Is President Elect Trump Gaming Us?

Is President Elect Trump Gaming Us? November 29, 2016
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by PingPing
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by PingPing

Are President Elect Trump and his erstwhile campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, gaming all of us?

I kinda think they are.

Here’s the dealio.

President Elect Trump is doing his run-up to the oath-taking in much the same way that he did his cruel little game show, The Apprentice. You know, he called in a bunch of people and waved a “job” in front of them, then made them jump through hoops while he sat there like a little lord of the universe and either “fired” or “hired” them.

It was a sadistic show with a sadistic premise. And millions of people grooved on its sadism.

Now, we’re getting a re-run of the same show, only this time the “jobs” in question are cabinet positions and high-level postings within our government and President Elect Trump’s upcoming administration. Just like in his television show, President Trump calls in lots of candidates and puts them through various hoops in a kind of elimination finals. He parades them in front of the press and gets a fix of having people grovel before him. Then, he moves on.

I was talking about this shoddy way of doing business with friends a week or so ago and one of them remarked that they thought the Donald was using these “meetings” as a way of polling each contender for government office with the public. They think that our President Elect runs potential candidates for positions in his administration up the media flagpole of media and then watches to see how the public reacts.

That’s an interesting idea, and it probably has a bit of truth to it. But there are other factors in everything our President Elect does which I think we’re going to have to consider when interpreting his behavior going forward.

Foremost among them is the simple and obvious fact that he’s a cruel man. And he’s a vengeful man. And he cannot abide any slight to himself.

I think the latest expression of his cruelty is the very public dog and pony show he’s been running concerning the position of Secretary of State. Given the dark shadow of nuclear weapons, this is a position of some importance to our continued survival as a species. It also will have a lot to say about whether or not President Trump ends up spilling our children’s blood in an unnecessary war.

But, once again, President Elect Trump has played it like another episode of his sick little television show. Only this time, he’s gone over the top with it in order to settle a grudge.

Do you remember how he behaved after he got the Republican nomination? Remember the nasty little game he played with House Speaker Paul Ryan about how he was “considering” whether or not to endorse him? That was payback for Speaker Ryan’s refusal to endorse candidate Trump earlier, when the nomination was still a bit undecided. It was candidate Trump, playing his nasty little pay-back game and showing himself to be what he is.

I didn’t keep up with the campaign early on because I was occupied with my own life. But evidently Governor Mitt Romney opposed candidate Trump’s bid for the presidency rather vigorously.

So, everyone was tres surprised when President Elect Trump trotted out Governor Romney for consideration for Secretary of State. But there they were, smiling for the cameras, with Governor Romney looking like a puppy dog, shaking and twittering in his eagerness to please, doing the public grovel before the man he’d critiqued a few months before.

Then, just to make things spicy, Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter and the airwaves, going on about how many tweets she’d gotten from Trump’s followers denouncing the idea of Secretary of State Romney.

Now Mrs Conway has, especially since the big win in November, said things about President Elect Trump that are basically fawning in their admiration and support. She’s toed the Trump line so hard that I’ve lost faith in her willingness to part company with him if he deep-sixes pro life behind closed doors — which I am pretty sure he’s going to do.

There was a time when I regarded Mrs Conway as the canary in the pro life mineshaft. I thought that if/when President Trump sold us out, she would go at him over it and thus let us know what had happened. But I’ve put that idea away.

I’ve watched her behavior since the election, and it’s verging more and more to the role of flattering court sycophant. Just for the record, that’s what I expect to see a lot of, going forward, because I think that’s what our new president elect demands.

To get back to Governor Romney, for some reason Mrs Conway jumped off the Trump ship and began berating the Governor publicly. It appeared for all the world that she was going against President Elect Trump.

Now, I’m not stupid. I knew that wasn’t the deal. I mean, just think about her “reason” for opposing Governor Romney for Secretary of State. It had nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — to do with what is good for this country. Nope. She said that Governor Romney had “hurt” President Elect Trump during the campaign. That was her reason.

