Dealing the Dealer : Getting What We Want from Trump

Posted: June 29, 2018 by Brian Johnston

It’s been a particularly contentious couple of weeks with political tempers running high on the issue of immigration and the separation of children from families that are attempting illegal entry into the US. The audio and video of the situation isn’t pretty. In fact, the optics have apparently irritated Donald Trump personally, as he recently signed an executive order putting an end to the practice of separation. Just a day prior he was reticent to use that executive order pen, instead demanding legislation to resolve the issue.
Anyone taking a cursory glance at the situation who bothers to step back just a bit can see one thing clearly: Donald Trump is susceptible to visual imagery and public opinion. We’ve seen it before from him. On the campaign trail, he repeatedly indicated his desire to continue the previous administration’s policy to let Russia take the lead in Syria. It only took a pair of photos of Syrians suffering a chemical attack for him to reverse course and send 56 Tomahawk missiles streaming into Aleppo to make his point.
The grand takeaway here is that dealing the dealer is a relatively easy thing to do. Word from the Oval Office is that the two pictures of Syrian chemical attack victims (both featuring mothers and their children) were placed in a very brief PowerPoint presentation that Ivanka Trump showed to her father. This was all it took for her to sway President Trump into action in Syria.
This all suggests that Samantha Bee wasn’t too far from the truth when she implored that Ivanka Trump is a central part of the inner circle surrounding this administration and obviously has the ear of the President. It’s a shame that she felt the need to deliver her point with a foul-mouthed and tone deaf exclamation point, as the validity of the comment was completely lost from that moment on to pointless chatter about her word choice.
The verbal attacks and denial of service toward the likes of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen do not help move a moderate agenda forward. In fact, actions like that tend to have the exact opposite effect, as does the media manipulation like the controversial Time magazine cover featuring a hulkish Donald Trump looking down at some random Latina girl against a purely red background. It are these ‘there they go again’ moments that lead moderates and fence-sitters to vote Republican, a condition I refer to as ‘liberal fatigue.’
Liberal fatigue is likely the culprit that put Donald Trump in office in the first place. When Hillary Clinton referred to Trump supporters as ‘deplorables,’ she inadvertently handed over a whole slew of undecided voters to the other side. Americans are wary of blanket generalizations that lead to labeling like that, especially when it feels like inaccurate rabble-rousing. It’s no exaggeration to think that had she not made that one inflammatory statement, we might be talking about President Clinton right now. The lesson to be learned here for everybody is that there is infinite value in choosing your words carefully.
So instead of shouting down your nearest official from the Trump administration, which will likely only inspire oppositional forces, your efforts are better put to use to being loud and clear about the injustices that you see and the areas of America that you feel are most in need of improvement. If you can bolster your claims with a physical image that is both accurate and useful, do so.
My least favorite person in the Trump administration is Scott Pruitt. He is slimy, skeevy, dishonorable, untrustworthy, and a danger to the well-being of every American. Like his boss, he demands complete loyalty but offers none of his own. His need for a soundproof telephone booth tells you everything you need to know about this official: He is going to make decisions that are so wildly unpopular with the American people that he feels the need to ensure that NOBODY hears what he is saying and doing.
So how do we excise this cancer from American government? The first thing we need to do is to make him the face of a loser. Donald Trump doesn’t see things in the same black-and-white, right-vs-wrong manner that most people use. He thinks in terms of wins and losses. If you can convince him that Scott Pruitt is a loser who casts a losing shadow over his team, he WILL fire him, as he’s done with some 50 or so members of his administration already.
If you live in an area where there’s a Superfund site that’s being neglected, make it seen. If you live in an area contaminated by industrial waste and have evidence that health problems are arising as a direct result of it, make it seen. Apply this logic to whatever issue most affects you. If you have a legitimate picture that’s actually worth a thousand words, use your social media platform to make it seen. Never have Americans had a more powerful tool in their arsenal to influence both public opinion and public policy. If you cannot count on your government to do what’s right on their own, it’s up to you to light the path for them.
Never have we had a President more at the mercy of the whims of the American public. When narcissism is your defining quality, what people think about you is paramount. At the end of the day, Donald Trump is more a reality television star than any kind of businessman or politician, and it’s time to exploit that fact to get America a whole lot more of what it really needs. The beauty part of this plan is that it actually puts a significant amount of power back in the people’s hands. Because whether you are looking for Hope and Change or trying to Make America Great Again, at the end of the day it’s YOUR voice that’s going to move the needle on the issues that matter most.


  1. Ivanka's Influence on Trump
  2. Pruitt's Phone Booth
  3. Pruitt Disloyalty
  4. Bannon Says Trump Easily Duped
  5. Trump Easy to Manipulate
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