The Strategy That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Reading Time: 4 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

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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

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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.

First 13er President: A Gen X Independence Day

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“As they reach their turn for national leadership, 13ers will produce no-nonsense winners who will excel at cunning, flexibility, and deft timing.”

—Neil Howe and William Strauss, 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?

I’ve written before that 2016 was the first Gen X Election. And that Donald Trump would be the first Gen X president. Not because he’s an Xer, but because he personifies our coming-of-age view of the world.

Note:  I use 13ers and Gen Xers interchangeably. Historians Howe and Strauss called the generation born from 1961 to 1981 “13ers” before Douglas Coupland coined the term “Generation X.” Howe and Strauss were referring to the fact that we were the 13th generation born in America.

Donald J. Trump symbolizes the 80s and 90s. The 80s and 90s symbolize Gen X.

As I wrote last February in This Is the Gen X Election:

I’m not saying all Gen Xers will vote for Trump. I am saying the Gen X attitude that formed in the 1980s and 1990s has finally pervaded the generations on all sides. Just as the Boomer attitude, hatched in the 60s and 70s, didn’t really seize full power until the  Clinton administration.

Howe and Strauss had more to say about Gen X leadership in 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?:

If 13ers turn out like every earlier generation of their type—Lost, Gilded, Liberty, and Cavalier—they will ultimately become a stellar generation of get-it-done warriors, able to take charge of whatever raging conflicts are initiated by their elders and bring them to successful conclusions. In the tradition of George Washington, Ulysses Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower, the most memorable 13er Presidents may themselves be ex-generals. Military or not—and regardless of sex—13er leaders will be cagey, jockish, unpretentious, inelegant with words, more inclined to deal than to argue, and more admired for their personality than for their vision of learning. As they come to power around the year 2020, younger voters will view them as a welcome change from the ponderous, principles-first Boomer style. In public, they’ll come across a bit shallow. But, as any 13er already knows, low expectations can be a game you can use to your advantage—in a poker game or in the White House.

Trump is probably 4 years ahead of his time if Howe and Strauss’s calendar was correct. It’s possible that conflict between the Washington establishment and the Trump administration owes to Gen X’s early arrival in power.

But it’s also possible that whenever one of these generations of Nomads reaches power (“Nomads” is the Howe and Strauss name for Gen X’s archetype throughout history), conflict ensues. Nomad generations reach power at the end of Crisis eras, usually just before the climax. Previous climaxes were:

  • The Revolutionary War
  • The Civil War
  • World War II

Why should our Nomads get off any easier than those generations of Nomads?

It’s also worth noting that the national leaders of those eras were, like Trump, members of the Prophet generations that precede Nomads in birth order. Most of the presidents of the Continental Congress during the Revolution were, like Peyton Randolph, born before 1724, the start of the Liberty generation. Lincoln was born in 1809, 13 years before the first Gilded was born. FDR was born in 1882, but the first Lost was born in 1883. So, Trump’s timing is historically perfect.

The biggest difference between Gen X and Boomers: pragmatism over principles.

Boomers will blow up the world to prove a point. Gen Xers will find a way to survive.

Think about that. Think about the Boomers begging Trump to “do something” about Russia. The Boomers seem okay with nuclear war now. Ready to end civilization in a series of mushroom clouds. The generation that once donned bumper stickers reading “You can’t hug your kids with nuclear arms” is ready to push the red button and end it all. Maybe that name “Boomer” has gone to their heads.

Fighting for human survival is the generation of slackers. It’s not that we’re unprincipled. It’s that we think principles are evil if they require the destruction of our culture, our civilization, or our species. Or maybe we think principles apply to personal conduct, not to public policy. Either way, survival comes first.

And this gets us to the point of why we Trump supporters are so hell-bent on seeing our mission through. This is why we will tolerate, even applaud, our president’s most outlandish and most “modern day presidential” acts.

It is our mission. Howe and Strauss gave it to us in 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?, published when we were kids in 1993.

Yes, 13ers do have a mission. Theirs is the American generation that history has charged with the task of cleaning up after everybody else’s mess . . . So too is theirs the generation charged with showing others how, in this millennial era, Americans can still enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” without letting the world fly to pieces, without bankrupting the nation, and without squandering scarce global resources.

Do the dirty work, have a little fun, help the kids behind them. Not bad. Let other call 13ers “underachievers.” They can take it. We, their elders, will never live to see how their story turns out. They will. The rest of us can only imagine how, when their job’s done, they’ll look history in the eye, give a little smile, and move.

It’s pretty clear Donald Trump has adopted our generation’s mission as his own. I call on the “principled” Boomers and the other generations to shut up, get out of the way, and let us get on with the job of cleaning up your messes.

And we’re getting too damn old to argue about it. As I warned last February:

The Buchanan Brigades are running the show, now. While the establishment could still produce the next president, he or she will be unable to govern, I’m afraid. The divisions are too many, the chasms too wide, the trust too broken, the economy too leveraged.

We’ve been warning the establishment for decades that we’re not gonna take it. They didn’t listen.

But something tells me they’re listening now.

It’s Gen X Independence Day. Get out of our way. This isn’t about unity. It’s about survival. There’s a difference.

BONUS: A great primer on generational history.