The path to shutting the Trump train down appeared on Saturday night as he gave his victory speech in South Carolina.
As Marco Rubio spoke the crowd kept breaking in with chants of Marco, Marco, Marco. He smiled.
As Ted Cruz spoke the crowd kept breaking in with chants of Ted, Ted, Ted. He smiled.
As Trump spoke the crowd kept breaking in with chants of USA, USA, USA. He smiled.
While many of us inherently recoil at his bombastic narcissism he has successfully branded himself not as Trump … but USA.
And you know what? It was in that moment I was able to clarify why I will truly do anything in my power to convince everyone Trump should not be the president of USA. While I abhor everything he stands for as a business person <style, attitude & way he conducts business> I actually get angry with the vision of USA he feels like he embodies.
I get angry with him for trying to sell us a lesser version of who & what we are as a country.
I get angry that he is manipulating people’s attitudes with a vision of cheap wins, and that a win is a win, and that winning is all that matters.
I get angry that psychologically he is plucking our perceived “wussification of America” string so well that far too many of us are lulled by the melody and are ignoring the lyrics.
Here is the beginning of my memo.
Make people see he does not embody USA <winning isn’t everything and that true glory is found in winning the right way>.
Show people the USA who wins … the right way <not his way>.
Why approach it this way?
At the moment people are simplistic arranging thoughts in their head that “USA is flawed, sure he is flawed, but we have always won as a flawed country, therefore he can help us win.”
If you un-align the link between USA & Trump then the semi-logical magic disappears.
If you un-align his flaws with USA’s version of ‘good winning’ the semi-logical magic disappears.
Or maybe just becomes convoluted enough that people start truly questioning not only can he win but do we really want to win ‘the trump way.’
If you re-align the link between the moments where America did it the right way and won <which is counter to any living example Trump could ever give> he loses some magic.
If you debunk that not all wins are created equal people start questioning his ‘how to win’ techniques <because ultimately USA places fairness and fair wins on the highest pedestal of wins>.
Winning isn’t everything. Winning the right way is everything.
There is such a thing as a crappy win.
A crappy win is one in which you have compromised rules, or “managed” the rules, or compromised morals <under the guise of ‘situational do what needed to be done’>.
We can always find reasons for exceptions for what we do. The more difficult path is to find reason to stay the course morally and do what you need to do … and win.
The most odd thing in this whole stomach churning embarrassing episode in presidential history is that this man, Trump, embodies all of Wall Street and big business management that has created the massive inequality between the haves and have nots.
He embodies ‘economic salvation’ at the expense of ‘salvation by society.’
He is one of the older generation of business leaders that Peter Drucker warned us about in the 1980’s. They are the ones focused on ‘economic salvation’ and their attitude with regard to all their behavior is always “it is just business” as they drive toward the almighty profit and business ‘win’ … all the while not accepting responsibility for the fact business conduct, theirs in particular, bleeds not only into organizational culture but society itself.
He is the poster child for USA … but the USA we hate and are angry about.
He has hijacked USA’s code of honor and placed it within the same cloak Wall Street and 1980’s big business management wore when they squeezed the working class to gain profits & bonuses & higher stock prices.
Trump embodies the management class who justified squeezing the working middle class by stating “I created jobs.”
Yeah. Even a camel dying of thirst will drink poisoned water.
Yeah. Even a working person dying without a job or stagnant pay and a growing family will drink Trump’s poisoned message.
Trump is not USA. The memo to all who is facing him would suggest you don’t begin by attacking Trump but rather start attacking his vision of what a USA win looks like. The moment you create a vision of America that doesn’t match with what he is currently selling <as he conducts his public Art of the Deal with USA public> he then has to start explaining how he wins and what he believes winning looks like. That is the point his vision dies.
Because his version of winning comes at the expense of you & I and at the expense of our soul.
Trump sold his business soul <I want to be clear … I imagine he is dedicated to his family & friends> to the devil in the interest of winning at all costs.
Regardless of whether that cost is to us or not.
Regardless of whether the path to getting us on his path is driven by lies or “made up” facts.
His drive to win is littered with “do whatever it take to push everyone over the finish line” … regardless of whatever “it” is.
The end will justify the means.
Ultimately, here is the ‘deal’ Trump is offering everyone. We will win. It may come at the expense of some moral beliefs, it may come at the expense of long term benefits to us, but isn’t it worth it to win … and win now?
I have no doubt he could find some ‘wins’ economically but they will come at the expense of the soul of USA … generosity, integrity, ethics and morality.
What he seems to have forgotten is that we CAN win without making those sacrifices. Maybe he hasn’t forgotten … maybe he just doesn’t care.
The business version of this man … the prospective presidential version of this man … partially disgusts me and will always disturb my business sense of how to do things and conduct a successful business.
But now that I think of him as “USA” I am not just disgusted & disturbed but I am viscerally sick to my stomach. We need to disconnect Trump from who & what USA is. We need to show that there is a better version of winning and that there is a better version of USA.
There is a path to blunting this Trumpet blast. But it is challenging.
It is mostly challenging because there is really only one person left competing with him who can poke holes in his business ‘win acumen’ and ethics – Kasich. He is the only one with any business experience. All the rest are politicians and he will crush them with a bombastic “you’re a politician and are stupid and incompetent with regard to business dealings.”
It is actually up to business people to make his ‘great win’ acumen house of cards fall.
I would gladly take him on one-on-one and expose the business truth of Trump.
I imagine there are a shitload of smarter “me’s” out there who would do the same.
But that part of the challenge is up to us.
Politicians can always point out the disparity of the haves versus the have not nature in his acumen <the huge gap between his compensation, Ivanka’s compensation, his line-of-business presidents compensation and the everyday workers who make him his money>. Politicians can certainly point out how his businesses and style are a reflection of the current fucked up state of big business <not the desired state>.
But, ultimately, it is up to people like me who can take him on one-on-one to argue the costs of winning his way in business and undercut the ‘value’ he sells USA about his ‘winning.’
One last benefit to addressing Trump this way?
Watch the business people who will come to his defense.
It will be a boatload of older wealthy business people who got us into this current big business shithole we are in. It will be the ‘benevolent dictators’ who will expound upon their business success … all pointing out they never ‘broke any laws’ <as they stretched integrity to its limits pushing against the boundaries of ‘legal’> neglecting the fact their success made them very very wealthy … and their employees remain very very not wealthy.
I was only half paying attention last night as the news was playing the south Carolina follow up speeches but then I sat up straight as I listened to the Trump crowd chanting USA, USA, USA. It was a “moment.”
A moment of clarity. A moment in which I finally understood his adeptness at branding.
He has branded himself as USA.
And it is not the USA I believe in or envision.