You can’t out-troll a world-class troll. And Trump is the most successful troll in recorded history.
Not the kind of troll that lives under bridges and can be tricked by billy goats.
A troll is someone who puts on a straight face and says whatever he needs to in order to get a reaction from his target.
A good troll will take a position he may not actually believe in order to make those who actually believe it look ridiculous.
I think Donald Trump actually does believe some or even most of what he says.
But look at his trolling in a more abstract sense.
It says, look, this is your political system. Look how easy it was for me to take control of the wheel. And I did it all while making a joke of the whole thing.
Trump was the subject of a 2011 Comedy Central Roast, where he was already talking about running for President. A roast is an event where celebrities tell brutal jokes about each other while sitting on the same stage.
He played a part he knew would do amazing things for his popularity. Here’s a big important successful man who can take a joke.
At the same time, he primed Americans to associate him with the Presidency.
But it was still surely all a joke, right? Just like the roast…
Oh and, oops, lol, it got him elected President, LMAO.
Look what one man can do to inflame the entire political spectrum around the world. Is that a stable system?
This is your democracy. These are your politicians. And this is how they react to someone like me.
He got “Little Marco” Rubio to make not-so-subtle innuendos about penis size on a Presidential debate stage.
“Low Energy Jeb” never stood a chance… “Please clap.”
“Crooked Hillary” has clearly been driven entirely mad by her defeat to the likes of Trump.
And now after years of referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Fake Pocahontas,” he’s getting the reaction he wanted all along.
Doesn’t anybody get that?!
The media didn’t understand this for the entire election cycle.
Every other day, they would come out with some new wacky Trump quote and say, “Well now he’s done it! He can’t possibly get elected with THAT on his record!”
He doesn’t care. And that is his biggest asset. Trolls don’t become trolls by having thin skin. They voluntarily put themselves in a position to be ridiculed as a method of mocking those ridiculing them.
And Elizabeth Warren fell for it!
What was the first thing out of Trump’s mouth after Warren jumped through his hoops and proudly presented her 1/64 or 1/1064 Native America heritage?
“Who cares?” he said.
Warren played right into his hand. It didn’t help her that the DNA showed such a small percentage of Native America heritage. But it probably wouldn’t have made much difference if it said she was half Cherokee.
Warren playing Trump’s game was all downside and no upside for her. Ignoring him would be the only response that could possibly let her win. Instead, she made herself the punch line of his big joke.
Liberals questioned her timing and said they wished Warren would focus on more substantive issues.
The Cherokee nation issued a statement saying DNA tests do not get you membership in a tribe, and they find what she is doing to be disrespectful.
And Trump’s base surely loved it.
Oh but by the way… Trump is also trolling his base.
We’re going to make Mexico pay for the wall… really?
He said that knowing it wasn’t true, and not caring at all. As long as it built up a strong base of support, it didn’t matter.
People think the things Trump says and tweets are gaffes, mistakes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Smart marketers will be studying Trump for years to come. He is a branding genius.
Surely he market-tested which issues he could use as lightning rods. And he likely calculated which positions would garner the largest base of support.
From there on out, it is a matter of pandering to the base. That is what gives him power. If the tweet doesn’t turn-off the base, it doesn’t matter who it offends. If his statements and actions don’t piss off that core group of supporters, he couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks.
Actually, that’s not quite true. He does care. He wants his critics to froth at the mouth, to make inflammatory statements, to screech and whine, stomp their feet and pull their hair in frustration.
He wants the opposition to attack him, his values, and on his base of support.
“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” -Blair Warren
He couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than Hillary Clinton. She was the embodiment of corruption, of anti-American values, of elite disdain for plebs.
And now he is probably praying that Elizabeth Warren will be the Democrat nominee in 2020. She represents progressive tone-deafness and socialism. And she can apparently be easily trolled…
But Trump’s trolling isn’t just for campaigns.
Trump has enacted numerous tariffs–taxes on imported goods from foreign countries.
Yet speaking at the G7 conference in Canada earlier this year, he said that ultimately you want free trade across the globe, with no tariffs.
“Ultimately that’s what you want,” he said. “You want a tariff free. You want no barriers. And you want no subsidies. Because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries and that’s not fair.”
He is trolling the world with tariffs. He knows they are a terrible idea. But by dishing out tariffs, he forced world leaders to oppose tariffs. They come out angrily denouncing barriers to free trade…
Well, then why do they have tariffs on American goods?
By trolling world leaders with tariffs, he got them to stake out the position he wanted them to take–that tariffs are bad.
World leaders, American politicians, rival candidates, his base, the liberal opposition… They are getting played by a marketing genius.
If you take Trump seriously, you are getting trolled!
And that is the best thing about Trump.
We could debate whether his policies have been good or bad, and what effect… blah blah blah. Like any other President, he’ll probably do more harm than good. That’s how interventionism works.
But what’s really hilarious is that the guy is a joke incarnate, and will probably not be any worse than the last 15 Presidents.
I sometimes wonder if he is making a mockery of the federal government in order to restore a healthy distrust of government. Wishful thinking perhaps…
That’s what I hoped when he got elected. That liberals would realize the folly of centralized power. That people of all political stripes could agree that the President has too much power. And maybe even that states should be free to go their separate ways.
Trump trolling can teach America a lesson. Oh yes, trolls can impart great wisdom when you know how to listen.
They hold a mirror up and say, look how stupid you look.
Well, look how stupid America looks. Not for electing Trump. For believing in such a silly system. For handing control over our planet to such a tiny minority of psychopaths.
If Trump teaches everyone to hate the government, to hate politicians, and to limit their power, it will all be worth it.