I am not a political writer….nor will I be becoming one with this post. If you haven’t read my posts before, I’ll tell you they focus primarily on God, the church and women in leadership. I may throw in an occasional life lesson from my love of horseback riding but that pretty much sums my writing up. I’m an introvert and a reading fanatic primarily on the same topics mentioned above – God, the church and leadership. It is this love of reading that brings me to the post. Obviously, I’m a conservative and, strangely enough, I find political news and talk radio interesting. For me, it’s an eye on prophecy. Seeing God’s plan unfold through the evening news. But there are times when I just have to slap my hand to my head and say – really? Well, listening to the media’s discussion about Trump since he threw his hat in the ring is one of those times. It’s really hard to fathom media organizations who make their living analyzing, exposing, and talking about political news can’t figure Trump out. Here are just a few quotes that portray what I’m talking about
“The teflon-like nature of the Trump candidacy continues to defy traditional political norms,” said Republican digital consultant Phil Musser quoted in USA Today GOP Power Rankings: Trump and Cruz lead the pack
“Donald Trump announced Tuesday evening that he would skip the next Presidential debate, which will take place January 28 on Fox News. It is a move, much like his campaign, that defies traditional political analysis.” said Judd Legum quoted in This French Philosopher Is The Only One Who Can Explain Why Trump Is Skipping The Republican Debate ThinkProgress.com
“Trump is so far outside the formula that has been established for American politics that people who are inside the formula can’t comprehend it.” said Rush Limbaugh quoted in Trump Refuses to Play by the Rules
I’m sure if you Googled enough you’d find the same comments at Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Blaze and every political reporting media out there. I know that I can’t seem to turn on the TV or radio without the “defying traditional politics” spouted off by the report if not once a dozen times. But Trumps not defying traditional politics. In fact, he is practically using every power play in the book. I won’t bore you with all 48 of them but let me highlight the ones that I think anyone that has been watching this political campaign will start shaking their head “yep….that’s what’s he’s doing”. These plays are actually laws in a book published in 2000 by Robert Greene called The 48 Laws of Power. In the book Greene expounds upon the laws giving detailed stories of how Kings, Emperors, and other political leaders have used these 48 laws to rule, win battles and well gain and remain in power for centuries. Perhaps they haven’t seen anyone in recent American history play politics like Trump but believe me what he’s doing is not new, unconventional or defying the norm. At least not the norm when it comes to power. Below are excerpts from the book on the laws I see Trump using the most.
*Note I’m putting these in the order that I see him using them. Thus the law # is not sequential but more the priority I see him using them in.
Law #6 – Court Attention at ALL Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses. (think all the free media he has received by all his seemingly crazy antics)
Law #8 – Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait If Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.
Law #16 – Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down. The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity. (can you say Fox News Debate tonight?)
Law #15 – Crush Your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have know that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through annihilation: The enemy will recover and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit. (think Jeb Bush)
Law #17 – Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.
Law #25 – Re-Create Yourself
Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life. (think Trump the democrat, the independent, the republican, the real estate mogul, the reality TV personality)
Law # 27 – Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold favor. (think “make America great” and Trumps use of Christian community)
It’s ridiculous how many of them he’s using. Had I studied him in detail I’d probably find he’s using them all. But I’m just not that passionate about politics. Here’s a few more that I’ll just give you the law for.
Law #43 – Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Law #37 – Create Compelling Spectacles
Law #33 Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Law #31 Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards You Deal
So please political commentators loose the “defying political norms”, like “nothing we have seen” because what Trump is doing is not new. He is using the power playbook, that while, may have only been written in 2000 has been at work around the world for centuries.
So the question isn’t what is Trump doing, why is he doing it or even if it will work. The real question is do we want a man so focused on power and the accumulation of it. While some may argue it’s good for the country on a global scale, others will say that such power is not good for the people. I think both may have some truth in them. I guess we will know here shortly.