The destruction of brand Trump.

As readers may be aware I am delighted by the Trump candidacy because it is destroying the Republican Party and will pave the way for an epic defeat in the November general elections. Not only will the GOP lose the presidential race because none of its candidates will be able to muster the votes needed to overcome the Democratic advantage (be it Hillary or Bernie who lead the ticket). It could well lose control of Congress on the negative coattails of the presidential race (the entire House and 1/3 of the Senate are up for grabs, with the Democrats needing to win 4-5 current Republican seats in order to gain control of the Senate). It does not matter if Trump is the GOP presidential candidate or if he or another Republican go independent in the wake of the convention, which itself promises to be a bloodbath. The vast majority of swing voters and independents, who tend to vote on the Left in any event, will be galvanised to vote against whatever the Republicans have to offer, Trump in particular. For all his bluster about bringing out new voters on the Republican side, what he really has done is bring out new voters on both sides–most of whom are against him. As a result, the GOP is doomed and could well split into Tea bagger/populist and “moderate” right parties in the wake of what is looming as an electoral  catastrophe of historical proportions.

A tipping point has been reached this week with the escalation of protests against Trump at his rallies and the retaliatory violence of his supporters and campaign staff and security against those who dare confront him on his xenophobic bigotry and inflammatory rhetoric (and one has to ask why local law enforcement and the Secret Service act as his praetorian guard when removing peaceful protesters at his behest. After all, they are not in his employ and are not legally authorised to detain, handcuff and arrest people exercising their right to protest in public spaces just because he wants them forcibly removed).

The cancellation of a Chicago rally because of protests will only encourage more of them, and they will be increasingly large and organised in nature. That in turn will enrage Trump, who does not have the good sense (or even basic ability) to moderate his venom, which will bring out the full nut case element in his support base (which has already started to appear more and more frequently). Unfortunately, it is now a very real possibility that someone will be killed or seriously injured at a Trump rally, and the perpetrators will be his supporters, not his opponents.

When that happens, the wheels will come off the Trump political cart.

By then the damage to the GOP “brand” will have been irretrievably done. But what I find just as wonderful is that Brand Trump itself is now irreversibly damaged as well. However illusory, it used to represent luxury, opulence, quality, style and the excess that comes with success. It had global recognition. It was synonymous with capitalist high rolling, only in part because of his obsession with casinos.

In the wake of this presidential campaign, that image has been replaced by something less illusory and much darker. “Trump” is now synonymous with racism, xenophobia, buffoonery, demagoguery, narcism, sociopathy, chauvinism, misogyny, war-mongering, bullying, cheating, lying, senseless violence, stupidity–the list goes on. Whatever people may have done by way of word association with the name Trump in the past, my bet is that the first thing that now comes to mind when his name is mentioned is some of the negative terms mentioned above.  In fact, the word Trump may well become an adjective or verb, as in “that old white dude went all Trump on me when I said that Obama was not a Kenyan,” or “that reactionary fool is just plain Trumped in the head.” It could even be used as a noun, for example, as in “Trumpster:” n.: an idiot, fool, dolt, ignoramus, numbskull, someone who is gullible, slow on the uptake, blindly naive or prejudiced in the extreme.

His tarnished brand may survive in the US, perhaps in red neck resort destinations like the Florida panhandle and the coastal Deep South and/or parts of Appalachia. But many Americans, and not just “ethnic” Americans or Democrats, will shun his products, services and anything with his name on it. There may be boycotts and protests organised against them. And with the possible exception of Putin’s Russia (given the mutual admiration society he runs with Trump), as a global brand it is finished. Think of the Arabs, Latin Americans, Asians and even Europeans that Trump has scapegoated and insulted. Any current or potential Trump business partner or investor now has to wonder if they will be tainted by association with him and whether their business will suffer as a result. Given daily revelations of his less than salubrious past business dealings, profound dishonesty and myriad failures that have ruined others much more than it has hurt him,what foreign governments other than those of tinpot dictators are going to want a bar of him as an investment partner? Even better, increased scrutiny of his business dealings may well result in criminal charges being laid against him, which will only add to the tarnish on the brand.

