Looking ahead to season four of Trump: The President

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Scott Adams first identified Donald Trump’s greatest strength. What do you think that might be?

It’s not his money or his business experience. Those are strengths, sure, but they’re not THE strength.

Scott Adams believes Trump’s campaign was a movie script. Here’s what Adams wrote way, way back when Trump’s candidacy was still just a PR stunt because he had zero chance of winning even a single primary:

A movie script is almost always arranged in what the professionals call a three-act form. In this model, the protagonist always has some sort of life-changing event (such as suddenly becoming the frontrunner for president) in act one.

In act two, we see the protagonist living out the results of that change. In the Trump movie, we see a smiling candidate amassing popularity and defying the experts. Just like act two in any good movie. This is the calm before the storm.

At the end of the second act, nearly all movies follow the model where some unsolvable problem rears its head. The audience must feel that the protagonist can’t escape this problem. We know the movie is fiction, but we still feel the emotions of the actors. We love the feeling of the third act because it reminds us of our own unsolvable problems. The main difference is that the movie hero finds a way to solve the unsolvable. That solution is what makes it a movie. The audience needs to feel the third act tension followed by an unexpected solution in order to get the chemical rush of movie enjoyment.

If you follow Scott Adams, you already know that Trump intentionally sets traps for himself. He creates “unsolvable problems” that everyone knows will be his downfall. From his immigration statements to his war with Megyn Kelly to jailing women who have illegal abortions to pussygate, Trump turns every small win into a future disaster with the things he says.

And, yet, here we are. Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Nothing can change that. Trump is president, and Israel is about to name the new Western Wall train station after him.

So I buy some of Scott Adams’s story. Trump does provide viewers a great action-adventure storyline. Every win sows the seeds for the next unsolvable problem. People feel compelled to tune in to the next episode to see how The Donald escapes this mess. Like the old Batman series. Or Silicon Valley. Or . . . here’s where I think Scott Adams is wrong.

Movies usually resolve themselves pretty neatly. Except for Star Wars, which ended with Darth Vader escaping to set up his next attack on Luke, Han, and the Princess. But most movies don’t explicitly sow the seeds of future problems in the resolution of the current story. That’s more like television.

Great TV heroes need a nearly as-great villain. Or, in the case of Batman, many near-equal villains. Trump has many near-equal villains: Robert Mueller, James Comey, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, etc. There’s also the really scary villains like Iran and Kim Jung Un. When those villains start to drift away, Trump has an uncanny knack for pulling them back in. Ratings depend on a series of insurmountable problems. We want to see how our hero escapes each one of them. And we demand that every plot line has its resolution.

The Villains

In other words, Donald Trump has turned world history into a television series. And we’re already at the end of season three.

Season One: The series begins as Trump descends the huge escalator in Trump Tower and declares his candidacy by saying Mexico isn’t sending us their best people, but their rapists and drug dealers. Pundits and experts write his candidacy off as a publicity stunt. But our hero seems to be serious. Trump defies conventional wisdom by eschewing a ground game and focusing on huge rallies with tens of thousands of people. And despite all of his supposed missteps and inflammatory rhetoric, Season One ends with Trump miles ahead of his closest competitor for the GOP nomination, but the entire conservative intelligentsia turns against Trump, setting an insurmountable problem for Season Two.

Season Two: Season Two of Trump begins with the run-up to the first Republican caucuses and primaries. At this point, Republicans are either fully behind Trump or fully against him. The leading conservative magazine devotes an entire issue to hating Trump. And Trump loses the first event to Ted Cruz in Iowa. But Trump rallies, sweeping a number of primaries leading up the decisive Super Tuesday blowout. He even holds a bizarre press conference that’s really an infomercial for many of the Trump businesses. It’s the strangest thing anyone has ever seen in American politics. At least in the TV era.

The first half of Season Two ends as Trump wins the nomination and continues his unconventional ways. He fires two campaign managers. He gives a blistering “America First” acceptance speech. He does everything wrong but Trump stills comes out on top.

In the climax to Season Two, Trump upsets the favored (by 98%) candidate to become the president-elect. His enemies, left and right, band together to form a Resistance movement. And the Russian Collusion narrative sets up our hero for the ultimate downfall in Season Three. Ask any anti-Trumper or NeverTrumper on December 29, 2016, and they’ll tell you Trump won’t survive the first 100 days in the Oval Office. Everyone expects the Deep State to take Trump down. Stay tuned for Season Three.