The ridiculous reason Mrs Conway gave for opposing Governor Romney’s nomination was straight out of the Henry VIII Court Sycophant’s Playbook. None of this added up.

Meanwhile, the dummies in the press were going all agog about the “fight” inside Trump transition headquarters, the breakdown among his team over Governor Romney. As if.

Here’s what I think is happening. I think that President Elect Trump wanted big time payback against Governor Romney for his behavior during the campaign. One thing I’m sure of about our president elect is that he’s into petty score-settling.

I think the consideration of Governor Romney is phony. I think President Elect Trump gets off on making people who opposed him come groveling.

I also think that the dealio Mrs Conway is doing with the press is a deliberate thing, a planned act, to, you know, turn the knife a bit. I think they’re gaming us.

I also think it’s not the first time we’ve been gamed and it certainly will not be the last.

Our President Elect is a cruel man.

Sexual assault is cruelty. Going into the dressing rooms at a Miss Teen America pageant and oogling and humiliating the underage girls as they stand there without clothes is cruel. Grabbing people and ramming your hands up inside them against their will, or as he put it, “grabbing their p——“ is cruel.

Terrifying millions of people with the threat of breaking up their families is cruel. Racism is cruel. His television show was cruel.

He is cruel.

And the way he’s auditioning people for his administration is just another act in the crude, trashy way that he uses power to practice his cruelty.

I have no idea why anyone would want to be in the Trump administration. I can’t imagine allowing my name to be associated with his in any way. I wrote blog posts during the campaign when I didn’t feel like writing at all for the express purpose of making it clear that I did not support him. I did that because I do not want my grandchildren looking back on this time and being ashamed of their grandmother.

It made me sad at first that people grooved on this sadistic man’s sadism. It kind of scared me that he had activated the absolute worst in so many people. This is not a leader who appeals to the angels of our better nature. This is a man who inspires hatred, misogyny, racism and cruelty.

It scared me at first when I contemplated what this man is going to do with the Justice Department. His candidacy has already degraded the people of this country, including the Christians. Once the fear of him locks in — and it will — I have no idea how low we will sink.

All that scared me.

But no more.

For some odd reason, this sick little game with Governor Romney and the idiotic way the press has fallen for it shut down my apprehensions. In order to fall into the trap of President Elect Trump’s cruelty, you’ve got to be a bit soft in the head. Your ambition must override your ability to see what is in front of you.

Governor Romney did not have to go trotting over to that interview. He could have said no.

If they want to keep their dignity and their integrity, a lot of people are going to have to start saying no. It’s easy, really, once you get started. Just remember who you’re dealing with.

Are President Elect Trump and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway gaming us?

I think they are.

A lot of people like these cruel games. They’re going to keep watching and grooving on it and allowing it to make them meaner and crueler themselves.

But not me.

And I hope, not you.

We can do what Governor Romney should have done. We can say no.

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55 responses to “Is President Elect Trump Gaming Us?”

  1. This column is a masterpiece. Thank you.

    A blogger from the other side of the spectrum, Josh Marshall, has noted repeatedly that Trump’s world is a zero sum game. One has to be dominant and the other has to be humiliated. He does not know how to relate to someone as an equal.

    To say that this is some kind of plan by Trump is to give him too much credit. I don’t think he’s planning any master scheme. He’s just being who he is, as you point out.

  2. You’re probably right. I didn’t vote for Trump, which considering that his opponent was Hillary Clinton, means I really can’t stand him.

    Still, so far, he is appointing pro-life people to key positions, which is good. My hope is that he really doesn’t have a lot of desire to do the day to day hard work of the Presidency, and that he’ll govern like a good businessman, leaving most of the work to his delegates.

    Some of his rumored offers (like Falwell Jr. for the Secretary of Education) border on the bizarre, but others have been pretty good.

