Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession

Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession
“Sophilos Dinos” (wine-bowl) showing guests arriving at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. In the first car -Zeus and Hera, 2nd-Poseidon and Amphitrite. Source: British Museum (Wikicommons)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Post election analysis

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

The Presidential election came as a surprise to many, and the question is: How did Donald win ? Was it by taking the white majority vote of unsatisfied voters leery of the political establishment ? Here are some answers I offer:


  1. Masculinity is in. Trump won by being unapologetically Trump. Trump went into every rally and discussion knowing that he will win. Trump won by defiance. Trump won by being an alpha male. An alpha male will not stand back for a second. Trump won the vote of male millennials. There was no opposition. The youngest male voters saw a choice between the alpha Trump and a frail grandmother (Hillary). She never stood the chance. If the Democrats fail to cultivate an alpha personality they will continue to lose. Civility is out. 
  2. Trump won by having the frame of of a winner. Trump deflected every criticism that came his way. It was as if he had a a shield and everything they threw at him was going right past, not even touching. 
  3. Trump won on personality, "attack dog" type. A bully needs a bully. Hillary could not defend herself against the feral, incessant attacks of Trump.
  4. Trump was the Twitter candidate that used social media to stardom. Of course, it pays to be a celebrity. He was the star of the Celebrity Apprentice Show, taking it to the next level. Americans love their celebrities, and both critics and fans of Trump were fond of the former star. Trump loves the spotlight and it showed. 
  5. Trump's tactics unraveled the political norms. Trump sidestepped his GOP rivals with those same alpha male tactics (see 8.)  These are the same bare knuckles rules that work in the hood. Political appointees should study them to know how to fight rather then fall like feathers. How do you fight a bully, in your company, in your organization ? How do you fight a bully boss? How do you fight a Trump? I may write about it at a later date.
  6. Trump's brash salesmanship won over his supporters. His sometimes infantile remarks were the delight of the public. "Trump’s critics argue that he seems thoughtless and unreflective but that is precisely the source of his power. The impression Trump conveys of being out of control— but also uncontrollable— is better seen as a force emanating from the collective American id than as the babblings of an individual."-Eli Zaretsky . Trump's unabashed narcissism: people loved it. 
  7. Trump's bashing on P.C : the anti-P.C. vote
  8. Trump's re-framing of complaints: "You are worse than me because you ..." is precisely how the average person thinks and fights. No refinement there, no scripts.
  9. WWSJD ? What Would Steve Jobs [have] Done  I sometimes ask myself . I wish Steve Jobs were alive.  Don't you ? A New York real estate salesman vs. the tech supersalesman. But Jobs wasn't interested in the Presidency, not even remotely. He wasn't power hungry.
  10. During this election there was no mentioning of God, not even a whisper. Is this a harbinger of things to come ?
What's next:
It remains to be seen how the campaign tactics differ from governing tactics. It remains to be seen if Trump's megalomaniac proclivities will be reigned in.  


Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar:


The proposed wall, however, looks like an economic white elephant. It would cost (estimates) $12 to $25 Bn- wall estimates at Bernstein Research and would come with a huge yearly maintenance bill (~$700 MM) all in today's dollars. Although I understand what Trump wants to say make it "beautiful" but this is not an office tower, it makes no economic sense. Trump says Mexico will pay for the wall. There's some kind of convoluted blackmail logic involved betting on Mexico responding to the threat of withholding outbound money transfers to Mexico [from undocumented workers]. In exchange of making that threat go away Mexico would agree to pay huge tariffs and surcharges on their exports to the U.S. The Mexicans would have to be incredibly gullible and weak minded to pay attention to that argument. First, why give in to Trump's demands when Trump is deporting those workers [whose remittances he talks about] anyways ?  That dwindling [remittance] base looks even less certain now, and estimates for it are unreliable. Second, Mexico would challenge Trump in International Court of Human Rights and possibly other venues. Is Trump the "savior from the Mongol hordes", builder of the "Great Wall of China ? Not unless you live in year 723 BC.

Friends do not build walls at their friends. Walls do not belong in the 21st Century.


Looking forward I foresee a recession circa 2018 and -finally !- the burst of the Silicon Valley bubble. Details to come.





History lesson: Reagan demands the fall of the Berlin Wall, History Channel photo archives






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