“The American Dream is in ruins and the forgotten working class out of options. Fed up with the mirage, American populism fell for a greased-up hustler from the ivory tower. An Icarus, who after declaring bankruptcy for the sixth time made his way back from irrelevance by way of two words the American working class could understand: You’re fired!” ~Michael Rattray
Trumptastic: The word people use to sarcastically say something is fantastic. Synonym of horrible. ~Urban Dictionary
1.) He showcases how truly outdated the presidency is:
“Time makes ancient good uncouth.” ~James Russell Lowell
Puppet. Scapegoat. Stooge. Tool. Sure, almost every president, except maybe Lincoln and JFK, were these to some degree, but Trump takes it to a whole new level. He wins bigly in these departments.
As such, the presidency has lost what shred of relevance it had with a Trump win. He reveals now, more than ever, how truly outdated and parochial the position of president is. It may not be as antiquated as the queen of England, or the emperor of Japan, or the dictator of North Korea, but that doesn’t get it off the hook for needing to be left on the shit-pile of ill-governed human history.
Trump as president reveals now, more than ever, that we need neither masters nor rulers to look up to. We need only learn self-mastery and self-governance while looking up to authentic leaders and prestigious elders who have done the same thing. Trump is neither an authentic leader nor a prestigious elder. He is, however, a skillful conman and a master persuader. Hence his presidential victory.
2.) He reveals how voting is fundamentally flawed:
“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.” ~George Bernard Shaw
To elect means “to choose or make a decision.” The problem is our choices are limited due to bi-partisan fuckery, and our decisions seem to be “vote” or “not vote.” This idea is perpetuated by state manipulation, cultural conditioning, and entrenched political propaganda with corrupt lobbying that creates divisiveness.
But there is a third option. We can “elect” to think outside the ballot box. We can “elect” to take money out of politics. We can “elect” to have a complete system reboot, to include, especially, the electoral system. We can “elect” to implement a sortition system that lotteries-in leaders from an assembly of authentic leaders and prestigious elders and votes-out bad leaders. We can “elect” to devise a system that uses impeachment more often than it uses aggrandizement.
Indeed. We can “elect” to not elect a president at all, because we don’t need a scapegoat-puppet who is hamstrung by lobbyists, corporations, and bankers for a “leader.” We just need authentic leaders and prestigious elders –plural; chosen randomly from a competitive assembly of other authentic leaders and prestigious elders. That will get the job done just fine, while also preventing scapegoating and the rise of psychopaths.
3.) He exposes how bad leadership can win elections:
“We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice; not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
He is making an absolute mockery of leadership. This is way more important than his making a mockery of the presidency. The presidency was already a charade before Trump stepped in. But now the very foundations of leadership itself are being rocked by this unprincipled bully who never really matured into a healthy adult. If this is the example of what leadership looks like now, then we are in big trouble as a species.
Better to just do away with the presidency altogether. Better to focus on sound and disciplined leadership rather than on hustling and power-tripping one-upmanship. Good leaders create better leaders. Good con-men and master persuaders create better con-men and master persuaders. We don’t need a snake oil salesman disguised as a leader. We just need a group of authentic leaders and prestigious elders who keep each other in check, thus preventing the rise of charlatans, con artists and, worst of all, tyrants.
4.) He misleads through persuasive falsehoods rather than hard truths:
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” ~Attributed to Benjamin Franklin
Trump recognizes that human beings are easy to manipulate. All you have to do is speak to their emotional side, and you’ve got them hooked. There’s a reason why the facts espoused from his opposition in the 2016 election didn’t work. It’s because, as Scott Adams explains, “The human mind is a delusion generator, not a window to truth.” And the best way to get the human mind to create a delusion is to sidestep its reasoning powers and strike at its emotional weaknesses. In reality, facts are weaker than fiction. And Trump capitalized on this “fact.” Pun intended.
As Scott Adam’s surmised in his book Win Bigly: persuasion in a world where facts don’t matter, “A good general rule is that people are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion, repetition, and simplicity than they are by details and facts. If you’re using strong persuasion, you can be wrong on the facts, and even the logic of your argument, and still win.”
Trump’s presidential victory reveals the scary fact that all it takes to be the “leader” of the free world is to be a master persuader, a conman, a liar, and an aggressive manipulator of people’s emotions. All you’ve got to do is “grab them by the pussy.” It points out both the flaws of the electoral system and the flaws of people’s ability to reason.
Once again, the solution is leadership gained through a randomized lottery of established authentic leaders and prestigious elders. No debates needed. No elections needed to manipulate voters. No president needed. Easy.
5.) He reveals how those who crave power tend to be the least capable of holding it:
“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” ~Douglas Adams
Power is a tricky thing. Nothing tests a person’s character more than power and the pursuit of power. Elections attract power hungry egomaniacs at best and warmongering psychopaths at worst. Those who seek a position of power over others should not be in a position of power. Such power will inevitably become corrupt since the motive was neither authentic leadership nor prestigious influence.
On the other hand, those who seek to empower others through authentic leadership don’t seek power but prestige. They want to share their knowledge and spread their power for the benefit of the whole. What power they gain from such leadership and prestige is checked and balanced by other authentic leaders and prestigious elders. Once again, no need for a president.
Authentic leaders don’t follow power; they learn how to turn the tables on power, even their own, so that power does not corrupt. They understand the frailty of the human condition and how dangerously easy it is to manipulate. As such, they don’t kowtow to authoritarian rule; they seek to dismantle it, despite the “rank and order” that vainly attempts to prop it up. It is for this reason that sortition by lottery from an assembly of authentic leaders and prestigious elders is the most intelligent and power-expiating way to lead.
Governing the precept that humans are fallible, imperfect, and prone to make mistakes, especially when it comes to power, it stands to reason that confiding in a system made up of an individual president wielding exorbitant amounts of power is absurd. As Edward Abbey wisely surmised, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”
6.) He reveals how the presidency can be bought rather than earned:
“We may have democracy, or we may have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” ~Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice
Trump, more than any other president, has revealed how elections have become auctions. The fact that the average person doesn’t realize this is evidence that plutocracy is working. And it’s all working at the expense of “we the people,” at the expense of our environment and precious ecosystems, and at the expense of freedom itself.
In our world, money is power. Money concentrated in the hands of a few means power concentrated in the hands of a few. And since power tends to corrupt if it goes unchecked, the people must be free to check it, lest tyranny prevail. But because of a failed election system, the people are not free to check it.
As it stands, it is impossible to live freely within an oligarchic plutocracy. The plutocrats will simply continue buying up power by creating oppressive laws and “legal” extortion rackets that keep the people without wealth and power in a permanent state of poverty and powerlessness. Add to that the use of lobbyists and a fiat currency based on debt, and you have a nation of hoodwinked debt slaves under the delusion that they live in a free democratic republic.
Eradicating the presidency and advocating for a recycled group of authentic leaders and prestigious elders on a rotating lottery from an ever-evolving esteemed assembly, will go a long way in eliminating the disease of plutocracy and corporatocracy that ails us.
7.) The presidency advocates for unhealthy vertical democracy at the expense of healthy horizontal democracy:
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” ~Aldous Huxley
We must be able to admit, especially with a Trump presidency, that plutocracy disguised as vertical democracy simply does not work well as a healthy and progressively sustainable mode of human governance. Something’s got to give. And that something is to eliminate the electoral process altogether and implement a process of sortition. It’s so simple even an ancient Athenian 5th grader could understand it.
The ill-conceived concept of the presidency is an outdated tradition. It’s time we left it behind on the parochial woodpile of all things obsolete, dried-up, and combustible. Burn baby burn! While we’re at it, we can also toss the imperial state crown of England, the imperial throne of Japan, and Kim Jong-un himself into the fire. I’ll bring the marsh mellows. C’est la vie!