Thursday, 10 December 2015


What is Donald Trump up to with his latest comment about a moratorium on Muslims? First of all, it’s just something he said on the campaign trail, a straw thrown to the wind to see which way it's blowing. It can be backed away from if necessary and it doesn’t tie him down or commit him to anything solid.

But what it does do is improve his position with certain key groups that Trump needs to win over or keep a hold off, while also emphasing once again what makes Trump such a special and different politician.

It has been noted by some that Trump made this play shortly after one poll put Ted Cruz ahead of him in Iowa, the first primary state. The implication is that Trump was specifically trying to appeal to Iowa Republicans with this bit of Muzzie-bashing, even though it might damage him elsewhere with other Americans. There might be some truth in this, even though Americans are hardly renowned for their deep affection for the Islamic world. The relentless media barrage could turn away some faint-hearted supporters, at least temporarily. But then again it might not.

Looking at it in a wider context, his "anti-Muslim" rhetoric could also be seen as a way to appeal to evangelicals in general, in order to consolidate and improve his position in the Republican field. His nearest rivals in recent months, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, also draw a lot of support from that demographic, whose members still remain suspicious of Trump’s Christian credentials. Personally, I don’t think he is a Christian beyond a loose cultural affiliation.

In phase one of Trump's drive for the US Presidency, the evangelical part of the Republican party is where the main threat comes from, so it is not surprising to see Trump deploy a strategy aimed at appealing to this vital group and keep his rivals in check.

But any Anti-Islamist policy also raises the question of the Jews. Most Jews of course vote Democrat, but it obviously makes sense for Trump to appeal to this group as much as possible, not only because he might improve his numbers, but because Jews have enormous media and financial power, which they can use either positively or negatively by supporting or attacking Trump.

While various Jewish organizations have been quick to denounce Trump’s comment about stopping Muslims travelling to the USA, many rank-and-file Jews are uneasy about Muslims and Muslim migration. Jews are very aware of how their brethren in others lands are doing, and it is no secret that many French Jews, for example, have been leaving France or switching their support to the Front National. Trump also has family connections with Jews – a daughter is married to a Jew – so the bulk of Jews are unlikely to view him in the same light as Hitler, no matter what paranoia and hyperbole some members of the tribe may exhibit.

But Trump’s calculatedly offhand comment about stopping Muslims also has other benefits, as Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, explained in a recent blog post:
"It appears that Trump is playing the odds, and smartly, whether you like it or not. ISIS, or its supporters, will certainly strike again. And each time that happens you will try to imagine what can be done about it. And you will only know of one option – the Trump option of shutting down all Muslim immigration for now.

You can hate that option or you can love it. But you probably don’t know of any other plan. Your option for doing something (as opposed to nothing) comes down to Trump’s plan. It is the only plan you know, flawed as it is. And when a monster attacks, you escape through the door that exists, not the one you wish existed. Advantage, Trump."
In other words he now effectively 'owns' the issue of Islamic terrorism in America; and with Europe, Canada, and America being flooded and infiltrated by Islamic State operatives, this is an asset that is going to repeatedly pay out in the run-up to the US elections. Every time a new outrage occurs, people will be forced to say "Trump was right."

But an additional benefit of Trump’s strategy is that it reminds everyone once again what a unique and different politician he is, and that he is not like the others. No other politician could made such a move. Even Ted Cruz would be shaking in his boots if those words had passed his lips, as he wondered whether he should have first checked it with his donors. Trump doesn’t have that handicap with the result that he sounds a lot more sincere than any other politician, and he sounds his sincerest when he says something that any other politician would be scared to say.

Thanks to the climate of political correctness that has infected the West – like a poisonous miasma  – and which has made nearly all politicians fearful of offending anyone and angering the liberal watchdogs with their vast arsenals of Hitler comparisons, Trump can get this effect by simply saying something that is mainstream common sense, and which the vast majority of people –  those low down in the moral signalling hierarchy – actually agree with.

The more they attack him the stronger he grows.
Think about it: 130 soft targets butchered in France, 14 equally soft targets slaughtered in California, on-going threats and attacks almost everywhere – all by people identifying as Muslim jihadists – and  ISIS clogging up the internet with their snuff videos, and someone says, "Hey, maybe we should clamp down on things a bit till, y'know, we know what’s going on, like..." In its essence this sounds rather mild and twee. The proof that it is, is that even Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from coming to America during the Hostage Crisis.

This shows that Trump has skillfully triggered his enemies to attack him on strong ground, and the more they attack him there, the more they fail, and the more they fail, the more they burnish his legend and shine a light on the Trump supremacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment