As to the “how” of the president-elect’s triumph - he may be willfully ignorant on many important topics, but he isn’t stupid. Drumpf’s communication skill is the topic of this blog post written in March 2016 by Michael D. Griffith. Mr. Griffith is not a political consultant; he is a communications consultant. In the post, he analyzes, in explicit detail and with examples, how Drumpf influences people. It’s fascinating and a little unnerving.
As to the “why” of Drumpf, the article Phantasmagoria, on the Medium website, helped explain the reasons behind the incredible amount of lying and dissembling that is the foundation of the Drumpf style. In a nutshell, when the political landscape becomes confusing and you don’t know what sources to trust, it sets the stage for authoritarian rule. Someone comes along and makes declarative, confident statements amid the chaos; people listen and follow. This is what our president-elect is counting on. He wants his ideas to be implemented and he will use his expert skills of manipulation on the public and Congress to make it so. That he is an amoral narcissist with cruel and downright dangerous ideas is a big problem.
What stands in the way of Drumpf is that a majority of people are not willing to give up their moral principles for a sketchy promise of security and wealth. State, county and local governments are where people can take an effective stand against the coming wave of regressive ideology. Grassroots movements are effective. That’s why the Tea Party movement was co-opted early on by the big money oligarchs. It’s why the charter school movement takes great pains to make it seem as if parents are demanding “choice” rather than quality public schools. Former Congressional staffers have specific advice for effective advocacy in this Google doc: Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda Working together in solidarity we can have a society that is just, fair and sustainable.
P.S. Drumpf was Donald Trump’s grandfather’s surname when he emigrated from Germany. I used it here to refer to D. Trump just because I like it better.
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