This Trump Thing: Aspects of a Wrecking Ball

Holy Hannah. This next election is shaping up to be a zoo. We have Biden, a veritable zombie dependent on his ambient ventriloquists and more Adderall than Cornell in exam week.  There is Kamala, so close to nonexistent that we could send her home and just keep her nameplate. . No one would notice. And then we have….

Oh God.


The man is an odd fish. He has the earmarks of a psychopath: glib, grandiose, risk-taker, arch manipulator, apparently lacking empathy. He is also the best pure political mechanic America has ever produced.

Think about it. He was almost unknown outside New York City except through a cheesy reality show on television. He had no governmental experience, no political backing. So he comes down the escalator and says he is running for President. Hoots of laughter from the usual suspects. He then campaigns against heated opposition of both parties, the media, and academia.

And wins.

You can’t do this. It is impossible. You need a vast political machine. Endorsements. Testimonials from half-educated narcissists in Hollywood. That sort of thing. You can’t just decide to be President, as if it were  something amusing to do on a slow afternoon–and do it. You just can’t.

And, ye gods and little catfish,  he may do it again. Multiply indicted, facing possible jail time, censored on the web, savagely attacked by the ruling establishment–yet maintaining a massive following. It’s genius. Evil genius, you may say, but genius.

So how did he pull it off? The answer seems to me obvious, but when I try to explain it to my rabidly liberal friends in Washington, I can’t. They always grow heated and rave about how horrible Trump is. Yeah, yeah, I say, horrible, no doubt about it, yeah, just like Hitler, eats children, but don’t you see what happened? No, they don’t. Which is why they may do it again.

Here you have to understand Washington, where I slaved for many years in the salt mines of journalism. First, it is homogeneous. In the federal bubble, those in the media all think the same things with the slight exception, sometimes, of Fox News. They talk to each other, drink together, read each other. Everyone they know agrees with them, so they must be right, and aren’t they the hypersophisticated national press corps?

Further, Washington is comfortably secure. It doesn’t know or care that most of America is not. Federal employment, unlike true love, is forever. Lobbyists, K Street lawyers and so on live in mansions in Great Falls. They don’t have to choose between paying the cable bill and buying a new coat as winter comes. They don’t notice, or care, that many do. Unfortunately,they don’t have to worry that Congress might be off-shored to China, which Beijing would likely regard as an act of war. Might be worth a shot anyway.

Yet further, They are intensely snobbish without knowing it, not in person but in having a powerful sense of class superiority. Almost all are college grads, often with advanced degrees. They know important people, dine at elegant restaurants and don’t know anyone who can’t. Of the many I have known of the Washington well-off, I doubt that even one knew an enlisted soldier,or  a guy who drove an eighteen-wheeler for a living, or a policeman or  anyone who ran a down-scale bar–that is, anyone who would vote for Trump. Hillary caught this contempt perfectly, calling these low-order Americans deplorables.

Add that Washington is socially  isolated, sometimes being described as a federal enclave surrounded on all four sides by reality. There is a lot of America out there in America.  No matter how many times you eat at a posh Turkish restaurant on the Hill, you still don’t know how things are in Flint or Wheeling, even if you have dessert.

Which brings us back to Trump. He either read the country astutely, or made an inspired guess, He seems to have sensed the hatred–not too strong a word–of the geographic middle for the coastal elites whose policies have devastated Flyover Land.

Permit me a digression. Long ago, I worked for Soldier of Fortune magazine, started by Bob Brown and  purporting to be a magazine for mercenary soldiers. The nicenesses in Washington and New York boiled over. They denounced it furiously. With every denunciation, circulation went up. It was free advertising that Bob couldn’t have bought with ten million dollars. The reason was that the targeted readers were Vietnam vets who for various reasons hated the smug bastards, as they saw them, who had run the war.

When the media rail against Donald, as they do nonstop, they are campaigning for him but are too stupid to figure it out. So great is the loathing of deplorables for Washington, and all of its friends and allies, and days and works, that they would vote for Jack the Ripper over any of the city’s candidates. Me, too.

But I wander. This is a column about incomprehension. On a recent trip to the Potomac playpen, I found the talking heads gloating, cackling, and swooning with joy over Trump’s indictment because, wow! this will end his electoral prospects. They were shocked, appalled, horrified and related participles when his numbers–went up!

