January 28, 2016

Trump's Brilliant AWOL Strategy

Timothy Birdnow

Western Journalism is reporting that Donald Trump refused to take a call from Sean Hannity regarding his appearance on the Fox debate, and even refuses to talk with Roger Ailes, but is demanding a call from Fox owner Rupert Murdoch.

From the article:

Per Trump source: Trump’s position now is he is chairman of his company and he will only deal with Murdoch at a chairman-to-chairman level

— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) January 27, 2016

When all was said and done, Trump informed his supporters Tuesday evening he was not going to appear at the debate

End excerpt.

Trump is playing some high stakes poker here, but I'm not sure that he isn't employing a brilliant strategy.

First the negatives; yesterday on the Brian Kilmead show host Kilmead devoted most of his syndicated radio program to bashing Trump. Of course, Kilmead is a Fox employee, and no doubt felt compelled to defend his boss. His primary argument was that Trump is acting like a baby, taking his ball and going home when he doesn't get his way. I had a coworker echo this very same sentiment yesterday as well. But is that the case, is that how America perceives this?

The question is being floated "will Trump just get up and walk away when dealing with world leaders?" as if this is necessarily a bad thing. But lest everyone forgot, Ronald Reagan did this very thing on several occasions. He vetoed the "Law of the Sea" Treaty and, when his advisors told him he had to sign it because it had been in the works for years, the old cowboy reminded them that his election was about a fresh start and he wasn't going to be bound by sclerotic negotiations liberals prior to his Administration. Even more telling, Reagan got up from the table and walked away from the Reykjavik peace conference with Gorbachev, and it is now known that the old Soviet leader told his aids "we are finished" because their only hope was to get Reagan to offer relief. Walking away from a bad situation is many times the best thing that can be done.

It was Reagan's ability to circumvent the media that made him successful; they never would have allowed him to go anywhere had he played by their rules. As it was he was too obsequious to them, in my opinion (anyone remember media correspondents interjecting "I'm telling YOU Mr. President" at a press conference?) but then there was absolutely no alternative media at the time.

And this fits with Trump's arguments in "The Art of the Deal" where he says a good negotiator has to have the courage and strength to leave the table.

What did Trump gain from this? He told the Media and the Conservative Establishment to go to eh ee double hockey sticks. It was a bold outsider move. But more importantly, Trump has mad a play to break the monopolistic power of the media here. Presidential candidates just don't tell the media to go to hell. They just don't do that. The media are the gatekeepers, the people who shape and manage reality to suite. Trump just showed - or is trying to show, anyway - that we don't need to pass through those gates, that there is another way.

I would like to point out that Ronald Reagan did this very same thing. He skipped the last debate before Iowa and won in a landslide.

Look, Trump is the man to beat right now. There really is no upside to his debating; more than likely he will make some side comment that the media will use against him. But by ginning up this bogus war with Meghan Kelly he puts himself as an outsider fighting the system, something very appealing to not just the Tea Party but to a number of disaffected groups. He is the man who will "shake things up".

Frankly, while I do not support Trump and worry he will wind up doing tremendous harm to us, I do have to admire this move, and in fact support his efforts here. I have argued for a long time that we should stop kowtowing to the mainstream media. Conservatives still do, forever using articles from the MSM as their starting point, allowing the debates to be run by the media (it didn't used to be that way all the time, and the one effort to have a non-media debate this year was scotched by Reince Preibus), sucking up to the media whenever possible. The media's power is largely psychological, yet we continue to bow to them. If we want to truly restore this country that power must be broken, and that means we must start with ourselves. The media practices a kind of voodoo; they maintain power over individuals because those individuals believe in their power. Break that and the whole rotten structure could well collapse. Trump is, in his own way, attempting to do just that.

And his refusal to speak with underlings makes perfect sense in this; he looks like a toadie if he does. Trump is a captain of Industry and a Presidential candidate and why should he bother with a second banana? I understand his point here.

That is not to say that Trump isn't playing a very dangerous game. If he comes across as a baby (and, frankly, I believe the man may be) he will cost himself dearly. But he has won every single one of these battles thus far, and I suspect he knows what he is doing here.

Trump's efforts seem to have paid off for the moment. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN0V619Q

We'll know soon enough the long term implications of this.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:48 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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