Trump’s Trials: Protecting the Republic against the Left’s Assault on Trust.
As Francis Fukuyama said in Trust, his landmark book on how culture shapes political and economic systems, “People who do not trust one another will end up cooperating only under a system of formal rules and regulations, which have to be negotiated, agreed to, litigated, and enforced, sometimes by coercive means.”
In short, to turn America into a socialist state undermine the trust Americans have in one another. Through bullying and propaganda, the Leftist attack on trust has spread to every aspect of our lives and is probably the greatest threat to Donald Trump. Christians following the Ten Commandments are depicted as hypocrites. Lincoln, who freed the slaves, is portrayed as a racist. During the pandemic, liberals, like NYC’s Bill de Blasio, encourage neighbors to snitch on neighbors. Add to the mix the promotion of gender dysphoria as a form of oppression, and the Left has gotten us to distrust not only our neighbors, but our own identity.
Trump, mercurial and combative, is an experienced negotiator. He knows trust is essential to deal-making and re-establishes it using common negotiation techniques: 1) he calls a spade a spade, backing up his opinion with facts, 2) he avoids giving credibility to ridiculous claims, and 3) he counterpunches ad hominem attacks with ridiculous statements of his own.
Take, for example, the recent battle over whether or not the president is manipulating the November election through the Post Office. It began when Democrats asked Congress for two items totally $28.5 billion to fund universal mail-in voting, and the president, on Fox Business, responded by saying “if [the Democrats] don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in-voting because [the Post Office is] not equipped to have [universal mail-in voting].” The media punch back, exaggerating his comment to mean a direct threat to a fair election. Then, a few photos of mail boxes being removed as standard maintenance are posted on the internet, with a claim that the president ordered the USPS to remove mail boxes and sorting machines nationwide, and that because of this order people aren’t receiving federal checks. Lastly, Speaker Pelosi calls the House back in session to address the matter, and in so doing, get sound bites of her people asking Post Office officials what they knew and when they knew it as a kind of political theatre to undermine our faith in the election. The fact that the USPS was doing business as usual by removing rusty mailboxes or relocating unused ones to areas of denser traffic matters little. It’s the theater that counts, and the erosion of our trust in election fairness.
The president fights back with details about the USPS, its budget, and how it runs - plus how inefficiently it operates compared to competitors like UPS and Amazon. He avoids giving credibility to ridiculous claims - so you never hear him say things like “I’m not trying to dismantle the USPS and here’s why…” Lastly, among other more practical tweets, he tweeted the silly “Save the Post Office,” which caused numerous critics to give him headspace, tweeting pithy replies like “Hey, douchebag, you’re the one who’s trashing the Post Office,” etc.
Though many Republicans neither like nor understand the president’s tweeting strategy, it’s effective. Saul Alinsky wrote about the value of emotional strategies like name calling, and the president isn’t afraid to employ emotion on the battlefield. Now, thanks to “Save the Post Office,” the emotional attacks fizzle, and the public is redirected to opinion supported by fact: the USPS has become an inefficient organization compared to its competitors. People don’t trust the USPS to deliver their regular mail. So, even with an infusion of cash, the USPS would be ill equipped to handle a massive influx of ballots that must be delivered by a specific date and time.
Though die hard liberals won’t be swayed by the president’s tactics, people who use common sense will. They’ll think of the long lines they encounter at the PO or how their Christmas presents always arrive late. Moreover, “Save the Post Office” may get voters to ask why the president who’s allegedly out to destroy the PO would ask voters who prefer mail to request an absentee ballot. (The answer: absentee ballots are safeguarded by a signature check, whereas universal mail-in voting is not.)
“Because culture is a matter of ethical habit, it changes very slowly—much more slowly than ideas.” (Fukuyama) Our culture is based on trust, so our constitution includes freedom of speech and religion, and the right to bear arms. Because culture changes slowly, the president is not only right to defend it by upholding the constitution, he’s right to poke holes in the attempts of his opponents to destroy our way of life by putting them in charge.