I am going to attempt to help you survive the presidency of Donald J. Trump. If this is the first article that you have ever read by me there a few things that you need to know. First of all I am not a Trump supporter. I didn’t vote for him in 2016 and I won’t be voting for him in 2020, period, The End. Having said that, I do spend an uncomfortable amount of time defending him, oddly enough. I do it because I think that truth is important and when the record is wrong I find it necessary to correct the record. I do this for people from all political parties because I don’t care about party affiliation. To me, the Republicans and Democrats are just two wings of the same bird. I just don’t care. You know who else doesn’t care? Trump. He is not a politician and he doesn’t think politically. He says some of the craziest stuff because he has been so rich and so powerful for so long that I really don’t think he cares what you and I think of him. He doesn’t need us therefore he doesn’t need our positive opinion of him. Since he speaks so haphazardly it is easy for political people to use his words against him and in some cases smear him. He is an easy target. Personally, I can’t for the life of me figure out why people exaggerate or make lies up about this guy. There are so many legitimate things that we can hammer him for, we don’t need to make things up!
When he pulled off the political upset of the century I swore that I would not allow Trump to live rent free in my head for the next four years. I made that commitment because the world around me was melting down and people were legitimately experiencing hysteria. Many continue to experience hysteria but most of it is self-inflicted. No matter who Trump picks for his cabinet or whatever executive order he signs they “wig out” and go over the metaphorical edge while at the same time encouraging as many others as they can to join them in their temporary insanity like Lemmings. Most of this recruiting is done through social media which is why our FB news feeds have become such a toxic war zone lately. (chuckle) If you are one of those people, I am not going to be able to help you because you want to be hysterical, you’re choosing it. However, if you are honestly feeling queasy about the future and less than secure then this survival guide is for you. I am hoping to give you some encouragement so that you can spend the next four years enjoying life rather than wringing your hands every waking minute of the day. No election or politician is worth the sacrifice of your joy in living. NOBODY !! The greatest criminal act of Donald J. Trump is that he occupies space in tens of millions of heads every day and night and never pays a single cent in rent.
As I said previously, I resolved to not let Trump live rent free in my head but so far I have been unsuccessful. I get up in the morning and it’s all about Trump. Midday Trump, evening Trump, Trump Trump Trump. (chuckle) Recently I bought his first book, Art of the Deal, because I became convinced that he was playing us all like a cheap fiddle and I wanted to finally get into his head for a change. What follows is my advice on how to survive the Trump years based on what I have learned from his book and the literally hundreds of hours of news and radio shows I have listened to since his election.
1) WE’RE GOING TO BE OK
These were some of the final words of encouragement from former president Barack Obama before leaving the White House and I believe him. Earlier in the transition he met with Trump and came away from that meeting saying that Trump is not ideological. In other words, he could care less about the things that Democrats and Republicans normally fight about. These are probably most of the things that you care highly about. Trump said that his administration was going to be all about “Jobs, jobs, job” and hopefully he carries through on that. He ran as a Republican so I expect him to throw a bone to the Republican core every now and again but I don’t think he really cares about all of the traditional things that make a Republican a Republican so you can relax concerning most social issues. Former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, was asked a hypothetical question during the Republican primary, “If you had to vote for one of these Republicans who would it be?” His response shocked the reporter because he said “Trump.” When asked “Why?” Carter responded, “Because he’s malleable.” In the Republican sense, Trump is not a true believer like the rest of his primary opponents were; Carter and Obama understood that. I totally understand not trusting Trump. I’m not asking you to. I am asking you to trust Carter and Obama and his final words of encouragement. “We’re going to be ok.”
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #1: Trust Obama’s personal assessment of Trump and stop freaking out.