The hard fact is that the Trump campaign will prove deleterious for Trump business holdings, which explains why his managerial minions, “the best people” in his words,  are currently in the process of putting legal and PR distance on him. The trouble for them, however, remains embedded in that ubiquitous name.

This is the silver lining in the Trump cloud. Not only has he exposed the ugly side of US politics. He has exposed himself and his illusory brand in doing so. He is taking the GOP down along with him, and neither it or his brand will survive the fall intact.

That is truly a good thing.

16 thoughts on “The destruction of brand Trump.

  1. I think the world is on the cusp of a paradigm shift
    of which the US election merry go round is just one factor in the greater game of wealth power and dominance

    Other factors include
    – the middle east situations ( plural )
    – finance and currency wars
    – the increasing presence of China and the new silk road

  2. I agree Edward, that we are in a global transitional moment (well, actually, have been since the end of the Cold War). In that vein I am doing a series of public talks in NZ this year on this very theme (” Transitional Dynamics, Micro and Macro”) where I start with the US elections and then expand to global changes

    The recent twists in the GOP presidential campaign and the Trump phenomenon are simply worthy of focused attention, which is what I have done here.

  3. Trump is too established a word I think, but maybe “Drumpf” could take that meaning.

    The Trump debacle is greatly increasing the chance of multi-party democracy occurring in the US (still a low chance, but now possible). At first I though the Republican party would be the one to split, but watching their behaviour so far makes me think it might actually be the Democrats bifurcating into Sanders and Clinton directions.

  4. I believe that a split on either side of the aisle would do US democracy good, although it is clear that it is the Right side that are in disarray and more likely to fracture.

    However, the behaviour of the DNC and its chair, the corporate toady Debby Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL 23rd district), towards Bernie Sanders during this campaign does raise the distinct possibility of a new Left party forming if his policy proposals do not find their way into Hillary’s post-convention platform. His supporters will rather abstain from voting altogether rather than hold their noses and vote for her (as I will) if that happens. That could trickle down into the congressional races.

    That is why Hillary and the DNC need to treat Bernie fairly and incorporate some of his policy proposals into her campaign. Otherwise, and although Trump and Cruz are clearly unelectable, a run by Rubio, Kasich or some late-coming independent dark horse might upset the apple cart.

  5. You should set a user icon for yourself Pablo since you comment the most. I think they are set through, just upload a pic there using the same email address as the one you use to comment here and it should automatically work.

  6. In an attempt to keep things local I think the national party will have similar (but not as dire) issues when Key final lets go of the reigns.

    They had it in the past when Brash ran his coup party and none of the current front line has any ability to be the face of the party despite any want to do so. Imagine Judith Collins running for PM.

    The reason for this, and I would agree with Edward here but add a bit more analysis, is that growing social and economic inequality is eroding any political brand which puts the market first (ie right wing, and sometimes left wing parties).

    Trumps campaign has already split the republicans but once he is gone they wont go quietly. Expect to see more gerrymandering and vote rigging and such in the coming elections. His popularity comes from the fact that he is actually acknowledging those growing disparities and openly acknowledging the effects of 20 years of Neo Liberal policies on the US.

    That said Hillary Clinton will be no better than trump if she gets in. As some commentators have pointed out, she is the same naked greed and political ambition as well as crooked background but with a nice friendly face on. Trump is just all of those with the mask off.

    The only sane and even reasonably progressive vote choice, ie the only one who will not just enforce the status quo or actual regress backwards is Sanders.

  7. I’m actually a Cruz fan. However I condemn the violence against Trump as neo-Bolshevism.

    I have always known the left wing political class would shift from soft tyranny to hard as soon as a force arose that threatened their hegemony across the West.

    America’s founders knew exactly what they were doing when the wrote the Constitution underpinning the Republic and the 2nd amendment to the BOR has never been more important.

    Whereas Canada, Australia, UK and NZ are all pretty much gone, the Constitutional Republic of the US has not yet surrendered and the 1st amendment has defeated the left’s wishes to institute the same soft tyranny there.

    For all his flaws, Trump has shown that push back is possible under the exceptional political status of the US.

    The left don’t like it, but that exceptional state means that to control the political paradigm as completely as they do in the rest of the West, they’re most likely going to have to use violence.

