Why not subscribe?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Segmenting opposition to Trump

In marketing, you can segment the market in several different ways. For example, you might separate soup by product type (dry | ready to serve | condensed) or by customer (seniors | families with kids | college students, etc.)

If we look at opposition to Trump, what segments might we see?

1. We might look at policy opposition.  This is the traditional form of opposition. The candidate proposing policies you favor lost, and you oppose some of the policies likely to be proposed by the new administration.  Lots of examples of this in cabinet appointments. Should we feel good about a Secretary of Labor who opposes minimum wage increases (and, in fact, seem to favor abolishing the minimum wage in whole or in part) and opposes the new overtime rules (because he comes from the fast-food industry, notorious for abusing them)?

2. Next, we might look at moral opposition. In this view, Trump is a narcissist, misogynist (and possible sexual predator), racist, a man on his third wife who's admitted -- really boasted about -- his extramarital affairs.  A man who claims Christian values, but can't cite a bible verse he likes and thinks one of the Pauline epistles is "Two Corinthians".  A hypocrite, who claims giving millions to charity but really hasn't, who hires people to do jobs for him and then doesn't pay them. Who seems to be refusing to divorce himself from his business interests or even reveal what they are. Where are those tax returns he promised to release after his election?

3. Next, we might look at impulse control opposition.  This is personality, rather than character.  We have a president who tweets insults at those who slightly offend him (even people he has previously praised). This is a man who doesn't seem to have the seriousness and calm required to be commander-in-chief and have the nuclear codes.

This worries me most of all.  We might reverse policy. We might have an actual religious revival in the next decade to reverse moral decline.  But if that finger pushes the nuclear button in a fit of pique ...  we have begun something that cannot be reversed.

4. Somewhere we have to make room for Manchurian candidate opposition. How much influence does Russia now have? What's that mysterious server in Trump's headquarters? How far have the Russians hacked and selectively released to help Trump? Will they attempt to re-exert control over eastern Europe?

Manchurian candidate opposition goes beyond policy opposition to veer towards actions in the interest of Russia (and Trump's finances), rather than American interests -- maybe even nearing treason.

But in our system of government, it's the executive branch that would do the investigation: the FBI / Department of Justice, the CIA. Sure, there are congressional investigations, but these often turn into public circuses rather than the type of investigation the investigative agencies do.

5. And, finally, there's sore loser opposition. Calls for recount, for faithless electors in the electoral college, for the abolition of the electoral college, for obscure U.S. Senate rules that might allow Joe Biden to push the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in the time between the end of this Congress and the convening of the next.  Hey, we lost. Get over it and don't look for cute ways to duck the outcome. These are both hopeless, and undermine the system.