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Friday, January 27, 2017

He actually meant what he said

Trump certainly hit the ground running in his first week, setting much of his platform in motion. I've never seen a President do so much in his first few days.

The only reason to doubt Trump was that most politicians say one thing on the campaign trail and do another once in office. Obama, for instance, sold himself in '08 as a guy who would "reach across the aisle" (he spent his eight years demonizing Republicans), who was biracial (and presumably not just loyal to just one side or the other), and who would have the "most transparent administration in history" (not even close).

In many ways, Obama was the opposite of what he claimed to be. (Thank you Saul Alinsky.)

But, Trump is not a career politician, so his campaign promises seem to be worth something.

At the same time, Trump's ego is such that he is incapable of admitting that he or his aren't the best at anything. Even when it was apparent that his inaugural crowd wasn't larger than Obama's, Trump had to insist that it was.

This is not atypical for Trump. It's almost cute, like something you'd expect from a little kid. And in a roundabout way, it shows he's not a sociopath. He just says what he thinks, without much of a filter -- and without subterfuge.

If Trump were a sociopath, as a couple of commenters on this blog have suggested he might be, he'd be a lot slicker about hiding that massive ego. But he's not even slick enough to be in control of his ego; it's in control of him.

But, we finally have a President who is going to pursue common sense policies that benefit Americans, and who eschews political correctness.

The outsize ego seems a small price to pay.


ArthurinCali said...

I'm impressed with the first week. Hope he keeps it up. The daily stroke had by the MSM is fun too.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
They really are having conniptions. They all sort of sense that this past election season exposed them for what they are, and that more and more people are wising up to them, and they absolutely hate it.

"Fun" is the right word.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the era of political correctness is coming to an end. People hopefully won't be able to pull the race card. We can treat each other equally, eliminating affirmative action measures. What ever someone achieves is based on one's abilities, merit, deserving what has come their way.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I'd like to believe that's true. But i"m afraid that fully 50% of the population still subscribes to pc. The good news is that the other 50% is less cowed than they have been, and more and more people are speaking more honestly about the situation.

Steven said...

He really seems to be doing what he said and initiating his major policy proposals. I'm sure he'd like to hear me say this- he's making it look easy.

I'm not saying I agree with his policies- they're a mixed bag for me- but its interesting to watch. We'll have to see how it goes once congress get involved as I believe he's working off executive orders at the moment.

Regarding immigration in particular, what a huge change for a western country to adopt policies like these. Its like the alt right have actually got what they wanted.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Getting tariffs etc. by Congress may not be that easy, but what he can do via executive order should be easier.

All sorts of polls have shown that the American public as a whole doesn't want more immigration, especially from countries which produce terrorists. It's not just the alt right, it's the majority of the population which wants immigration decreased.

Steven said...

I wonder if the majority support a border wall and ban from those Muslim countries. It seems pretty hardline.

Do you think he'll get a wall built?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Not sure about whether the majority support a border wall. I'm guessing the majority want immigration from countries which support terrorists decreased. (If the majority support decreased immigration, then they would certainly support sharply decreased immigration from countries with a strong ISIS or al Qaeda or Taliban presence.

I think he'll get the wall built, although, as he said, it'll be a fence in some places.

Gringott said...

I was not a Trump supporter at first, thought he was controlled opposition and I knew very little about the man himself.
Some of the things he said at the end of the campaign really made me respect him.
Throughout the entire episode of the election, I was entertained. All the right people and groups hate him, which validated him for me. Now that he is keeping promises, I'm liking him even more.


John Craig said...

Gringott12 --
Absolutely, all you'd really need to know about Trump is who hates him, and you know how good he is on the issues.

Alter Ego said...

"Even when it was apparent that his inaugural crowd wasn't larger than Obama's, Trump had to insist that it was. . . . And in a roundabout way, it shows he's not a sociopath."

So Trump tells an easily refutable lie about the size of his inauguration crowd (not to mention the bit about 3M people voting illegally) and that's proof that he's NOT a sociopath?? You lost me there, John.

John Craig said...

Alter Ego --
Good question. What I'm referring to is the STYLE of his lies; they're more childlike, more pathetic in a way. It's almost as if he's an Aspie. I've known people with Aspergers who will lie in the most transparent way, insisting on something being true (or untrue) when it's not, and the feeling you get from them is that they think if they say it it will be so. I've known two different Aspies who would say something, and then a minute later deny having said it. It's pathetic, and they're fooling no one, but they do it anyway. That seems to be Trump's style of lying. He's INCAPABLE of admitting that he's not the best at something, just the way he's INCAPABLE of not responding when someone insults him, no matter how much it makes him look as if he's punching down (against a Kizr Khan, or an Alicia Machado, or an Alec Baldwin, for example). A sociopath would somehow be much more slyly manipulative, much more aware of how to polish his public image, much better at appearing "noble" and "gracious" while sticking the knife in.

The Aspies I know who've lied like that are definitely not sociopaths; for the most part, they're straightforward and honest. And when they lie, they're more pathetic than scary. Trump's lies are more the former; it comes across more as if he thinks that if he says it, it's true.

Alter Ego said...

John, thanks for explaining -- and for recognizing that I was asking sincerely and not trying to pick a fight. Trump's utterances, to me, indicate at best some kind of ingrained character flaw but I'll hold off on declaring him a sociopath until I observe him some more. I'm also willing to give him a chance to prove himself in office although I didn't vote for him.

John Craig said...

Alter Ego --
You've been a friendly commenter here in the past, it never occurred to me to take it negatively. As a matter of fact, I'm actually writing a new post based on your comment (and semi-questioning my own verdict) right now, it'll be up sometime in the next 24 hours.

Shaun F said...

John -

"Even when it was apparent that his inaugural crowd wasn't larger than Obama's, Trump had to insist that it was"

It has been opined that this is part of Trump's strategy - running a smokescreen to give the media some red herring to focus on, while he actually gets stuff done.

When I negotiate I have been known to make a big deal about something (read: nothing) to cloud the actual issue I am trying to move forward.


John Craig said...

Shaun --
I've heard that too, but this kind of behavior actually predates his Presidential run. For instance, when the Forbes 400 was first published back in 1987 or so, Trump was the ONLY person Forbes contacted who insisted that he was richer than they had given him credit for. (Every single other rich person either had no comment or claimed to be poorer than Forbes had claimed.) And he's known for exaggerating the heights of the buildings he's built, or the number of stories in those buildings, and things like that.

Shaun F said...

John - Thanks for clarifying. I think I am a familiar with this type of business man as I knew a person who always "amplified" the value of whatever it was he was talking about - property value, profit, transaction value of deal, lawyer fees etc. The person I'm talking about is like a little kid - but very shrewd at business.

John Craig said...

Shaun F --
Sure. I'm actually finishing up a fairly long post about whether or not Trump is a sociopath, and also, my theory as to why he lies, right now. I'll post it later this evening.