    What we are seeing in the US right now is a threat to the left’s soft tyranny right across the West. They will fight it by any means necessary for its important to them that the revolution does not spread.

    The US constitution deprives them of their usual means. Those they have used in other western countries. Its no surprise therefore to see them threatening the same old Bolshevism. It in the end the only counter measure that remains for them.

    The US Constitution allowed the people much more freedom than the rest of the West. Its therefore to be expected that its going to be the first place we see the always present threat of violence from the left become a reality.

  8. Red: I am not sure what you are seeing but it seems pretty clear that the violence is coming from the Right, not the Left. And as I said in a recent post, the seditious anti-constitutionalists are from the Right as well, even as the claim to be “defending”it.

    Hw do you reconcile the corporate control of the political process in the US, the abject domination of Wall Street over all economic logics, and the military-industrial complex-pushed neo-imperialist warmongering with your notion that the US is ruled by a soft tyranny of the left wing political class? Are the likes of McConnell, Ryan, Bachmann and even more reactionary politicians than them your idea of a soft left?

    Now Trump has threatened to send “his people” (read: goons) to Sanders rallies, in an open threat, because some protesters at his rallies hold Sanders signs or wear Bernie t-shirts. Do you defend this type of mobster response? Do you really believe, if it was an orchestrated effort by the Sanders campaign, that protestors would identify themselves as Sanders supporters? Seriously?

    As for Cruz. There is a reason he is loathed by everyone and it is not because he is standing up to the soft tyranny of the Left. It is because pit vipers have more integrity than he does.

  9. I like Redbaiter, he is funny. I always laugh when I read his posts.

    I do wonder if English is his first language given the grammatical errors or weird sentences that sometimes occur.

    If profiling I would say, young male, foreign student, studying masters or above probably in pols or (less likely)strat studies.

  10. Daniel:

    Perhaps Red will illuminate us on that score. My take is that he is an old school anti-communist who has not moved with the times and sees commie conspiracies everywhere. To each his own.

    There is an occasional troll who pops up here who is a former student at Auckland U that developed a dislike for me after I slammed his shoddy work. He fancies himself to be quite the foreign policy expert and pops up on various blogs under different pseudonyms spouting reactionary rubbish, but until recently did not realise that it was a bad idea to do so using his work computer at a government agency. He now belatedly tries to hide his tracks with various IP masking techniques.

  11. Pablo, when I remark upon your cloistered political environment I’m really only half serious. You once told me that university staff rooms were hotbeds of political intrigue, and I believe it.

    However without wanting to be rude, I must say I am utterly astonished at your limited perspective on US politics. I mean you’re regarded in some circles as an astute commentator. How then could you possibly have it so very very wrong?

    For the record, I think Bernie Sanders will win the Democratic nomination and also the Presidency. (I actually have a few bets on this outcome) I see the reason for this as a derelict education system combined with the success of Cultural Marxism, aka Communist subversion. The young who will see Bernie over the line never had a chance.

    My view ,and its a view shared by millions, is that the problem with US politics is that the Democrats are too far left (hence Bernie) and the Republican Party are far too friendly with them, if not almost completely infiltrated by Democrat subversives.

    Bachmann (history anyway) is held in contempt by the Republican establishment. That’s Ryan and McConnell, who are hated by the Tea Party and the circles I move in as not just RINOs but traitors. Cruz bluntly called McConnell a liar, and he was right.

    So, trying to keep this short, we have what we call the political class, or the Democrat/ Republican axis, aka the establishment, a far left political bloc fighting to hold power in the face of a long awaited rebellion sponsored by those who value the Constitutional Republic, the BOR and government the way it once was and was meant to be.

    See here for a rough outline of what we mean by that-

    The objective in minimal terms is to replace the complex you see as rogue right wing capitalism (but is really far left cronyism) with the small weak powerless govt the US had a century ago. Trump may not subscribe to those ideas, but it doesn’t matter for the first objective has to be to destroy what exists. The Repub/ Democrat swinging door coalition. If Trump helps there well and good.

    As for the smaller story, the violence at rallies, there are no Conservatives going to Sanders or Clinton gatherings causing trouble. The subversion is all one way. As it is at colleges and universities where Progressives frequently shutdown addresses from Conservatives.