2) TRUMP WAS A DEMOCRAT
Trump’s political views have historically been more in line with liberal New York Democrats than Republicans and he has been registered with both parties. He has only been registered as a Republican since 2009 and was officially registered as a Democrat from 2001 until 2009. His father was a Democrat and both he and his son have donated to Democrat politicians their entire lives. I was unable to find a rock solid source but prior to his officially registering Democrat in 2001, Donald Trump is reported to have been a Democrat for 30 years. The Republican establishment vehemently opposed him during the primaries because they knew that he really wasn’t one of them. Of course, Trump played the part of the conservative to win the Republican nomination but he’s really more of a Kennedy type Democrat. How many Republicans do you know who have Bill and Hillary Clinton at their wedding? In his book he writes the following about uber liberal Democrat, former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, “Abe knows I’m friendly with the governor, and he wants my advice… I tell him it’s a no-contest question- stick with a winner and a good guy at that.” Does that sound to you like a real Republican? Republicans hated Cuomo. The great irony of this last election is that in the wake of it liberals are losing their minds when the closer truth may be that they have achieved one of the greatest liberal victories of all time, installing one of their own at the top of the Republican Party. Need further proof? Trump is calling on replacing Obamacare with a plan that will cover every single citizen in America. Even with Obamacare there are still some 13 million people without insurance. Trump wants to cover them as well. Even as short as four years ago Republicans were talking about destroying Obamacare, now all they are talking about is replacing it. Do you get the immensity of that? The supposedly anti-socialist Republicans want to create universal healthcare coverage for every single American, something that Obamacare doesn’t do. Does that sound conservative to you? (chuckle) I am sure that some of you are arguing in your head that Trump can’t be liberal because of some of the things he has said or accusations of bigotry that you have heard about him. I have personally researched most of them and have found them to be mostly unfounded political smear designed for an election year. If you would like to read my research it is entitled “Is Donald Trump a Bigot?” and can be read by clicking that link.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #2: Stop listening to the press and political operatives who are trying to define Trump as an out of control super conservative. Their goal is to use fear to keep you hyped up with anger until the midterm elections in 2018.
3) TRUMP’S MOTIVATION FOR BEING PRESIDENT
Many of the people who are losing sleep over a Trump presidency are doing so because they don’t believe he wants to be president for the best interest of the country. They think he is only interested in himself or wants to use it to make more money. Let’s look at the latter part of that first. Trump is worth about 4 billion dollars. That is 4000 million, an amazing amount of wealth and growing. On many days he makes millions of dollars within a single day. I have heard the term “kleptocracy” bandied about insinuating that Trump and his millionaire buddies want to raid the government to enrich themselves like kleptomaniacs. Newsflash, that’s how people who don’t have money think. These guys are so incredibly rich and have so much more money than they can ever practically spend that they could care less about the wealth of the government. Making money for them is a game, a challenge. It’s not about wealth, it’s about winning. Trump is receiving $1 annually for being president and donating the rest back into the treasury. That’s $449,000 that he is voluntarily walking away from every single year. In his world it’s nothing but peanuts. These other rich guys and gals who have joined his cabinet? Same thing. Joining the government was a huge step down and a major loss in income and prestige. They are doing it because it is a new challenge, a new game and an opportunity to win at something different. If you are worried that Trump is in it for the money you are worrying for nothing. The U.S. government can’t give him anything in comparison to what he’s already got.
Let’s now take a look at the idea that Trump is more interested in himself than what is best for the country. I agree! I think Trump wanted to be president for Trump first but then again I think that describes most people who want to be president, it’s their best chance at becoming immortal in this world, the ultimate prize. Presidents, all presidents, have massive egos and Trump is no better or worse than any of the others. Ok, maybe a little worse. (chuckle) The good news is that this is going to work in our favor. Again, from his book…
“I don’t do it for the money. I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”
Donald Trump is essentially a bored billionaire who is now running the largest “corporation” in the world, the United States government. He wants to win, he’s all about winning and that’s to our benefit. If you think of our country metaphorically as an airplane, Trump is sitting up front in the pilot’s seat. You and I are stuck in the back flying coach. Trump wants to win, he wants that flight to be as successful as possible not because he cares about you and me but because he personally wants to win, he cares about himself. If the plane goes down we lose but so does he. If the plane makes its destination in record time at the lowest cost then Trump wins and we win too because we’re stuck on the ride with him. Trump wants to go down in history as the greatest president of all time. He wants the jobs to come back to America and the economy to roar. He wants people to be lifted out of poverty and race relations to improve. He wants to win in every segment of our society and if you analyze the people who he has met with at Trump Tower during the transition you can see that he has his aim on everything. Are you worried about your health coverage? Trump wants to win there as well. If something is going be called Trumpcare he’s going to want it to be the very best that it can be because he wants to win for himself. In short, when he wins we win. When we lose, he loses as well so he has a personal interest in seeing that the American people prosper.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #3: Stop worrying that Trump is going to screw up the country because his massive ego and competitive mindset is a guarantee that he will be working very hard to improve the economy, healthcare, poverty, and many many other issues that we care about. He is a master deal maker and now that talent is going to be employed on our behalf, not for our sake, but to satisfy his desire to win. In the end it won’t matter because the improvement of our lives is the metric that will be used to define whether he wins or not.
