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Friday, June 30th, 2017 09:01 am
I think the resistance (whatever that means) is overlooking a potentially devastating weapon: Trump's insecurities. His pathological need for approval obviously overrides any moral, political or intellectual core he might have. Why aren't we trying to take advantage of this?

(Because he's loathsome, that's why. But that just means only equally loathsome people are left to stoke his ego, resulting in loathsome policies.)

I 100% believe that if Trump thought the majority of the country wanted him to do something (say, push for single payer), he would do it. He wouldn't consider the cost to his party, or the practical considerations. Particularly if he saw it as one-upping Obama. He just needs to hear "people will love you if you can do this thing Obama couldn't manage".

So: How do we get a message like that to him?
Friday, June 30th, 2017 05:06 pm (UTC)
I agree and have thought about this a lot. I think forgiving student loan debt would be another one that you could get in his toolbox for winning approval if you had his ear. I've thought about just starting to send persuasive letters to the White House with various social goods I think he'd be willing to accomplish for the sake of posterity (he can name them after himself for all I care) and widening his approval. Even though it's implausible, one of the things I worry about with that approach is giving cover for awful things he wants to do, or that people want him to do.

I think someone desperate for approval can in some ways be a great politician to be a proxy for the people, especially in the role of the executive, but a handled person desperate for approval cannot. As much as we talk about Trump being impossible to handle and use his Twitter activity as proof, he's pretty well got a star chamber whose approval he wants more, or who he trusts to tell him what will garner him approval. They probably are the ones telling him everything is fake news, and that secretly he is universally-beloved.
Saturday, July 1st, 2017 07:57 pm (UTC)
I really like this idea, but I wonder if it might be one of the hardest to sell. I think there are a lot of areas in which he has no real opinions of his own, and is very easy to lead. But if there is one where he is likely to put his heels in, I think it might be money - and giving money to people who actually need it in a useful way? ...there might be a pitch in there, but it seems pretty non-Trumpian.

But I am super open to a pitch.
Friday, June 30th, 2017 07:00 pm (UTC)
You forget that he seems to have genuinely internalized what's been the Republican party line since the '70s: that anyone poorer than or darker than you deserves misery and death. His MAGA slogan reeks of nostalgia for a past that never existed. Not even the most skilled tongue bath - and I certainly don't have the stomach to deliver it - could convince him to do something forward-looking.
Saturday, July 1st, 2017 06:29 pm (UTC)
My (first-hand, very personal) experience of people who are like Trump is that seeming like you could manipulate them easily is just part of the dark web of ugly charisma they weave.

You might win a battle but you'd somehow end up losing the war *because* you won the battle. In this case, you'd, say, end up getting single-payer but not managing to avoid the complete fascist takeover of day-to-day life in every regard.

Better to shun and to work really really hard on Trump supporters' Overton windows to get them to come over to the shunning side too.
Saturday, July 1st, 2017 07:58 pm (UTC)
A fair bit has been written on this, specific to Trump.
Monday, July 3rd, 2017 05:55 pm (UTC)
Well spake.
Saturday, July 1st, 2017 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think many people are working to exploit it. For instance, I think the editorial board of the New York Time (to name only one) is hoping to push him to complete meltdown.

It makes for a surrealist game, but I think it might be a cleaner fight than trying to engage with him more directly. (There were some interesting observation on what it took to take down Berlusconi.)