    There are no Conservatives in colleges shutting down speeches by Progressives. And it was Obama who said “get in their faces”. It was Obama who said “never bring a knife to a gun fight”. I read today where Clinton supporters were caught at Trump rallies wearing Swastika armbands. How’s that for cowardly deceit?

    Again, not trying to be rude, but you really need to expand your political horizons. The real battle today is between Progressives/ liberals (really just the modern communist party with BLM and other groups playing the usual Bolshevik roles) and conservatives, as represented by Cruz, Mike Lee, the Tea Party and a few other groups. We have no militant wing like BLM.

    Follow me on Twitter or something. It might do you good.

  12. Red:

    You and I exist in alternative, not parallel, universes. Your views represent those of dying white middle aged, lesser educated folk in the US (and they are literally dying at rates unseen in decades, owing to poor health habits, substance dependency and avoidable accidents). I mean you no disrespect when saying this, but the prism through which you view the world is exactly theirs.

    The relative absence of Right protestors at rallies and universities is simple: the Left does not engage in the type of hate mongering that Right uses as its stock in trade, which prompts members of targeted and scapegoated groups to protest against it. In fact, the entire GOP discourse is one big whinge about “others” when in fact things in the US are nowhere as bad as they claim they are.

    The idea that the US political elite are closet commies is, I hate to say it, ridiculous.

    In any event, we will have to agree to disagree.

    One other thing. Although you quote me correctly regarding academic intrigue (and it brings back that famous Kissinger quote that the intensity of academic battles is inversely proportional to the stakes involved), I am no longer in academia and have not been for some time. These days I am a small business owner.

  13. “the type of hate mongering that Right uses as its stock in trade, which prompts members of targeted and scapegoated groups to protest against it.”


    Absolutely unbelievable.

    You try to justify these vicious attacks by a statement such as that. ??


    An “educated” one time university lecturer and supposedly sophisticated and intelligent human being??

    You see, this shows the real danger here is leftist brain rot, a process of indoctrination that completely destroys the ability of the victim to think as a rational human being.

    I’m amazed how left wingers are so oblivious of how destructive their thinking processes are. There’s no real mystery as to why they have killed over 100 million citizens since the start of the 20th century.

    Check here for a topical example of where such perverse thinking leads us-

    (Good luck with your small business. Hope it leads you to an epiphany as regards your political thinking.)

  14. Red:

    The Left is not the Stalinist monolith that you think it is. And quite frankly, the US Left is meek and tame version of self-confident and aggressive progressive (not working class) movement.

    You have to be deluded to not notice that the violence being meted out in recent years in the US is mostly unidirectional, meted out by the unhinged and rabid Right on anything to the perceived Left, including the federal and local governments and innocent civilians who happen to work for causes that the Right despises. That includes acts of violence committed by Islamic extremists (who in truth commit a small percentage of the politically motivated violence in the US), whose ideology is profoundly regressive, not progressive.

    I am concerned that you cannot discern between Rightwing propaganda and disinformation and fact.

    As for my epiphany from running a small business. What I have learned is that in NZ at least it is all about incestuous crony capitalism, shoulder taps, sinecures and who you know, not about merit. I can only surmise that it is even worse amongst the corporate elites in the US.

  15. Funny, I was about to suggest your business experience might be as described, but left it out for space reasons.

    Under socialism, corruption and cronyism grow like tomatoes in a hot house.

    Its why I want things to be as described in my “it shouldn’t matter who is president” link above.

    I’m done with this. Thanks for the exchange of views. Its a rare thing to find a communist prepared to defend his position or tolerate any strong argument against. So many of them are such rank intellectual cowards.

  16. No problem Red. It was interesting having you come around these parts.

    As for the comment about it not mattering who the president is. In the late 80s I was a fellow at a Brazilian think tank when the campaign to succeed Reagan was underway. I was lamenting to a Brazilian colleague that George H. Bush, who as VP had said that he knew and heard nothing about Iran-Contra, was the clear favourite to win the presidency.

    My colleague laughed and said “you Americans are so lucky. Here in Brazil we look for one great person to lead us out of darkness and into modernity. But in the US you can have a monkey as president and it does not matter. The machine keeps on rolling. What a country!”

    I used to believe that he was correct but am no longer sure that is the case.

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