Season Three: Trump’s third season opens with a controversial inauguration. Trump disputes press estimates of the crowd size at his inauguration. Then Trump fires the FBI director, his attorney general recuses himself from the Russian investigation, and an underling appoints a sinister special counsel named Robert Mueller. Mueller is the smoking guy from X Files brought to life. Mueller is like The Penguin or Mr. Freeze. (Comey is The Riddler.) The anti-Trump press declares his presidency a failure after two attempts to overturn Obamacare fail in Congress.

But Trump looks amazingly deft at foreign policy. He wins favor with China’s leader. Israel loves him. His support base grows more resilient. His opponents lose popular support when they turn to mass violence over the summer.

Season Three ends with our hero’s biggest win since the election. Trump drives home the largest tax reform since Reagan and biggest single tax cut in US history. But the Russian narrative continues unabated, setting up Season Four. Pundits and experts say Republicans will lose the House and Senate to Democrats in the upcoming off-year elections.

Season Four: Here are just some of the open plot lines going into season four:

  • Will Robert Mueller find evidence of Russian collusion?
  • Will the Justice Department’s inspector-general indict Robert Mueller, James Comey, Andy McCabe, Peter Strzock, or Bruce Ohr?
  • Will Trump’s wall get Congressional okay?
  • Will North Korea nuke San Francisco triggering World War III?
  • Will Iran go to war with Saudi Arabia triggering World War III?
  • Will Trump get his big, beautiful infrastructure bill through Congress?
  • Will Democrats take control of the House and Senate and immediately begin impeachment proceedings?
  • Or will Trump find a way to get out of these jams before Season Four ends?

We don’t know how season four of Trump: The President will unfold. But we have to watch it. It’s the greatest show on earth.

The Strategy That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By now you’ve heard that President Trump struck a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Trump struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Trump struck a deal by going around Congressional Republicans. Trump struck a deal with Democrats.

It’s about time, frankly. But Trump can go a lot further on this path. If I were his chief strategist, I’d tell him to go further. How far? Keep reading.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are lazy, selfish, greedy, and kind of stupid, frankly. They surround themselves with lazy, selfish, greedy, stupid “leaders.” For the record, Paul Ryan is the least effective Speaker since recordkeeping began. He raises money. That’s about all he does well.

So Donald Trump struck a deal with the Democrat leaders.

Pelosi and Schumer are good friends to have. They’re loyal. They do whatever it takes to defend their friends, to advance their party’s positions, and to win every battle. Unlike their Republican counterparts, those Democrat leaders stand by their presidents, too. They stood by Bill Clinton. They stood by Obama. They even stood by Hillary, holding her up when she toppled and swayed. Which she did often.

So Donald Trump struck a deal with the Democrats. Because, at least, the Democrats know how to get stuff done.

Trump is a builder. A deal-maker. A problem solver. He’s not an ideological conservative. We didn’t elect him to be an ideological conservative. We elected him to make America great again.

Because he’s not ideological, Trump doesn’t give a damn how he makes America great again. Just so he gets the job done.

Trump gave Paul “The Dumbbell” Ryan and whining Mitch McConnell every chance to make America great again. Trump urged them, praised them, cajoled them. He warned them, too. He warned them that he wouldn’t put up with lazy, selfish, greedy stupidity from the GOP.

It’s obvious that Trump’s patience with Ryan and McConnell has run out. As it should have. Ryan and McConnell couldn’t find work in the private sector if their lives depended on it. They’re only good for government work. A government where lazy, greedy, selfish, and stupid are considered skills.

So Trump did the smart strategic thing. He struck a deal with Democrats. He’ll strike many more deals with Democrats. Unless Ryan and McConnell get off their asses and do their goddamn jobs.

But if I were Trump’s strategist, I’d go a lot further than striking a deal with Democrats over the debt ceiling. I’d go way further. Way, way further.

If I were Trump’s strategist, I’d tell him to go All. The. Way.

All the way where?

All the way.

I’d advise Donald J. Trump to switch parties. 

Right now.

Today.

I’d tell Trump to become a Democrat. Why the hell not? Churchill did it.Twice!

As a Democrat, Trump stands a chance of making America great again. And that’s why we elected him.

We conservative Trump voters put aside our ideology in 2016. We put aside ideology and put America first. We on the right said to ourselves, “Look, if America goes down, our conservative ideas are dead forever. So let’s make America great again, first. Then, we’ll get back to fighting for our ideas.”

