would demonstrate his dominance over Obama and all the people who don't want him to do it, so something that can be called "repealing Obamacare" will happen. What it'll actually be, nobody has any idea, and I don't think Trump cares, as long as he can say he won.

International relations bring in all three aspects: foreign governments can help or hurt his bottom line by how they treat his properties and name franchises (and any debts the Trump properties owe to foreign financiers); they can flatter or insult him; and they can become or avoid becoming competitors he would feel duty-bound to beat.

Trump has a long list of high-level appointees going through confirmation hearings now and in coming weeks. Many of them are billionaires; many of them are have no background whatsoever in the area they're supposed to oversee; the rest are military generals who make him look tough by association. What almost all of them have in common is that they gave him either lots of money or lots of flattery before or during the campaign. (In some cases he beat them, and they acknowledged being beaten, which makes them good Joes.) Every one of those appointments is now an opportunity for Trump to beat the people who think the appointment is a bad idea; withdrawing one of them would be admitting defeat, which Trump doesn't do. Which explains why there was apparently so little vetting before naming them publicly: he has no intention of losing any confirmation fights, so it doesn't matter what skeletons are in their closets.

He'll never release those tax returns, of course: first, it might impede his ability to make money; second, it might show that he's not as rich as he claims to be, which would be publicly embarrassing; and third, it would be giving in.

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