News and Society · Politics

The Genius of Donald Trump 

Everyone who’s been paying attention to this year’s political cycle has an opinion about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald John Trump.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump: drawing by James Ferguson

Donald Trump is perhaps the most polarizing US presidential candidate to have ever ran for office. Mr. Trump’s signature flair for controversy is unlike anything that most of us have ever seen in politics, and every day seems to bring a new round of inflammatory, outrageous and divisive statements made by him.

Within a 24-hour news cycle, the major news outlets and pundits and hacks do their best to attach a label to Mr. Trump that would stick, but the efficacy of those efforts thus far has been shown to be as hollow and porous as a 2000 year-old mummy’s fossilized remains.

One of the most effective ways to destroy a major corporation or a person’s career and reputation is to slap a negative label on them, consistently harp on that label, and then simply sit back and allow time to do its work—and voilà. This strategy is one that has worked extremely well for Mr. Trump. Here are some examples: Ugly Rosie, Dishonest Press, Low-energy Bush, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crazy Megyn, Choke Artist Romney.

How did Mr. Trump come to master the art of labeling? Many argue that this skill (and strategy) is something he learned as a businessman. So, why does Mr. Trump continue to attack others using labels? Because it works!

Like Hercules, Donald Trump is a work of fiction.

One of the most pernicious labels to associate with any person or company is “racist,” and this word has been used against Mr. Trump over and over again, but to no avail. Why is this? Do you remember Mel Gibson? What about Paula Deen, Seinfeld’s star Michael Richards, Don Imus, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, Bank of America, Macy’s, L’Oréal, and Wells Fargo? And the list goes on. As this list shows, the negative label graveyard is filled with many victims—individuals and corporations that have been destroyed by labels.

Besides being called a racist, Mr. Trump has been called a narcissist, bigot, misogynist, fascist, tyrant, fraud—actually, a “loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud,” bully, perennial deadbeat, sociopath, and etcetera. So, if negative labels work, then what makes Mr. Trump so immune and resistant to those very labels that have destroyed countless companies and the careers of many powerful people?

It’s quite simple actually. First, a label is only as effective as the credibility of the accuser allows it to be. Yes, ponder on that thought. Secondly, Donald J. Trump is a perennial fire brand who relentlessly controls his own narrative.

So, there you have it!

But the question lingers… You ask, what do I think of Mr. Trump?

Like Herculesa performer of miracles and wonders—Donald Trump is a work of fiction!



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