If Donald Trump becomes a Democrat, I’ll support him just as strongly as I support him today. I wouldn’t bat an eye. I have a lot of friends who are Democrats. Like Jane Dueker. I like Jane. I’d like her more if she supported Trump. And if Trump were a Democrat, she probably would.

If Donald Trump becomes a Democrat, the Democratic Party will move to the right. Trust me. I told you about missing the good liberals. Go read that post for a minute and come back.

Did you read it?

If you’re over 40, you probably felt some nostalgia. Nostalgia for the old days. The old days when you could argue with a liberal and still be friends. And Ronald Reagan was still president, so who cares what they thought, anyway.

I suspect there are a lot of good, old-school liberals in the Democratic Party. They would love to be civil and reasonable and debate issues with us. In public. Without fear of violence.

Those good liberal Democrats wish they were free to wave the flag and be patriotic and tell the communist-anarchist Antifa terrorists to go to hell. 

But, right now, those good Democrats feel constrained. Constrained by a party that won’t let them be liberals. Constrained by a party that demands progressivism and anti-Americanism and anarchy and communism.

You can say, “they should stand up for their principles.” I disagree. So does my favorite philosopher, Epictetus.

Don’t brag about the principles you follow in life. Don’t even mention them to others. Instead, act according to those principles. In social situations, do not tell others how to behave.

Epictetus. The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus’ Stoic Classic Enchiridion (Kindle Location 409). The Stoic Gym Publications. Kindle Edition.

Liberals and conservatives should live their principles. Telling others to live by our principles doesn’t get us very far. Eventually, people tune us out. Like people tuned out Antifa. The only way Antifa can get anyone’s attention is to bash their skulls with nail-encrusted Louisville Sluggers.

So I’ll be fine with my liberal friends living their liberal principles and my conservative friends living their conservative principles and all of us arguing over policy and having a drink afterward.

As a Democrat, Trump can put a lot of pressure on the majority party in Congress. Plus, he’ll have a lot of help from the Democrats.

Plus, he’ll be able to campaign for Blue Dog Democrats. To defeat those do-nothing Republicans. So many of Trump’s voters are Blue Dog, blue collar Democrats. They’d feel more at home.

If Trump were a Democrat, he’d have zero chance of getting impeached. CNN would treat him fairly. So would the New York Times. And Amazon lobbyist Washington Post. Democrat Trump would be a celebrity again. And he’d be getting things done.

With a few Republicans and all the Democrats on his side, Trump would pass a lot of legislation. He’d end identity politics in the Democratic Party. And he’d probably end Paul Ryan’s political career. All good.

I want to make America great again. That means high GDP growth. But it also means getting along with my Democrat friends. It means arguing, learning, winning, and having a drink. Like good people do.

It’s so much easier to marginalize the idiots when the decent people get along despite our differences.

It’s American.

It’s great.

It’s why we elected Donald J. Trump.

And it’s the best way for me to get my wish (and my birthday’s coming up). So I advise President Trump to switch parties.

 

UPDATE: McConnell told President Trump to stop talking about “draining the swamp.” Which is more reason for Trump to jump parties.

Laugh at them, not with them

Reading Time: 1

The left is crying. One guy on twitter is nearly suicidal. Hoft has more.

Here’s what happened.

Someone posted this photo on twitter. All the sane people laughed.

@realDonaldTrump retweeted. And now it’s the left’s new Russian conspiracy.

I remember when all the best comedians were liberals. But the new left traded its sense of humor for baseball bats with ten penny nails.

USA!

Meanwhile, the pre-schoolers at CNN have their panties in a bunch because the President of the United States wore a hat emblazoned with USA.

Does anyone at CNN even know a person who managed to reach psychological adulthood? Apparently, you’re required to have a pervasive developmental disorder just to apply to the network. CNN should change its letters to IEP.

Via The Gateway Pundit

Character and Leadership in Houston

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When I watch President Trump in Texas, I am reminded of one of my favorite books.

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in The Conservative Heart:

There is a common misconception that conservatives are materialistic. We are not, and this confusion is a central political irony of our time. Progressives truly want to help the poor but have tried to solve poverty primarily with government money, relegating talk of culture to the past and focusing more and more on income inequality. The obsession with redistribution for its own sake comes skillfully wrapped in the moral language of fairness and compassion. This is materialism tarted up to look like moralism.

