Nick Hubble – Capital and Conflict (Great Britain) –
“President Donald Trump” remains a surreal phrase to write. But that doesn’t change the fact that his remarkable run seems to be long lasting. Today you’ll discover the secret to his success.
Trump proved an absolute genius at getting elected. And the world hasn’t ended since his election, as his detractors predicted. In fact, the US seems to be doing quite well. Most surprising of all, there haven’t been any real incidents. Only political wrangling.
Trump’s popularity completely mystifies the intellectual elite around the world. He seems to spout nonsense. He makes claims that are demonstrably false. And wants to do stupid things like build a wall on the border to Mexico.
It’s all been good fun. But there’s a remarkable trend emerging. One that’s even more surprising than Trump’s ability to get away with the bizarre. More bizarre than him getting elected. And more odd than his policies.
Every time Trump opens his mouth to say something stupid he ends up proven right. Even when he couldn’t possibly have known he’d be right.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration. It’s not quite every time that Trump is proven right. But he’s nevertheless remarkably consistent at saying something that sounds crazy, and then turning out to be correct.
That’s supposed to be my job as a newsletter writer, so I’ve really noticed his successes.
Let’s take a look at some examples…
Trump is so slick, nothing sticks
Recently Trump’s news coverage was mostly about the wiretapping story. On Twitter, Trump accused former president Barack Obama of wiretapping him during the election campaign.
But Donald presented no evidence. And so he was ridiculed in the media. Even his own party turned on him to demand evidence at short notice. Everyone claimed it’s impossible Obama wiretapped Trump because of the judicial process which is required to do so. No judge would have approved it.
Along came WikiLeaks and three intelligence officials. The Wikileaks Vault 7 documents show that intelligence agencies routinely use foreign allies to do their local dirty work. Because the British intelligence agencies don’t have to go through the US judicial process to spy on Americans, they were able to spy on Trump. Then they pass on the information at the highest diplomatic levels. At least that’s what Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano is claiming, based on three different sources inside the US intelligence community.
WikiLeaks also showed that the intelligence community can listen in on you via TVs, smart phones and laptops by infecting them with software. That’s supposedly why Trump put the words “wires tapped” in quotation marks in his initial tweets. It’s not a literal wiretap, as all his critics are assuming in their rebuttals.
Most unfortunately of all for the home of Trump’s biggest critics, it’s their own claims of wiretapping Trump that give him the most credibility. On 20 January 2017, The New York Times published an article titled “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”. It was to investigate his ties with Russia. The New York Times can’t simultaneously claim Trump was and wasn’t wiretapped.
Trump also claims he has proof he was spied on. It’s difficult to imagine what else would have prompted him to comment on Twitter. For now Trump is refusing to release the proof as it would expose the intelligence community’s abilities. He can’t criticise WikiLeaks and then expose the very same outrageous practices himself.
The interesting bit here is that the vice versa applies. If the British GCHQ can spy on Americans with immunity because US laws only apply to American spying, the Americans can do the British government’s dirty work too. You effectively have zero privacy protection, no matter what the British government does to protect you. They can’t bind the CIA to the same laws.
It’s not all bad though. We know from past WikiLeaks scandals how much the Americans spy on the EU. Can you think of any opportunities for intelligence cooperation coming up?
Back to Trump and his vindications.
Even a simple statement of fact sets off Trump’s critics. In his first address to Congress, the president lamented how “94 million Americans are out of the labour force.”
This apparently “runs afowl of facts” according to factcheck.org. The Washington Post called it a “Four Pinocchio claim” and hilariously published this sentence, I kid you not: “You can’t be jobless if you don’t want a job.” The New York Times was a little more honest, saying the claim was “misleading”.
However, it is a fact. And it’s only misleading if you think the person saying it meant something else.
You see, the labour force is defined as people of working age who are in work or looking for work. Trump is pointing out that the proportion of Americans in the labour force is low. A lot of people aren’t working or bothering to look for work.
It’s a valid concern. Demographics, people rorting the disability support schemes, the ageing population, and much more are leaving every Western county in a precarious economic position. The very media organisations calling Trump a liar often publish articles about the problems of a declining workforce participation rate themselves. But when Trump does so, he’s misleading or a liar.
Consider that the media is calling the president a liar over a statement of fact.
Two more Trumpisms to come. That’s the name I’m giving to bizarre statements that turn out to be true. The next one is more of a policy though.
Trump’s ban on immigration from six different nations in the Muslim world has his critics in furore. It’s anti-Islam, they say. Along comes none other than Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to say otherwise. In a statement released by Prince Mohammed’s adviser, the nation at the heart of the Muslim world made things clear:
The keepers of Mecca can’t be denied by the howling media. Unless they want to take the side of Iran…
My favourite Trumpism is the famous Sweden incident. This one proves that Trump gets it right even when he couldn’t possibly have planned it.
Trump told an audience in Florida to look at the events “last night” in Sweden as an example of what happens when immigration gets out of hand. The Swedes are the most refugee-friendly country in Europe. They took in the highest number per capita in 2015.
The thing is, nothing notable happened the night before the speech in Florida.
The mockery of Trump was enormous. It reached some genuinely hilarious levels. The Swedes used the opportunity to promote tourism in the peaceful Scandinavian winter wonderland. I was there last year and it lives up to the hype.
So what was it all about? Trump claims he was referencing a Fox News segment on Sweden’s struggle to deal with immigration which had been on TV the previous night.
But most people missed that because of what happened two nights after Trump’s speech. Twenty riots broke out in one of Stockholm’s infamous immigrant neighbourhoods, Rinkeby. Six cars were torched, shopfronts vandalised and a journalist beaten up. One policeman was injured.
In other words, even when Trump gets it wrong, he ends up being proven right!
The new American hero
These are just a small set of examples. They’re the ones I can recall. But they tell you more than you realise. This is a growing trend in the American public psyche. Americans strongly distrust the establishment now. And even if those who speak against the establishment only occasionally get it right, they’re idolised for having done so.
Americans can feel the 94 million Americans out of the workforce. Trump is the one commenting about it. Every time he is called a liar, it strengthens his case. Americans can see the immigration tensions in Europe and some feel it themselves where immigration from the south is an issue. Trump talks about it and is called a racist loon. The voters don’t care what he is if he is airing their real concerns.
Trump worries about being wiretapped and WikiLeaks exposes that the surveillance state is far more powerful than the government admits. The government’s claims of innocence and judicial protections are a joke given the WikiLeaks revelations. What else is equally flawed?
Another example of this is the talk show host Alex Jones. Trump is apparently a listener of the infamous conspiracy theorist. The thing is, for all his bizarre claims, Jones has had some decent successes in his time. He exposed the Bilderberg Group, for example. The group used to meet with high levels of secrecy and denials. Today it is an open and exposed group. Alex Jones was criticised as a loon for years while he tried to raise awareness and disrupt the meetings. Now awareness of the group is mainstream.
Then there are groups like shadowstats.com, which collects economic statistics that ring far more true to Americans. Inflation is higher than reported, for example. People know. Even if shadowstats.com is flawed, it rings true in its conclusions.
What’s really changed is the communication medium. As Trump explained, Twitter gives him the power to speak to Americans directly. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.” And “I have my own form of media.”
Trump has replaced the media filter – the ability to control what voters hear. And the media hasn’t figured out what to do about it yet. So they keep getting caught out with their old manipulations.
Trump might not be good. But the changes he is forcing could be.
Until next time,