    There is no question in my mind that Trump is a petty narcissist. Others want him to divest his businesses. Me – I hope he is more interested in his businesses than in the Presidency, and leaves the bulk of the work to those he has appointed.

    My biggest fear for Trump is in the area of foreign policy. If he gets in a war of egos with certain world leaders, that would be a very bad development for the entire world.

    • You really think those he has “chosen” can run the country? Have you read their “qualifications?” Do you know the history of Bannon?

      • I am not sure what to think about Bannon. He himself claims not to be a racist and those who know him attest that he’s not a racist, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. There’s so much fake news floating around that I hardly know what to believe any more.

        My position is that, no matter who he chooses to run various aspects, they are very unlikely to be worse than Trump.

      • The rymors of Bannon being racist are greatly exaggerated, and easily disproven by the diversity of thought he has assembled at Brietbart. Unlike liberals, conservatives do not practice politically correct groupthink, so yes, there are some racists in the mix, but they are by no means a majority.

        • That is absolutely not true. First of all, the alt right is not conservative. It is something else entirely. Second, the “conservatives” we have in office today are, by and large, anything but classical conservatives. They are Ayn Randian economic dunderheads.

          As for conservatives not engaging in group think; fergeddabout it. The right and the left are mirror images of one another. As someone who has been and, if I let the nonsense through you would see is right now, being attacked by both sides, I can tell you there is no difference between them. They are both vicious, crazy, destructive, intolerant and absolutely unwilling to entertain the thought that any idea they have is less than an eternal verity shot down from Olympus by Zeus himself.

    • I definitely don’t think “pro-life” is the word to describe his choices. Sessions was considered too racist for a judge during the Reagan Administration. He is vehemently against the Civil Rights of 1964.
      And Price, the nominee for Healh and Human Services, is ready to throw the ACA out the door, and shred SS and Medicare. That would throw millions of people off insurance, and make it more difficult for seniors to stay in good health.

      • Being pro-life is wanting to protect the unborn babies and elderly and disabled from direct and lawful murder. It does not include propping up government health insurance plans. There can be disagreements about how to best help people who have been oppressed or disadvantaged. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was a big power grab by the federal government. There could have been a different approach to the problem of segregation.

          • Small business loans to minorities to start their own non-segregated businesses, which would then be subsidised until they grabbed a majority of the market share. Maybe if we had done that instead we would not today have “food deserts” in self-segregated black neighborhoods where the only food available is cheap fast food and the nearest supermarket is miles away.

            The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a failure. Today’s race war, whipped up in an attempt to force unemployed blacks to vote for Hillary, is the direct result of the failure of identity politics.

            • Ted, you’re really going overboard here. We’re not having a “race war.” What we’re having is a sicko media, that seems intent on dividing us, engaging in race-baiting after a presidential candidate, who won, made race-baiting and misogyny the centerpieces of his campaign. Severe moral damage has been done to this nation by this election and by the man who won it. But we are not having a race war.

              As for the 64 Civil Rights Act being a “failure,” no, it was not. It opened access to the larger society to Afrian Americans and women. It all but ended Jim Crow politics — until we elected President Elect Trump and doing that validated that kind of political behavior all over again.

              • I seem to remember 5 cops dead in Dallas before Trump was even finally officially chosen as the Candidate. I remember both Hillary Clinton and President Obama endorsing Black Lives Matter even as the mobs were chanting on my nightly news “Kill the cops”. We’ve averaged one ambush incident a month since July, from that.

                Identity politics always ends up more divisive than inclusive; there’s no hope of inclusion when people identify themselves as anything other than merely human.

                I can’t see anything the 1964 civil rights act did to “open access”- we still today have self-segregated neighborhoods and jobs. And the gang violence of the 1980s and 1990s is now being passed down to a new generation. Sure it ended Jim Crow, but it required ending the concepts of free speech and free assembly to do so.

