Yes, I know…they are all presidents for the one percent. But that isn’t what I am getting at.
Donald Trump makes for an interesting president. Whatever one hoped, feared, dreamt or desired out of his presidency, what can be said – without fear of being labeled a liar or some form of degenerate (deplorable?) – is that he makes for great theater. Right off the bat, I would say this makes him a one percent president; most are so boring.
But even this isn’t what I am getting at.
We have now seen enough of Trump in action to make the statement: either he is one of the biggest political flip-floppers of the last fifty years or he has a grand and effective strategy that no one on earth can understand.
Do you have a third possibility? Neither do I.
Now, if he has a strategy that no one on earth can understand, more power to him. In the meantime, he is doing a great job of alienating his support one slice at a time; of course, if – in the end – he strikes the grandest national and international bargain ever seen in 6000 years of diplomacy and politics, we will all bow down to him: “The Donald, how could we ever have doubted?”
But…but…so much of what Trump claimed he wanted to get done flies in the face of the establishment. Because of this, no matter what he does he will never receive support in congress for his actions – all of the democrats and at least half of the republicans are against him. He will never receive support from the court system – so far, every ruling has been against him.
From where does his support come? Well, that’s obvious…it comes from those who voted for him based on what he said he would do: drain the swamp, put Hillary in jail, repeal Obamacare, make nice with Russia. I could go on, but you get the idea. Trump could keep doing crazy (i.e. politically incorrect) stuff as long as he stayed focused on doing the politically incorrect stuff he said he would do during the campaign. Because his base would support him. And this would be enough to succeed.
Yet…one by one…he turns on those “promises.” Little by little, he erodes his only basis for power. And instead of his enemies seeing that Trump can be a “team player,” they only see a wounded beast, capable of nothing more than waiting for the death blow…by impeachment or losing the re-election.
Who will be left to support him when he reveals his grand plan, when all is made good? And without any support, what chance does his “super-grand-bargain-on-every-issue-I-ever-raised-in-the-campaign” have of seeing the light of day? I say none.
Yet herein lies the one percent. Maybe Trump has a grand plan; maybe he is the master negotiator (I have talked to some real master negotiators – they don’t see it).
For this, I say there may be a one percent chance. So we watch, we laugh, we grimace, we wince. Mostly, we suggest the burden of proof is now on him: show me, don’t tell me. Even for the most faithful of Trump supporters, this is the only reasonable standard.
And therefore, there is your one percent president. There is a one percent chance that he is the smartest guy in every room and that he has, in a few short weeks, mastered politics to such a degree that he knows how to bring the recalcitrant lifetime crooks and swindlers (i.e. politicians and elites) to their knees while all-the-while slowly destroying the support he received from his base and in any case convincing everyone he has to deal with that he is crazy.
I leave this door open…well, one percent open.
So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance….
Then again, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that this isn’t the case.