4) TRUMPS EXTREME RHETORIC
The press and his opponents go psycho whenever he says something extreme and he does it a lot. The problem is that we have never seen a politician who didn’t parse their words to the public. Not only does Trump not parse his words, he seems to ramp them up in the opposite direction. A good recent example of this would be his publicly stated support of torture as a means of getting information from terrorists. Torture is illegal in the USA, thankfully !! He knows that, and is just yanking our chains. What he really wants is something far less extreme. This is how Trump makes deals…
Let’s say that Trump wants to buy my Honda Fit at a deep discount. He won’t directly offer me a deal for the car even though that’s what he wants in the end. What he will do is come to me and tell me that he has struck a deal with my wife where she is going to leave me in exchange for monetary compensation. It is so extreme that I freak out. I don’t want to lose my marriage. He lets me twist in the wind for a bit and then comes back and tells me that he has rethought his original plans and is willing to settle for the car in exchange for $5000. At that point, the horrible deal seems reasonable compared to the extreme scenario I was originally faced with. I will practically give him my car if it will save my marriage. (chuckle)
An excellent example of this is the story about illegal votes. Trump made an offhand remark to some Senators that 3 million illegal immigrants voted in the last election. The press picked it up and grilled Sean Spicer, Trump’s spokesperson. Spicer told them over and over again that this was not a new view for Trump, that it was a long held belief based on research and information Trump has seen over the years. The press wanted to make hay over the craziness of the statement so they said, “If the president really believes this, shouldn’t there be an investigation because 3 million illegal votes constitutes an unprecedented voting scandal?” Spicer told them that there were no plans for an investigation; it was just a personal belief of the president. They continued to hammer him, almost goading the president to investigate. The follow day Trump announced that he had asked the Justice Department to do a coast to coast investigation of voter fraud. This puts the JD in the personal business of every county board of elections in America which is what Trump wanted from the very beginning. Had Trump come out and announced a comprehensive investigation of voter fraud people would have freaked, calling it a witch hunt, but since the press called for the investigation Trump can just say that he was responding to those calls. Trump wins again by starting the deal using extreme rhetoric.
I will tell you one last story where Trump starts in the extreme and goes even more extreme but still manages to win. There is a property in Florida that was built as a retreat for Presidents called Mar-a-Lago. Presidents didn’t use it and the resort eventually went on the market for $25 million. Trump heard about it and offered them $15 million. They laughed at the low offer and pursued more reasonable offers. Each offer fell through before closing so they came back to Trump because his extreme offer didn’t seem so extreme anymore. What did Trump do? He said “no”, the $15 million dollar offer was no longer good. Instead he offered them even less and they walked away again. This continued to go on until they were so desperate that they accepted a measly $5 million for the property and another couple of million for the contents. Trump says that just the value of the contents was worth more than what he paid for the entire house. Trump wins again and it all started with an extreme bid.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #4: You have to stop reacting to his extreme rhetoric otherwise you are going to have no peace. People in the press are starting to smarten up a bit but most of them are still just as hysterical as the hoi polloi. Extreme rhetoric is a device that Trump uses to make deals on his terms because when he makes deals on his terms he wins and often wins big. When he yanks your chain, don’t fall for it by barking. As one person said, “Don’t ever take Trump literally, but you had better take him seriously.”
5) KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE REAL PRIZE
If you are not a Trump supporter then the real prize is firing him by electing someone else in 2020. People who are promoting the idea of impeachment are just political operatives seeking to stoke the fires of hysteria with a pipe dream. The stepping stone to the real prize is the midterm elections in 2018. Currently, the Republicans control the Presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. The only thing that they don’t control is the Supreme Court. If they lose control of Congress then Trump will effectively be neutered just as the Republicans neutered Obama when they took over Congress. In order to control Trump, Republicans need to be defeated in the midterm elections; therefore people who support Democrats need to start taking actions that will work toward that defeat. That means that they need to start thinking like moderates and seeing the world through their eyes. Conservatives aren’t going to change their minds and neither are liberals. Conservatives are going to vote Republican regardless, just as liberals are going to vote Democrat. Only two things decide national elections, 1) Voter turnout and 2) Which way moderates vote. People sympathetic to the Democratic Party need to start asking themselves how their current actions are affecting the opinions of moderates. Actions like insulting Trump supporters and people in the middle via social media aren’t helping. Actions like endless protests over anything and everything Trump does, some of these turning into riots due to violence aren’t helping. Nonsensical commentary by “celebrities” given a platform to speak at rallies and marches isn’t helping. An example would be Madonna’s comments about fantasizing about blowing up the White House during the March for Women. That didn’t help, it only hurt the cause and especially when the television audience heard the marchers cheering her comments. A never ending stream of extreme accusations and panic fomenting speech by Democrat strategists isn’t helping. I was listening to NPR earlier today and it was non-stop wall to wall panic. They were making crazy claims that Trump is a puppet president controlled by vice president Pence and advisor Steve Bannon. Moments later they were accusing Trump of surrounding himself with nothing but “yes men” and being unwilling to listen to any kind of divergent opinion. They were so hysterical that it didn’t even occur to them that those two views are diametrically opposite to each other. That dog don’t hunt. (chuckle) Either he is so weak that he is being controlled by his surrogates or he is so stubborn that he is in complete control and won’t listen to anybody. It can’t be both! Start thinking before you speak. How do you think these kinds of things play out in the eyes and ears of moderates, the very people who are needed to overthrow the Republicans? There is no doubt that all of this extremism is energizing the far left but the far left is far outnumbered in America. It seems to me that the strategy of the Democratic Party is to keep everyone hyped up and hysterical for the next two years so that there is massive voter turnout in the midterm elections. The problem with this strategy is twofold; people are going to burn out and people are going to get turned off. You can’t possibly maintain a state of anger and hysteria for two years. Even the most ardent supporters are going to get sick and tired of the low quality of life that state of mind brings. The second problem is that it doesn’t do you any good to motivate the Democrat base if you simultaneously chase the moderates into the Republican camp. This is why I say that people need to start thinking like moderates and being sensitive to how their actions affect them. The way things are going now I wouldn’t be surprised if so many Middle Americans are turned off to the Democratic Party that Republicans actually pick up more seats in the midterm elections rather than lose control.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #5: Learn to talk to people in the middle and stop thinking that protestation is going to actually change anything, it isn’t. What needs to be changed are people’s minds and that won’t happen if all they see is anger, panic, and hysteria. Talk to people, not preach to them. You need to be able to intelligently and rationally explain why you believe Trump and the Republicans are wrong for America. Calling people names and/or insulting their intelligence because they don’t currently see the world the way you do is akin to helping Trump get re-elected. Keep your emotions in check and keep your eye on the real prize.
You only get one precious life. Don’t waste it being angry and bitter at a politician and his political party. Your anger is a complete waste because it doesn’t change anything other than to degrade your quality of life. I want you to be happy and mentally healthy. Currently I am experiencing a barrage of unhappiness and anger via my Facebook news feed which is not good. If you are upset now, how upset are you going to be if all of this current anger and hysteria only serves to push more Americans into the Republican camp and Trump gains more power rather than losing it? Please think deeply and rationally about that. To summarize my five tips on how to survive the Trump presidency:
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #1: Trust Obama’s words, “I think we’re going to be ok.”
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #2: Stop listening to the press and political operatives whose goal is to motivate you with fear and hatred.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #3: Remind yourself that Trump is obsessed with winning for himself and that winning is defined by how well you and I prosper both economically and socially.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #4: Remind yourself not to take Trump literally. His extreme rhetoric is just a tool he uses to gain an advantage in making deals.
SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #5: Use your energy positively to win over moderate voters and thereby defeat Republicans rather than wasting it on anger and hysteria which will only push them away.
I hope this article has helped you and that you prosper in spirit, soul, and body over the next four to eight years. Nobody deserves to live rent free in your head, especially President Donald J. Trump.
A friend of mine dubbed me “The voice of reason in a very unreasonable world” which I am flattered by because I am less than that. Having said that, if you enjoyed my writing I invite you to scroll to the very bottom of this page where there is a button labeled “Follow”. If you press that button you will receive a notification whenever this blog is updated with new posts. Thank you for reading.