Progressive Materialism Causes Suffering

Leftist pundits wanted two things from President Trump:

  1. Money.
  2. “Empathy.”

Trump disappointed them. Instead, President Trump gave the people of Texas something invaluable. Something money and pity can’t buy. Something progressives and establishment Republicans hate.

Think about Trump’s words in Houston.

I listened to the President at the NRG Center. In my car. A live feed.

I heard “wonderful.” I heard “wonderful” again and again. I heard “beautiful.” I heard “inspiration.” I heard “waters are going down. Fast.” “Lots of water,” he said. “So much water. But it’s going away. It’s going away fast.”

And then, only then, President Trump spoke about money.

“Seven point nine billion.”

While the pundits and media tell hurricane victims “you’ll never recover,” Trump tells them their recovery is already underway.

While psychologists and hand-wringers say “you lost everything,” Trump says, “the best is yet to come.”

While CNN tells victims, “you poor thing,” Trump tells them, “you are a wonderful person. America is so proud of you. We love you. So much love.”

Progressives and others think only about material things. They measure life according to bank accounts and smart phone screen sizes.

President Trump measures life by something else. Something deeper. Something more enduring. As Arthur Brooks wrote in The Conservative Heart:

It is conservatives who stand for true hope, a hope that returns power and agency back into the hands of ordinary people. We extol free enterprise, self-reliance, and ethical living— the foundations of a good life, no matter how much money someone makes.

I wonder if Arthur Brooks appreciates how perfectly Donald Trump lives Brooks’s ideals. Or does Brooks let his disagreement with Trump’s style blind him to Trump’s truly conservative heart?

The people who lost all their material possessions to Hurricane Harvey need encouragement, not platitudes. The president is not a grief counselor. And victims don’t need a grief counselor, anyway. They need leadership. They need a leader to trigger a natural human response. A human response grief counselors suppress.

Most people who’ve experienced traumatic events don’t suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most trauma victims flourish from the gift of post-traumatic growth.

Post-Traumatic Growth Improves Lives

My favorite thinker, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, tells the story of his first learning about post-traumatic growth. From Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

My own domain dependence was revealed to me one day as I was sitting in the office of David Halpern, a U.K. government advisor and policy maker. He informed me— in response to the idea of antifragility— of a phenomenon called post-traumatic growth, the opposite of post-traumatic stress syndrome, by which people harmed by past events surpass themselves. I had never heard about it before, and, to my great shame, had never made the effort to think of its existence: there is a small literature but it is not advertised outside a narrow discipline. We hear about the more lurid post-traumatic disorder, not post-traumatic growth, in the intellectual and so-called learned vocabulary. But popular culture has an awareness of its equivalent, revealed in the expression “it builds character.” So do the ancient Mediterranean classics, along with grandmothers.

Intellectuals tend to focus on negative responses from randomness (fragility) rather than the positive ones (antifragility). This is not just in psychology: it prevails across the board.

Progressives and grief counselors want the president to trigger PTSD among Harvey’s victims. PTSD makes people more dependent on government. And on social services. PTSD robs a person of life and replaces happiness with material things. Things that get wiped out by the next flood.

President Trump has a better idea. He’s replacing people’s material goods with the gift of human flourishing. He’s triggering post-traumatic growth.

When President Trump tells Harvey’s victims that they are “wonderful,” that “this has been a wonderful thing,” he’s doing more for them than government and money ever could. He’s literally turning their tragedy into a blessing.

That’s the essence of leadership. It’s the bedrock of character. Trump knows the progressive pundits will criticize his words. But Trump doesn’t care about his reputation. He worries about his character. And the character of the victims of Harvey.

What I just heard from President Trump in Houston tells me Donald Trump is the greatest leader of my lifetime.

 

In 3 Minutes You’ll Be Able Fend Off Any Verbal Attack About Trump

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You probably don’t believe it. You’re probably reading just to argue. But three minutes from now, you’ll be armed.

Armed and ready to do verbal combat.

Armed and ready to defend your Trump vote.

Armed and read to win any intellectual confrontation.

Think it’s impossible? Keep reading. You’ll find out defending your vote for Trump is easier than you could imagine. Your opponent will be standing there, jaw moving, lips quivering, voice lost, brain scrambled.

You’ll be giggling.

Scott Adams Blows Everybody Out of the Water

You know Dilbert. Its creator, Scott Adams, is a persuasion expert. He persuaded millions to read a stupid cartoon every day for decades. He knows what he’s doing.

Adams made a periscope today that did the impossible. He explained the entire Tea Party movement. Without mentioning the Tea Party, he told the whole world what we wanted.

