Trump’s Third Act: The Honey Badger

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Can you guess Stephen K. Bannon’s mantra at Breitbart? It’s not, “act like a Republican and lose.” It’s not “pivot,” a word I detest. “Honey badger don’t give a s—” is the Breitbart motto, and “the most dangerous political operative in America” is now running Donald Trump’s campaign. Raise the curtain on act three.

The entire political world is reeling today with news that Donald Trump has named the incredible Stephen K. Bannon as his campaign’s Chief Executive. Joining Bannon is renowned Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway as Campaign Manager, filling a void left by the departure of Corey Lewandowski in June.

This is a brilliant move by Trump, and Bannon’s influence has already helped produce what CBS News’ Major Garrett said is Trump’s best speech ever on Tuesday in Wisconsin.

Having been listening [to Trump’s speeches] since August 2015, [this was] objectively best drafted and best delivered @realDonaldTrump speech of the campaign. Will resonate.

First, you should know more about Breitbart’s Executive Chairman, Stephen Bannon. From an exhaustive Bloomberg profile that called Bannon “the most dangerous political operative in America”:

Bannon’s life is a succession of Gatsbyish reinventions that made him rich and landed him squarely in the middle of the 2016 presidential race: He’s been a naval officer, investment banker, minor Hollywood player, and political impresario. When former Disney chief Michael Ovitz’s empire was falling to pieces, Bannon sat Ovitz down in his living room and delivered the news that he was finished. When Sarah Palin was at the height of her fame, Bannon was whispering in her ear. When Donald Trump decided to blow up the Republican presidential field, Bannon encouraged his circus-like visit to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hiring Bannon and Conway begin Trump’s third act because it’s the opposite of what everyone expected. It’s a double-down on Trump’s honey badger campaign.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has been writing about Trump’s third act for months. Adams says Trump’s campaign is like a movie script. The third act is the part where it seems the hero, Trump, has no chance of surviving. Then something big happens–something that was foreshadowed very early in the movie. Just this week, Adams doubled down on his prediction of a Trump landslide:

I still predict a Trump landslide, based on the 3rd act movie formula. Trump is in his deepest hole right now. This is when the surprise happens (next two months) if it is going to happen. He’s had other deep holes, but none as deep as this. This is the big one because time is running out.

BTW, Trump’s primary campaign came in the three acts, too. Even before Trump lost the Wisconsin primary in April, many people said Trump had zero chance of reaching 1,237 delegates.  They were wrong, of course. Scott Adams saw Trump’s 3rd act coming. Here’s how described Trump’s situation on April 4, 2016:

So I will update my description of Trump bringing a flamethrower to a stick fight by saying I forgot the audience have their own torches. Collectively, those torches are bigger than Trump’s flamethrower. And the audience left their seats and attacked, using pure emotion, persuasion, and repetition. Trump is surrounded and outnumbered.

Let’s call it his third act. In movie terms, this is the hero’s deepest hole. It looks to the audience that he can’t climb out. Trump has been branded a sexist Hitler and left to die at the bottom of the hole. There is no solution, we think.

After Trump got smoked in Wisconsin, Salon ran this headline:

After Wisconsin loss, his second-rate, overmatched staff might not be able to right the ship

Trump’s had a horrible two weeks, and reports say there’s a festering disarray within his campaign

Sound familiar?

Trump’s in about the same position now as he was in April, but with a different opponent. In April, Trump faced Ted Cruz and the GOP establishment. Now, he faces Crooked Hillary and the MSM plus the GOP establishment. He has more enemies now.

But he also has more friends.

Adams and everyone else (myself included) thought Trump would “pivot” to a normal Republican campaign. Like Romney. But Trump’s not an ordinary Republican. He’s Trump. And Trump always owns the downside by doubling down. Putting Bannon in charge of his campaign makes doubling down look like risk aversion.

The Bannon move is the biggest, boldest, and brightest move Trump has made in the campaign. Maybe in his life, but definitely in the campaign. Like Trump, Bannon is a win-at-all-cost guy. He’s media savvy. He’s intelligent. He’s ridiculously successful in many different careers. Put another way Bannon doesn’t lose. He doesn’t know how.

My prediction: Trump will win in a landslide, and the shift toward Trump began with Tuesday’s speech on how Democrats have been screwing over blacks for half a century. (Actually, since the Democratic Party founded slavery and fought a war to keep slavery in America, the Democrat assault on blacks goes back way beyond 60 years.) People called Trump’s speech a “law and order” speech, but that’s not what it was. It was really about how the Democrats intentionally destroy black lives. Trump is undeniably right, of course, and everybody knows it. Breitbart profiled Sonnie Johnson’s reaction to Trump’s speech:

podcaster Sonnie Johnson said she was “yelling and screaming” during Donald Trump’s speech in Wisconsin on Tuesday night, because “it felt like a speech that I could have written, that I would have given, that I’ve given so many times, in front of so many audiences.”

Johnson said Trump’s speech targeted what “Democrats have done to the black community over the last sixty years,” and laid things out more plainly, and boldly, than previous Republicans have dared to attempt.

In his third act, Trump will go after Democrat strongholds: African-Americans, Latinos, union members, gays, and women. He will do it the way Trump does everything: big.  Trump will end up with 20 percent of the African-American vote nationally. Maybe more. (He’s already at 14%, double Romney’s pathetic number, via The Gateway Pundit.) But at least 20 percent. (See “Trump and the Black Vote” for more.)

 I am asking for the vote of every African-American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different future.—Donald Trump

The black surge for Trump could take a few weeks. You’ll start to see the shift in polling about August 28, which is the same day as our Tea Party for Trump in Festus.

Back in April, Adams saw Trump climbing out of that hole long before most of us saw it:

But Trump already started climbing. You don’t see it yet because he is operating entirely in the third dimension. I’ll help you see it.

Bannon is the perfect chief executive for Trump’s third act. Bannon and Trump are honey badgers. To a honey badger, a cobra bite is just an excuse for a nap.

Pass the popcorn. The third act is just beginning.

Also published on Medium.