This is a marvel. The inmates of America’s most political city don’t have a retarded gerbil’s understanding of the country they live in, and on. The Bidens are corrupt as three-day-old catfish in hot weather, and the media almost completely avoid noticing. They pile on Trump confirming everything the Deplorables think about the media. Trump’s numbers didn’t go up despite the indictments, but because of them.

Note that, before Trump, the Deplorables had no political representation.  Republicans and Democrats, indistinguishable heads on a bicephalous body, prattled routine platitudes the Deplorables knew were empty air, but in a one-party state,  what choice did they have?

No fools, they could see that none in Washington gave a starveling damn about things crucial to them. For example, the off-shoring of factories and the jobs that fed their families. Or the encouragement of massive immigration of people who would work for five dollars an hour while the Deplorables had mortgagees to feed. Or the overwhelming preference for wars over expenditure on the US.  This latter, I promise, Trump will wield like a meat ax in the campaign, and what will Joe’s ventriloquists have him say?

Washington hasn’t figured this out or it would modify its cliche mix. The likes of MSNBC rail and rail and rail against Trump, talking to lawyer after lawyer, who all seem to know each other. Call Trump all the derogatory names you like. Many will be accurate. But he is the cause of the night horrors in Washington, a candidate not under control of the Two-Headed Monoparty. He might do any goddam thing, such as end the war. Do you  know what that would do to share prices at Lockheed-Martin?

Anyway, like I say, the best pure political mechanic the country has produced.

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Comments 36

  • Exactly!
    Much of the uni-party already has its handlers and revenue sources off-shored to China.

  • Trump’s popularity, according to a study published in the “Translational Issues in Psychological Science” journal, is due to his natural mode of thought being more intuitive/narrative than analytical. This was determined quantitatively using text analysis. Compared to other politicians, his thought is much more narrative, than any other politician, whether Democrat or Republican.

    Narratives are much more interesting and lively, than factual expositions. That’s why those other Republican candidates appeared so dull in the Republican primary debates. Everything they say seems dull, contrived, and boring. Trump easily won those primary debates, even though he wasn’t there. Trump connects with those of us who live in fly-over country, by expressing our concerns in those intuitive narratives. It really connects. The other politicians can’t do this. They are too absorbed in their own wayward analytic thought.

  • Well, like it or not, Donald Trump is the man the US needs.

    Fred, you have no problem being negative about politicians and in the past you have done your “best worse” to attack DJT. Perhaps in the twilight of your career you should commit to doing the right thing.

    yours, John Gilmer

    • As a journalist he’s trying a failed tactic: To straddle the fence. All his points made in THIS article are valid, tho. Obviously I wish Trump were not embroiled in so many legal battles. But from a polling point of view, as Fred points out, it works tremendously in Trump’s favor. Now Fred might think he figured this out before any of us did but that clearly is not the case. It will be very interesting. I know for whom I am voting.

  • Whenever I ask TDSers which of Trump’s policies they thought harmed America the most, they hem and haw, then say things like he planned the “insurrection” which was not an insurrection, he didn’t plan, and isn’t a policy. Or Nepotism. What politician doesn’t practice nepotism? And it isn’t a policy. I thought he was a decent President for the following OBJECTIVE reasons: I thought his tax cuts for low income working people were good. It helped them to not have to choose, as Fred said, between the cable bill and a winter coat. I liked his tax increases on the rich in blue states. After all, they said they wanted it. I thought it was good that he didn’t get us into any more wars and decreased our military presence overseas. The military-industrial complex couldn’t have that. They LOVE Biden. He French-kisses Zelinsky’s butt daily. I thought it was good that he made us energy-independent, which Biden promptly reversed. I thought his record low levels of unemployment were good. This happened because, as a businessman, he understands how government policies put sand in the gears of commerce. He repealed some of the worst ones. A businnessman makes a better leader than a lawyer. Businessmen have to get real stuff done. Not so lawyers. Words are their stock-in-trade.

  • Hi Fred,
    I have got to believe you are right. Will people vote for Don if he is on Death Row? Lots would.

    Could he pardon himself? End all of those wars, do something worthwhile? The chorus of hate would make it all the better.