                • I remember the white man who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma way before Trump, the young man who is white, a year ago, killing 9 Black church members, and other incidents that happened way before this election. Do you remember the days before the Civil Right’s Act? Have you lived in the deep south of this country? It was a very different world before that bill—very unjust to anyone who wasn’t the right color.

            • I disagree that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (year I was married) was a failure. Living in the deep south of this country, I remember the “white” and “colored” water fountains, the separated waiting rooms in the public transportation buildings, no houses sold in “white” areas to “colored” people, no children of color in “white” schools, or even in the state universities either at that time, etc. By no means are things perfect now—but IMO, they are much better than they would have been if that bill hadn’t been passed in 1964. I do not see a race war—-

      • I am talking about issues related to abortion, since if you can’t survive till birth, health care tends not to be an issue. Speaking of the ACA, it does need to be revised substantially. I hear lots of things about Sessions. Again, I’m not sure what to believe. There was an article in the WSJ refuting that he is a racist. Not sure, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. At worst, Trump’s picks will be equally loony as Obama’s – just on the other extreme.

  3. Not sure they’re gaming us, although it’s possible, but they surely are gaming the press, and making them out as fools. It’s a reality show, I suspect he already knows who he’ll nominate, but it keeps him front and center, and so far, while not perfect, his nominees haven’t been bad at all.

  4. What can I say, Rebecca? You have hit the nail on the head–I agree with everything you wrote! I have continued to have the feeling that Trump is behaving like he is in the middle of a TV reality show—-with all the drama that brings. (just as he did while campaigning). This may sound terrible, but I have also wondered what the relationship between Trump and Conway might be. Personally, she just makes me angry(as does her boss) and I can’t listen to her for very long. However she is very, very loyal to him, and I wonder if they might have been involved at one point? I don’t think Trump is faithful to this wife anymore than he was to the other 2. This country is in for a rough 4 years. I need to find something to do on January 20, as there is no way I’m going to watch the swearing in ceremony. It also happens to be what would have been my husband’s birthday. I’m going to celebrate his life, and try to forget that a new leader (?) will start “running” this country.

    • I cannot say how much I am touched by your last two sentences. Yes, do celebrate the memory of a good man, and ignore the worthless things in the world. I would like to say more, but it would be presumptuous.

      • Thank you, Fabio, for your kind words. It is appreciated. My late husband was a wonderful man, literally the “love of my life”. Blessings to you.

  5. I saw another take on this recently:

    Snark aside, they might be on to something. The Mercers were the ones who bankrolled the Trump campaign for the general election. They also paid for the RNC convention when most other donors backed out and pretty much took over the Trump campaign, bringing in Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.

    To give more context, they released this video at the time:

    So all these public political spats might be just the results of the puppet masters pulling their strings.

  6. Note: There are a few comments that I’ve approved repeatedly. I even answered one of them — twice!! — and they don’t come through. Apologies folks. I’ll try again later.

  7. Trump and the wife are having dinner with Romney and wife this evening. Funny how now he “likes’ Romney and is interviewing him for a large position in his royal cabinet. IF Trump invites him into the inner sanctuary of his administration, I have a feeling Romney will certainly not say “NO”. He wants to be in the limelight too, and will give up his feelings of dislike for Trump to do so, apparently. And it seems that Trump has “forgotten” the disagreements of the past. What a mess.

  8. So true. Trump is vindictive, cruel and demands dedicated bootlicking from those he works with. There is no sign that he has ever been in a relationship with another human being whom he regarded a s an equal. But this is who almost half of Americans voted for. My idiot cousin stated outright that it was payback to liberals who made them, as conservatives, feel disrespected and overlooked. So much for putting the good of the country first. The thin-skinned voting for the thin-skinned
    None of that explains why a Republican of good character, well-educated and with a good temperament wasn’t nominated.

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