Trying to understand our current predicament. (Updated 9/20/22)

Almost any publicly facing issue is subject to political (or similarly, social) contention. Now, mind numbing contention. This likely also results in procrastination in working out and testing potential solutions. This routine delays achieving good outcomes, or worse, invites bad outcomes. It is better to anticipate potential problems, and thoroughly understand their underlying trajectories and likeliness. For example, aggressively delaying dealing with global warming, will likely bring us to the point of “much harder to reverse,” or worse “the point of no return”. Conversely, weighing epidemics, recessions, inflation, wars, and climate change, by their probabilities, with constant reference to their potential damage to humanity, is the only logical way to address them in a rational society.

Walking down most streets in American cities, one can’t help but reflect that on average, almost every other person that walks by you, voted for Trump.

Yet well before election time, a plethora of disqualifying information, revealing future predictive behavioral characteristics, had already emerged. We had Charlottsville. Or credible reports of female molestation. Or grabbing woman by the …….

Or after his election loss, the devastating directions to his staff at his election denying rally to disable metal and gun detectors, because the people in the crowd, were “not there to hurt me”. Never mind the police, other guards. And members of Trumps’ own crowd.

Those that have joined Trump as political allies, have been learning some of Trump’s elementary secrets. Like how to cheat a political or business opponent. Think Trumps’golf game, and his habit of moving the ball when other players were not looking. Or gaming the IRS. Or misleading one’s bank, to make him more “loan worthy”, or wildly inflating property insurance claims. No one really questions the validity of the respective news reports.

News is not all fake. If it were, by now, no one would trust anything, which is absurd. Almost everyone believes there is a material substance to at least some of the reporting regarding Trump’s behavioral foibles, Nothing can remain a secret for long anymore. There are too many observers and observation points.

For Trump, everyone is really an opponent or potential opponent that needs to be treated accordingly. Those seeking Trumps endorsement, surely, if elected, or before, will likely have to perpetuate some “good” relationship. Probably based on such things as accolades, money, status and the promise of pardons for Trumps’ people, or Trump himself, as reciprocation.

A potential danger is electing another Republican, that might be a “wolf in lambs clothing”, or a baby wolf in lambs clothing. Adopting Trump techniques and style. A Disantis for example, may have to privately pledge loyalty to Trump to “earn” a hardy endorsement, and one that is not rescinded prior his own re-election or presidential run. Do we know now what contingent currency Trump will demand in return? And, of course, part of the endorsement would no doubt require the quid quo in the form of a Trump pardon when or if needed. A profitable business deal perhaps? It is all a matter of endorsements. It is sadly already obvious that a Republican presidential candidate may not have much of a chance of being elected president absent a Trump endorsement, and an un-endorsement would likely be fatal. This is the “curse” the Republican leadership has brought on themselves.

Republican politicians, hoping for re-election, now have to publicly compliment the naked emperors’ clothing for all to see. While non-captives of his cult, can only look on in amazement. It is unreal, and truly unbalancing, sadly bearing a resemblance to the very early days of Hitlers’ rise to power.

Trump is adept at using persuasion techniques, which largely explains his following. It surely was not his skill at governing a country, state, or city, and arguably, even a business (I say arguably) because he has now really “gotten caught”. (Using this phrase “gotten caught” is ironic because it is itself one of his favorite persuasion techniques), bringing public suspicion to any adversary of his choosing.
Caught for what, you might ask? As the mind falls asleep, few ask. These techniques are well known to those who study the science of persuasion. They are incredibly effective. For example, using “social proof.” Example, the claim “everybody knows,” “everybody is saying,” makes the listener want to join “everybody” by simply agreeing with the claimant.

Or nicknaming his adversaries, making them fight to get their identity back. He has got 6 or seven of these tactics, and they are highly effective, having enabled him to get this far. Even Hitlers’ Mein Kampf, highlights, for example (though many more comparisons can be sited) the concept of large rallies, one of Hitler’s favorite tactics, providing all onlookers the persuasion technique of ‘social proof.” “Wow”, one bystander might reason, can all these people be wrong?

No need to define how far Trump got, it was an amazing feat, but with unfortunate history making repercussions, and now books and books have and will continue describing the journey. The cascade has years ago started. The historical record, looked at through almost any perspective, will be hard to deny by future generations of Americans. It is an inevitability.

Historical events, and the reality that surrounds them, though subject to some level of debate, are hard to completely deny. A famous man’s Ill judgement, irrationality, poor mental condition, countered by cunning, evilness, narcissism, will all be universally recorded, and eventually seen, alike, by most onlookers. It will be a long-term embarrassment to America.

There will always be lots of eyes on Trump. He has made himself a “newsmaker.” He has a “following”. That is both good and bad. Every front has a back. The bigger the front, the bigger the back. Trump (and his eventually humiliated followers) will pay an awful price. The only pertinent question is how much will all the rest of us pay?