  • ‘Barry’ won the Noble Peace prize 9 months after he took office, then proceeded to make war with half the Middle East killing tens of thousands of brown and black people under the guise of regime change. Trump used a few rusty MOAB’s on the Syrian merc’s, to feel Presidential I guess, then tangled with ‘Rocket man’ and lost. Biden’s war in the Ukraine is a total failure, so what do we do? Correct, double down on failure. Fund forever wars….Ya, I’ll take Trump

    • Peace prize winner 0bama is the only president in history to have America at war every day for 8 years.

      • And Obama was the first and only president to write three books about himself while still a young man.

        • 3 books labeled fact aka biography, yet they were actually fiction. To make him look better written by payed “writers” who probably allegedly wrote lies under the dictate of Mr O

  • ” In the federal bubble, those in the media all think the same things with the slight exception, sometimes, of Fox News.”

    Fox News died when Roger Ailes died. Newsmax is slightly more conservative and OAN is way more conservative.

    “The reason was that the targeted readers were Vietnam vets who for various reasons hated the smug bastards, as they saw them, who had run the war.”

    You know the old expression, popular among most of us:
    “We were winning when I left…”

  • P.S. Just curious. Why are your comments stamped with GMT?!

  • “Before Trump, the Deplorables had no political representation.” Hits the nail on the head.

  • Like a trillion candlepower spotlight vaporizing a hole through the political fog, Fred gets through the minutia. The vacuous snobs in D.C. wander from microphone to cocktail party to chic bars and restaurants slobbering over one another. Meanwhile, America wonders if anything productive ever gets done in the puzzle-houses of our capital. I mean, of course, besides the never-ending nest-feathering and razor wire protective fences being erected and laying-on of armored layers of protection to keep out the enemy. . . RE-AL-I-TY.

  • “Deplorables had mortgagees to feed.”

    Hmm… Is this a typo, Fred? Did you mean “mortgagees” or did you mean “mortgage” instead? Either was, the sentence is correct. Why?

    Most people who have not spent time in a law class think the person who lives in the house is the mortgagee. Not true. When one buys a house with money borrowed from a bank, the buyers “grants” a mortgage to the bank, so the buyer is the mortgagor, and the bank is the mortgagee.

    As is, the sentence says, “Deplorables have [banks] to feed.”

  • With over 350 million people we should be embarrassed that the people we keep running for President are pathetic. Both Trump and Biden are too old and have far too much baggage…..but those before them were no better.
    We have given up on having elected officials who represent the voters. They pander to those who fund the elections.
    We have sent more money to Ukraine than Russia’s military budget. In 2000 we shocked friends and foes alike at the end of Clinton’s term with a military budget of $300 billion. That number was more than the rest of the world combined…and we did it with a healthy economy with low inflation and good job growth…and a budget surplus. Nine months later we had the 9/11 attacks and since the military budget has been more than $750 billion/ year for over 30 years…..and no one is catching up except the Chinese and they are less than $250 billion. Our friends in Europe and Asia have never spent $60 billion and have used the savings to afford free education through college, national health care and free care for seniors and children.
    Does this win wars or benefit those who are sent to fight them….hardly. But the military suppliers continue to profit despite having no war to support…so they arm Ukraine.
    Democrats and Republican politicians are mostly interested in getting elected and then assuring the funds to be re-elected. Those who fund the process get the benefits .
    Trump provided a side show while McConnell secured the tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and filled the federal judiciary and Supreme Court with conservatives to protect the interests of those who fund the GOP. Biden panders to those who fund the Democrats.
    When a Senate seat in Montana…with a population of slightly over one million people…not voters…runs over ten times that number, you know the funds are not coming from the voters of that state….and no one can say with certainty where they do come from.
    We need to end the back biting and name calling and get people into office who can identify the problems we face as a nation and then figure out how to resolve them.
    Compromise and cooperation are not dirty words and those who disagree with you are not enemies.
    Some guy once said that a house divided cannot stand. That is more true than it has ever been…..they’re an over 1.4 BILLION Chinese who are growing in power every day. There are even more Indians ..and they are not our friends either.
    We know who is hiring undocumented workers…a federal crime…but we opt to let the mega corporations slide while busting a few 7-11’s?
    We should be embarrassed for what we have done to this country.
    For 2024 the answer to a Trump vs. Biden race should follow Richard Prior’s answer in Brewster’s Millions….” NONE OF THE ABOVE”

    • Trump represented me just fine. Baggage? Just the fact that liars incessantly attacked him for 4 years. The fact that DC hates him is a huge positive.

