Thursday, February 2, 2017


Now, this may not be as earth-shattering as the discovery of Penicillin, but I have finally figured out why we are seeing outrageous policy announcements which upset so many people outside the USA, and find favour inside the USA.

First you have to recognize a couple of situations:
1.    Only a minority of American citizens have a passport.
2.    Most Americans do not, and do not wish to, travel outside America.
3.    Donald Trump’s heartland voters are mostly lower middle class, poor, rustbelt and Midwest citizens, who are extremely unworldly.
4.    Donald Trump’s supporters could care less about global outrage.
5.    Donald Trump is crazy, like a fox.

Now to policy, and implementation:

Here’s how it works, and we’ll use the immigration/border closing issue as an example.

First, Steve Bannon identifies countries which are Muslim, but in which Donald Trump’s companies have no financial dealings. They are put on a ‘banned list’ and the countries where Trump has financial links are exempted.
So far so good.
Second, Trump announces the ban, it is cheered by his heartland voters because he is implementing a policy espoused on the campaign trail.
All Trump supporters are now heartily glad they voted for Trump.
Why does Trump appear unaffected by criticism? Because the ban will only be in place for 90 days, and then, mysteriously, it will be announced that the President is satisfied new processes are now in place to protect America, and the ban will disappear.
Trump’s supporters will relax. The President has implemented a campaign promise; he has halted the unchecked flow of refugees and Moslems, and now things have been ‘fixed up’, life can go on. I know this is a very cynical observation, but I’m sure I’m right.

That great American showman P.T. Barnum once said: “Never overestimate the intelligence of the public.”

Of course, he was referring to how easily his paying customers were taken in by sleight of hand and magic tricks. Funny, isn’t that what President Trump is doing to his heartland.

The educated section of the USA can see what’s happening, but his heartland will continue to support his showmanship, grand gestures and tyrannical outbursts. They will love every minute of it.

Until we get to something serious. Then let’s see if the Trump Administration is really up to the job of protecting America, creating more jobs, defending the dollar and ‘Making America Great Again’.

This is going to a very interesting (and probably scary) four years.

To quote one of my favourite American composers, Cole Porter: "Anything Goes"

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