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Quick critique of the end of the Trump era.
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Posted by: LateForLunch ®

01/08/2021, 08:18:35

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Mark Levin often referred to DJT as an "agrarian populist" in the early months of his first campaign. Denali's appraisal was intended to be a criticism of Trump's proclivity to use populist rhetoric/policy ideas to appeal to large segments of voters. Levin (a long-time RWR fan) believed (and still believes) that the best way to run a campaign/administration is centered around actual conservative doctrine, not populism per se.

As DJT adopted a consistent pattern of employing conservative ideas/doctrine in his policy-making, Levin warmed to his presidency. 

The Trump administration became an example of how an agrarian populist president could adopt conservatism in many ways, while still relating to the public and political adversaries as would a populist. 

Ultimately however, Levin's concerns were validated in how chaotic populism engulfed the Trump administration culminating in what may have been a disastrous chaotic breakdown of leadership on Trump's part. There is evidence he may have allowed himself to be lured or walked into a situation where vast numbers of people erupted in pointless violence after he stirred them up at what turned out to be his last political rally. 

My own take-away from this so far (it may have been an orchestrated false flag event, but we may never really know for sure) is that Levin's concerns were validated in this final spasm of populist chaos, because DJT embraced the polemics of agrarian populism instead of choosing a less-emotion-driven way of communicating. 

Joe Sobran once pointed out that engaging in passionate polemics (highly emotional rhetoric/debate) not persuade with skilled rhetoric/intellect, tends to serve the needs/goals of cacogenic leftists more than genuinely-civilized conservatives and other normal people. 

The Trump manner of communicating was if nothing else, steeped in open, enthusiastic engagement with very emotion-driven polemics, not rational or conservative doctrine being advocated. 

That is not intended as a condemnation - since Trump got a lot of great things accomplished for the nation with the approach he used. It is intended to be more of an objective  post-defeat analysis such as happens in a good sports team after a failed season.  

DJT's unwillingness/inability to tone-down, dignify his manner of relating to the public after achieving the bully pulpit, may be one of the key missteps in his quest for a second term. 

Election shenanigans to the side for now, it seems likely to me that if Trump had been willing/able to shift his manner to a more (Reagan-esque) calm, less-emotional style of relating, and actually embraced conservatism the way he embraced populism/Twitter, social media and polemics, he might have achieved the goal of a second term. 

See, the basic danger in dealing in harsh polemics is that they tend to trigger in those subjected to it a greater tendency toward making bias/emotion the basis of opinion, not REASON. Polemics highlight, emphasize and amplify people's biases and prejudices either for or against the person using them. Calm reason-centered persuasion (such as Reagan was the ultimate master) is infinitely more-appealing in a PR sense than harsh, acerbic, insulting negativism. 

It's hard for me to believe that more voters who eventually voted against Trump did so because he was not passionate or emotional enough. So in a purely numbers sense, he would likely have been able to sway more voters simply with his strength and accomplishments without the distraction of the endless back-and-forth of sniping on Twitter. 

Modified by LateForLunch at Fri, Jan 08, 2021, 08:51:04

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