Trump and Hillary: the Status Quo Survives
Trump hadn’t even made his way to the media booths backstage before his performance had been roundly characterized as a big loss by the media. But even as they had to recognize a surprisingly strong opening 20 minutes or so by Trump, especially on trade, and even as more conservative media commented on Lester Holt’s targeting of Trump with much tougher follow-up questions in the latter stages, they had a point.
Stamina matters on the campaign trail, and on the debate stage as well. But they are two different shades of endurance. One requires lots of energy and will power as you move from event to event and build a portfolio of (hopefully) poll-boosting soundbites.
The other involves focus, or mental stamina if you will. It's not about high energy. Trump had plenty of energy on stage at Hofstra University. It's about staying in control during a slugfest. Doing both. Slugging and smiling your way through a basketful of statistics your team has hand-picked for you. Credible enough data that a fact check takes too long. Like numbers on what the economy under Trump, or under Hillary, might be like in the next few years, courtesy of economic experts. Also called academic opinions based on models speculating on future trends. Models that might have some relationship with reality in that near future. Or not.
That's how you boost credibility with a NYT reporter, who already has a mission statement labelled Stop the Donald taped to his laptop. But it also works with slightly less partisan observers, it must be said.
Look. Defending the Status Quo is hard work. You have to prepare and have a veritable flea market of facts neatly gathered at your fingertips. And over here - within easy reach - you need those red hot facts that you hope your opponent will lunge at and bite into, causing him to digress at least, if you can't get him to rant. And sip nervously at his water.
Trump did, unfortunately for his supporters, fall for the bait. Instead of drilling down into Hillary's private server and how she handled vital emails at State, he told us how brilliant his youngest kid was on the computer. Instead of even mentioning the Clinton Foundation, he openly bragged about his ability to pay little tax while earning hundreds of millions of dollars.
That's the thing. Donald Trump is truly proud of the wealth he has earned and likes to brag about it. Pride over accumulation of capital is a deadly sin in today's progressive world. Wealth per se, depending on who is wealthy, is not necessarily a sin, of course, but pride is. And bragging about it is so naive, that in the eyes of the multi-millionaires and billionaires who fund Hillary's campaign, it's laughable.
And laugh they did.
You see, in today's compliance world, wealth and inequality is not really the issue. That's the sort of stuff that Bernie Sanders could rant on about, but Hillary understand better. It's the aesthetics not the ethics that count. It's the granular details of policy that you exploit to become and stay wealthy. And it's the facade of humanitarian charity that dresses up this wealth.
It's about helping people navigate the internet using targeted algorithms, for example. And the tens of billions making up the net wealth of (each of) Larry Page and Sergy Brin is merely an interesting side effect of those brilliant algorithms. It's the knowledge economy, and it would never stoop so low as to brag about their billions like a crude New York Developer. Or acknowledge that the Solar industry is an expensive government-subsidized failure when seeking scale.
And if you're a humble, hard working Senator or Secretary of State, the speeches you give to Wall Street in between your government gigs, is all to display what a capable leader you are. How firm your grasp of policy is. And not to deposit a nice 6 figures in your bank account for an hour's worth of work.
Trump doesn't get this silent, two-faced digital economy. He's so 20th century that he talks about his relationship with his workers and architects and sets himself up for another line of attack by Hillary. But there's just one thing. We won't know for a little while if he's seen as naive in heartland America. But for most of the media and the status quo elite, they can feel a little relief for now. The status quo has been skillfully defended. Compliance rules from K Street to Wall Street.Posted by AllardK at September 27, 2016 8:26 PM