The Trump Disillusionment?

The legacy of Trump presidency may be one the greatest examples of voter ignorance or dissonance–by many pundits the ‘right’ who originally supported Trump but later realized he wasn’t who they thought he was…whoops. With Bush (1st and 2nd), it was obvious what you were getting (a big govt. conservative who supports interventionism, lax borders, and supply-side economics); same for Hillary and Bill Clinton (social welfare, big govt.), and Obama (social welfare, big govt.). But Trump is more amorphous, and many pundits projected unto him what they wanted to believe, while ignoring or overlooking Trump’s actual policy (but Trump was never a ‘policy guy’, which contributed to his appeal but also made it hard to understand what he stood for besides ‘making America great again’ and ‘securing the borders’). The narrative was like, “yeah, Bush sucks, Obama sucks, Clinton sucks, but Trump…he’s an ‘outsider’…he’s different…therefore, he must support small government and less defense spending…”

In ‘I don’t think that candidate is who you think he is’, I predicted such disillusionment, and sure enough here are some recent posts on Unz:

Mike Whitney, The Berkeley Incident:

So if the Chancellor had already gone the extra mile to protect free speech, then why did Trump decide to lower the boom on him? Was he genuinely angry with the Chancellor’s performance or did he interject himself for political reasons? In other words, how did Trump stand to benefit from getting involved in this mess?

Trump is not the libertarian many hoped he would be. He’s a big government nationalist with some socialist leanings regarding business, as well as an interventionist who supports a ‘big stick’ approach to foreign policy and more defense spending. This will drive the Ron Paul, small-government folks nuts. He’s also course, heavy handed, and not very erudite, which will annoy some of right-wing punditry intelligentsia, as well, obviously, as the left, to no end.

Other examples:

Patrick Cockburn, Trump’s Comments Towards Iran Could Deepen Conflict in the Region:

President Trump is adding further venom to the raging sectarian hatreds tearing apart Iraq and Syria by his latest ill-judged tweets. These have far greater explosive potential than his better known clashes with countries like Australia and Mexico, because in the Middle East he is dealing with matters of war and peace. In this complex region, the US will have to pay a high price for switching to a vaguely belligerent policy which pays so little regard to the real situation on the ground.

The Trump administration seems to think in tweets and slogans, so it is probably wrong to speak of a coherent change in policy.

And another Trump Presidency — First SNAFUs Already:

If it happens, the US attack on Iran will look very much like the 2006 Israel war on Hezbollah, and it will achieve the same results, only on a bigger scale. To put it simply – it will be a total disaster and it will mark the failure of the Trump presidency.

Trump is not going to attack Iran and jeopardize the war against ISIS. This just posturing and far from a foreign policy failure by Trump.

And from Fred Reeeed Many Storms Gathering: Reflections on Trump:

Trump is extremely combative, erratic, apparently a bully, and responds to resistance by doubling down. To many of us, including me, this was immensely satisfying when he told the press to bugger off, defied the Clinton-Wall Street-Beltway elites, and talked of putting the interests of America before those of big business. The campaign was fine entertainment. Because so many were sick of the elites, he is President. Fun as a candidate, but in a President?

More of his hostility seems to spring from failed developments in Mexico, the Trump Ocean Resort Baja California, in which purchasers of expensive apartments lost large down payments when the developments were not built.

LA Times:

“All told, two years of aggressive marketing yielded $32.5 million in buyer deposits, every bit of it spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. Most of the buyers sued them for fraud.”

Whether the reason for the failure was incompetence or a deliberate scam depends on who you talk to.

If one actually reads the details about the dissolution of the Trump Ocean Resort, the developer ran off with the money, which Trump obviously could not have foreseen.

In 2016, Social Matter put out kinda a macabre article Mass Shootings Make Sense In A Democracy, which stuck with me.

And therein lies the problem with democracy, politics, and activism: it creates the illusion of individual control and power, when it really just answers to the ‘tyranny’ of the status quo and stability. Stability, generally, is good, but the problem is the disconnect between expectations and reality that arises from democracy. Democracy instills that individuals can make a difference, yet the disillusionment arises when politicians fall short of expectations, but disillusionment also arises when culture and economics rewards individualism as embodied by individual merit, status, and success–while a vote, in the grand schemes of things, is merely symbolic (a lot people would probably exchange their vote for, say, $1,000). The cynicism , predictability, and banality of democracy is masked by a pretense of change and individual empowerment. In the UAE or Saudi Arabia, both of which have absolute monarchies, there is no such thing as politics–but there is also no disillusionment, meaning that the gap between expectations and reality is minimal, but Arab monarchies are bad in their own unique ways, so this is for demonstrative purposes. But one can see how it’s almost cruel or even sadistic, in a way, how democracy dangles the carrot that embodies our hopes and wishes, and just when it’s within reach, pulls it away.

It’s pretty obvious that turning to politics is unproductive. The solution, as outlined here and here, is to focus on ‘localism’ (the inner circle) instead of ‘globalism’.