Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Trump’s Momma Didn’t Raise No Fool- Trumpismo"

"Trump’s Momma Didn’t Raise No Fool- Trumpismo"
by Bill Bonner

"Yesterday, Treasury prices rose and yields had their biggest one-day fall in over two weeks. Investors are turning their backs on risky stocks, in other words, in favor of traditionally ‘safe-haven’ bonds. The Trump boomlet seems to be fading.

Lion of Queens: We left off yesterday after exploring one of two major directions for the next four years. President Trump could really ‘go to war’ with the Deep State. And lose. If this were to happen, investors would almost certainly get caught in the crossfire. But don’t worry. This is extremely unlikely. The only way to bring the Deep State to heel is to cut off the EZ money funding that feeds it. Mr Trump has not even suggested it. It’s not going to happen, not voluntarily at least.

Today, we explore the more likely possibility: The Lion of Queens will lie down with the swamp foxes of the Potomac…and together they will feast on the poor little lambs who elected him.

What would Donald do? Reader feedback in the Diary Mailbag is running against us at a rate of about 2-to-1. Most dear readers want us to give’The Donald’ a break. Many think we are criticizing him. One even went so far as to suggest we were a ‘Hillary-loving closet liberal.’ Alas, our lonely mission is to look…to laugh…to try to understand. Nothing more. Novelists often invent characters. They put them in a situation. Then they ask: What would this character do? ‘Character is fate,’ said the ancients.

So today we ask: WWDD? What would Donald do? Little by little, we come to understand Mr Trump better. He is a scoundrel and a cad, a tough hustler from beyond the East River, shrewd and egomaniacal. But we say that with as much admiration as disgust. And little by little, we have a clearer idea of what he may do. He is what he is. He will do what he will do. We are not criticizing; he may be just what we need. Every empire has to come to an end. Trump might be the man for the job.

Moneymen and gunmen: Immediately after his election victory, Mr Trump brought the most powerful swamp critters- the moneymen and the gunmen- to his Trump Tower HQ in Midtown Manhattan. He loaded up his cabinet with Goldman and Pentagon alumni. Then he backed away from slashing the benefits promised by Obamacare, saying his new plan would provide coverage for all the sheep.

And now, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Energy, former Texas governor Rick Perry, says that when he pledged to abolish the department while campaigning for the presidency in 2012, he didn’t know how important it really was. As Perry put it at his confirmation hearing last week: ‘In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.’

Trump’s momma didn’t raise no fool. Protected by big money, big guns, big oil, and big medicine, he will be free to spar with the less-important Deep Staters- academics, the media, the bureaucracy, businesses, foreigners, and the small fry.

The age of Trumpismo:  “Trumpismo,” we said to a colleague on Friday. “That’s all you have to know.” Neither Republican nor Democrat, neither Liberal nor Conservative, this is the essence of Trumpismo- keeping the cronies off balance while remaining the hero of the little guys. Delighting the guys in the red hats, Team Trump will take on a few token ‘enemies of the people’ and keep the cash flowing to the most powerful insiders. We are looking forward to the next four years with a mixture of curiosity, dread, and rank voyeurism. Not that we know WHAT will happen. Not at all. But we have a hint about HOW it will come about.

Symbolic Grandstanding: It’s all about the first-person singular. Even George W. Bush said he was embarrassed to say “I” when speaking about his policies and plans. Not Trump. He uses it regularly and extravagantly, even when it is egomaniacally meaningless. For instance, at last year’s Republican Convention, he claimed that the nation was in crisis. Then he famously declared, “I alone can fix it.”

It is new to Americans, but Donald Trump’s leadership style is familiar to voters south of the Rio Grande. Instead of focusing on coherent policy or consistent ideology, it emphasizes quirky personality and symbolic grandstanding:

• Big Pharma is “getting away with murder.”
• “Trump says he is ‘making progress'” in the Carrier deal.
• “Trump says ‘no way’ to Toyota plant in Mexico.”
• “Thank you to Linda Bean for your great support and courage… Buy L.L.Bean.”
• And website BuzzFeed, which alleged the Kremlin had compromising information on Trump, is a “failing pile of garbage."

Good and Evil: The typical working man is always under the thumb of someone he considers an evil dumbbell. The boss, the police, the feds, the bureaucrats– by singling them out and embarrassing them, Trump fights for the ordinary Joe. A billionaire. Commander in chief. He fears no one. Not the media. Not even the spooks at the CIA. He is a brave truth-teller. Or so it appears…

This approach to politics has several advantages. First, it is simply more entertaining than traditional party blah-blah; it is more engaging and easier to follow.

Second, it turns Mr. Trump into a champion: It sticks to the simple formula for professional wrestling and TV drama – with a hero… bad guys… and the inevitable triumph of good over evil.

Third, it avoids the soft, ambiguous mud of real policies… and real political negotiations with Congress (which would most likely make things worse anyway).

Trumpismo plays to the masses. Their hero takes on the Washington bureaucracy one day… ISIS murderers the next… and on the weekend, private companies or even individuals are subject to Twitter attacks.

Bobbing and Weaving: Under Trumpismo, the people’s hero is not held back by any particular loyalty- neither to individuals nor to creeds. Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? Voters don’t particularly care. And neither does their leader. Instead, he is free to bob and weave… pitting one group against another… surprising his enemies by attacking from unexpected directions and taking daring and novel positions for which they lack “talking points.”

Nor is Trump forever at odds with yesterday’s enemies or forever bound to today’s friends. That’s why he can so easily embrace Goldman alumni. Even though he was completely against the clan during the campaign… and they were completely against him… the Goldman boys will be useful to him now. And he will fire them, too– just as he did for the audiences of his reality TV show– as soon as he needs someone to blame for the failing economy.

Heroes and Villains: Yes… unrestrained by permanent alliances and unanchored to an ideology, Mr. Trump will be fun to watch. He will propose policies that he claims will “fix” the health care system… or bring jobs back home… or double the rate of economic growth. And woe to the politician or CEO who resists! He will get the same treatment as “Little Marco” Rubio… “Look at that face” Carly Fiorina… and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz. Mr. Trump’s tweets will let it be known that these villains are standing between the hero and his victory… and between the people and their Promised Land.

No one will know or care about the substance of the proposal– not with the entertaining dogfight taking place on the TV in front of them. What will be the result? A boom on Wall Street? GDP growth of 4%? A catastrophic depression? Who knows? Lucky presidents are better than smart ones. And Mr Trump is famously lucky. He could even be both. But tomorrow we introduce a radically new, simpler, and better way to understand the political economy.”

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