You’ll find the link to Adams’s Periscope video in a moment. But first, a summary of Scott’s thoughts:

  • Trump is a builder
  • Building projects begin with demolition
  • Trump is in the demolition phase
  • Trump demolished the GOP, the DNC, the old idea of “presidential” and lots more
  • When Trump’s done demolishing everything that needs to be demolished, he’ll start building beautiful new things

Still not convinced? Here’s Scott’s complete list of stuff Trump’s demolishing before your eyes:

  • Republican Party
  • Democratic Party
  • Bush dynasty
  • Clinton dynasty
  • Fake news
  • TPP
  • Obamacare (it’s dying)
  • Political correctness
  • Regulations
  • North Korea
  • NAFTA
  • Pollsters
  • Deep State (work in progress)

You probably agree, now, that Trump is in the demolition phase of his presidency. He’s breaking all the things the Tea Party wanted to break. And then some!

So you agree that Trump is great at demolishing stuff. What happens next?

Keep reading. You’ll find out.

This Is Trump

Last night in Phoenix, we saw Trump.

Someone on Fox News tonight put it best: the Trump Sandwich.

The Trump Sandwich goes like this:

  • A few minutes on-script and very presidential
  • A half hour off-script, off the cuff, hilarious, wild, and fun
  • Back on-script to wrap it up, hitting all the key points

That’s the Trump Sandwich. His supporters love it. His haters hate it. But it’s effective as hell.

In the 30-minute, wild, off-script rants, Trump does his demolition. 

In the scripted moments, Trump lays the foundation for what he’s building.

Some people say, “I wish we’d get more of the very presidential Trump and less of the wild, off-script Trump.”

They’re wrong. Never gonna happen. Forget about it. Trump is Trump. Trump is a Trump Sandwich. He is not going to change. He is who is.

And Trump is who we elected. Because we love the Trump Sandwich. We love it. You know you love it.

Building the America We Need

Trump is demolishing the parts of America that no longer work. Trump is demolishing the deranged things the way chemotherapy demolishes deranged cells. Trump is killing the deranged parts of America.

And he’s already laying the foundation for what’s to replace those deranged cells. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s great. You’re gonna love it.

The new America is worthy of America’s heritage. It’s worthy of you and me.

No one would claim America of the past decade is worthy of the American people.

It’s like the old Commodore Hotel in New York. Trump’s first big project.

First, Trump bought it. He promised to preserve it.

Next, Trump demolished it. Not entirely. But he completely redesigned the building which pissed a lot of people off. They wanted the old Commodore, the one that failed. Trump built a new, modern facade. A new interior. Everything. Unrecognizable. But beautiful. And successful.

Then, Trump sold the Commodore for a fortune.

In the process, Trump turned around a dying neighborhood. He gave a horrible, decaying part of New York a new life. People got jobs there. People started businesses there. Everything got better.

Because of the improvements in lives, people forgave Trump for demolishing the old Commodore and erecting something beautiful and vibrant.

And that’s exactly what Trump is doing for America.

He’s demolishing the deranged cells.

He’s building something vibrant and beautiful. Where every American will flourish. White, black, Hispanic, gay, Christian, Jew, atheist, Muslim, immigrant, native.

Just like New York.

We’re just in the demolition phase.

The building has begun, but it’s hard to see.

This is what the Tea Party wanted, but we weren’t builders.

We now have a builder.

America’s about to get great again.

Three minutes up.

You are armed.

Here’s that Scott Adams Periscope:

https://www.pscp.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1OwxWoPjRLnxQ?t=3m16s

Scott Adams explains Trump’s demolition phase. https://www.pscp.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1OwxWoPjRLnxQ?t=1m52s

Regarding Jeff Sessions

Reading Time: 1

I campaigned for and voted for Donald Trump. I stand 100% behind Trump today.

I support Trump because he’s a fighter. He’s a man of action. Trump prosecutes his causes, he doesn’t navel gaze.

Jeff Sessions is a good man. He’s a good Washington man. He has standards of decorum. Standards I admire.

Trump has no standards of decorum. But I voted for Trump because history has made decorum a liability, even a vice. Decorum accomplishes much in times of relative harmony. Decorum opens to the door to destruction in times like these.

If Trump wants Sessions, I’m for Sessions.

If Trump wants someone else, I trust Trump’s judgment.

Just my opinion. I could be wrong. But if you think harder about this than I do, you’re navel gazing.