    • When you choose “NONE OF THE ABOVE”, it may make you feel good but all you do is enable others to make the choice that you will have no part in.

      The reality is that one of the two major party candidates are going to be the winner, even if only a handful of people were to vote.

  • They told Trump, ‘We are fighting for freedom and democracy in Syria.’
    Trump said, ‘Bring all the troops home from Syria.’
    They told Trump, ‘Your job is to read the speeches we give you to read. You must NEVER say, “Bring all the troops home from Syria.” ‘
    A few weeks later they said again, ‘We are fighting for freedom and democracy in Syria.’
    And again Trump said, ‘Bring all the troops home from Syria.’
    About half of all Trump’s appointees resigned in disgust. ‘We cannot work for anyone like Trump. He is the worst president ever!’
    A few weeks later they said, once again, ‘We are fighting for freedom and democracy in Syria,’ and Trump automatically said, once again, ‘Bring all the troops home from Syria.’
    They said, ‘You *^!&%, we are really stealing all the oil from Syria. That’s why we’re there. This war isn’t costing the US of A one cent, we’re making a lot of money. Never say “Bring all the troops home from Syria,” ever again.’
    So Trump said, ‘We are NOT in Syria to bring freedom and democracy, we are in Syria to steal all their oil. That’s great. Our military is doing a good job in Syria, they’re not costing us 1¢, they’re making us a LOT of money. I order them to stay in Syria and keep stealing all the oil!’

    Note that we finally learned why the US are in Syria, but that’s about it. Nothing changed. All the troops are still there, doing exactly what they were doing before Trump was ever elected, while Trump was president, and after Trump was voted out of office.

  • […] This Trump Thing: Aspects of a Wrecking Ball […]

  • Many thanks Fred for your exceptional word-smithing, your experience, wisdom and thought pictures . You got my attention at the onset of this essay filled with truth among the patches of briars. To be honest, I held my breath while reading most of your diligence in fear you would “turn-on” as you have in the past and rail against the only genuine American political phenomenon of my life time…. Tengo ochenta y siete años de edad with thirty plus years in the US Navy as a carrier pilot and more. I love this country as I think you do also. I would have given my life if required for America. We are losing it fast and we need such a man as Donald Trump if only for the interim before America indeed crashes.

    You paint a most accurate picture of our only Genuinely American Political Phenomenon with his rough edges and all the trimmings. I say in writing at least three times a week in email that “Donald Trump is the very last chance for America”. The next year and a half may be a rough ride!

    Thanks as always, Fred. God bless you and your family.


  • […] This Trump Thing: Aspects of a Wrecking Ball, by Fred Reed […]

  • Trump is a clear and present danger to the world. With any luck, someone at one of Trump’s various trials will do a Jack Ruby on him and save not only the USA but world civilization.

  • You are such a pleasure to read, Fred. Demons hate humour, satire and sarcasm, so keep it coming

  • Trump is just as much of a gormless clown as the rest of the beltway crowd, and I didn’t vote for him in 16 or 20. However, I will vote for him in 24 just to smash a pie in the face of the corrupt establishment that is absolutely enraged that us proles dared to elect our OWN turd instead of one of the two perfectly manicured and focus-grouped turds that THEY normally choose and present to us on a propaganda platter.

  • All true. And all irrelevant. Because the American Communist Party nee Democrats have perfected their vote fraud machinery. I don’t know who will be President next term. I DO know it won’t be Trump or anyone else the left does not own body and soul. If they could get a walking brain donor like Pedo Joe Biden installed as President they can put ANYONE they choose into any office they wish. They proved this in 2020 and again in 2022. America is dead, Freedom is dead. The corpse just hasn’t cooled yet and people refuse to acknowledge reality.

  • If the d卐m☭nrats put a black lesbian cross-eyed pisslim disabled pomeranian that missed its hind legs and with a bark impediment and a penchant for satanic worshiping in the White House, the rest of AINO-Venezuerica would do zilch and the on duty Marines would salute the quadruped smartly when it went by.

