Trump’s speech on the wall was a good start. Insufficient, but a necessary first step. H/T Vox for this transcript. It reads like a collaboration written by Tucker Carlson (re: charity toward the American working class) and Heartiste (re: walls around the houses of Democratic senators). However, if he fails to follow this up with smart bargaining using hard currency then the 2020 reelection will be lost for sure.
Patrick once relayed an anecdote to me about Marie Antoinette and soft influence. France’s soldiers were becoming ineffective because they were malnourished in comparison with British soldiers, so she commissioned a brilliant neanderthal scientist to find the best carbohydrate. He came back and said “you aren’t going to like this…but it’s potatoes”, which like anything else from the new world were taboo and untrusted even by starving peasants, like eating rats, snakes, spiders, or something like that. She thanked him for his autistic pathological honesty, then called upon the political ingenuity which distinguishes true nobility from the nouveau riche. At the next fancy ball, she wore a crown of potato flowers–this then became the fashion among the fawning aristocracy, which required them to grow potatoes in their personal gardens. Their servants began to eat the potatoes, having been desensitized by progressive exposure and encouraged by the invigorating effect on their malnourished bodies. The peasantry then saw that potatoes were haute cuisine like snails or lobsters, and the nation was saved. Pretty neat work for a gal with a historical reputation for aloofness.
That’s what soft influence looks like in its best form, and it’s what Trump is truly great at. But let’s imagine that instead of a fawning aristocracy, Antoinette was surrounded by people who wanted her broke, dead, her kids raped and brainwashed, and they thought it was funny. This scenario would have played out quite differently. Remember this principle: Soft influence plays within and conforms to the boundaries established by hard power. Therefore in order to achieve the same effect, Antoinette would have needed to keep these aristocrats at her feet so they wouldn’t be at her throat. She would need to decree that potato flowers were standard aristocratic dress, and anyone caught wasting the roots during a time of famine would go immediately to the gallows without trial. And then monitor policing and compliance with this decree closely.
Trump’s presidency rests on the edge of a knife right now. The massive shift in sentiment from his supporters happened because they heard the midterms would be the most important ever (like every previous election), then the midterms came and went…and it was business as usual. Suddenly, Trump was no longer a special president with a mandate from heaven to disrupt business as usual. He was revealed to be human with very human-level abilities to effect change, like any other individual. Failing to follow up on this speech, which reminds us of his 2016 campaign, will plunge his supporters into a much deeper antipathy from which we will never recover. Forget Ann Coulter, Trump will have to quit Twitter entirely. NOTHING is more offensive to people or punished more severely than a weak man pretending to be strong. Weakness in a leader is the worst form of treason. If God were a tyrant we would forgive him, but if he didn’t send sinners to Hell then we would push him around like a little lamb before giving him the hell we know in our hearts we ourselves deserve.
I don’t actually believe Trump is weak. I do think his upbringing in the Zionist billionaire caste made him soft. Like many master propagandists, he still feels in his heart that soft influence and hard power are the same thing.
Now, I’m not saying Trump doesn’t need to keep his nose clean. It’s more important than ever, and any breach of posse comitatus will result in immediate impeachment. On the other hand, there’s no law that says the commander in chief can’t conduct training exercises where the wall needs to be. There is no law against military assembly facilities where the labor is effectively free, at least insofar as the new budget is concerned. That’s how you bring Schumer to the bargaining table–with hard currency. Legitimate authority backed by popular support is a harder currency than gold.