    We no longer have a CR or anything even remotely resembling one. The late Constitutional Republic the United States of America (July 4th, 1776 – November 3rd, 2020) died by the fraudulent removal of the consent of the governed and we did zilch.

    The bideT leftoxenomorph mafia puppeteers had Joe the Sniffer abandon 80 Billions in military treasure to the stinking talipisslims and we did zilch.

    They have already given 73 Billions (by my last count, YMMV) and countless military kit worth I don’t know how much to the ukronazistanis and we do zilch. Mind you that both the Mordor on the Potomac mafia and the ukronazistani mafia divide the loot among themselves. Little of all that treasure ever does anybody else any good. And they are so self-absorbed and inclined to believe their own bullsh!t they might even get us into a nuclear exchange and then it will be the boo-bye for most of humanity except for some really weird mutants that might be able to appear..

    They are doing their worst to bring degeneracy to AINO-Venezuerican children and very few do anything and most do zilch.

    And let’s not even start in what passes for education today.

    We don’t have armed forces anymore and what is in their former place is a woketard joke.

    2024 doesn’t exist as far as elections go. It will be rigged if anything was ever rigged in the history of man. It’s a total waste of time.

    Now, I don’t want to get graphic here but use your imagination when I say the leftoxenomorphs could do whatever, WHATEVER . . . THEY WANTED IN THEIR WELL KNOWN DEGENERACY to the rotting remains of America and its sorry inhabitants and we would do zilch.

    Why? Because that is exactly what they are doing and we do zilch.

    We have become the kind that goes “I’m not gonna fight you no matter what you do to me” They know it. We know it. The world knows it.

    How about that for a civilization wide epitaph?

    Trump is my candidate. Not that it will make any difference.

    • It will make a difference — He is my candidate also. Donald Trump is the very last chance for America for dealing with the mess in which we find our selves. No one else holds a candle to him — that is why “they” are trying to get rid of him. Now the FBI is targeting Trump supporters — Such a mess in which we find America!


  • I just can’t have enough of Fred’s superlative writing. He makes excellent points as usual, but I do have a quibble with this bit:

    “Note that, before Trump, the Deplorables had no political representation.”

    They still don’t. Hillary called them Deplorables, but Trump’s trademark insult is Losers. He exploits their grievances and is brutally effective at attracting the protest vote, but he is not itching to screw his billionaire pals for their sake.

    But it’s Trump’s recent anti-Israel outbursts that seem more likely to do him in. Unlike the talking heads, the guys manning the AIPAC/ADL ramparts are not exactly retarded gerbils; they are also a lot more discreet and know how to pull a lot of strings.

    As a final thought I suspect that at least some talking heads know very well that their main job role is to put on a show for their political constituency and are just not that interested in actual analysis. It’s mostly carney barking for the pseudo-sophsiticated.

  • Trump is the world’s greatest used car salesman.
    He can read an audience (or a mark) better than anyone else and is quick with repartee. His dismissal of Clinton was epic, never to be bettered ; Clinton “it is good that we do not have Donald Trump in charge of the laws.” Trump “Because you would be in jail.” and from there the meme “Lock her up.” became a signature for the campaign.
    He is ignorant of how things work, he has always had managers and workers to make things happen. He had no clue about the reality of a bureaucracy. He still doesn’t.
    He will win the popular vote (but not the computer programmed vote) by millions, because the voters, and the rest of the world, can see how corrupt the persecution of Trump is. Only the TDS retards (yes Maddow, I am talking about you and the view) can believe that the charges are founded. Only the TDS retards (yes Maddow, I am talking about you and the view) can believe that the 2020 election was anything but a farce. Only the TDS retards (yes Maddow, I am talking about you and the view) can believe that Biden and Harris are capable of running the USA.
    And none of this matters because ;

    “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
    Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), US Supreme Court Justice, (1939)

    “So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. “
    – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister

  • Thank you Fred. I have read you for years and you often hit the nail on the head. Trump is the best of a bad bargain.

    My fear is even if he wins it may be impossible to seriously change direction in this country. Too many special interests who will fight tooth and nail to stay on top.

    I just fear the same neocons like Nikki who pushed us into Afghanistan will lobby for attacking Iran. That might just be the straw…

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