How did this political apprentice blindside the country and deliver what Bill O’Reilly described as “the greatest political upset the planet has ever seen”?
In order to understand Donald Trump, the pundits and his political opponents read and re-read his dazzling book, The Art of the Deal, looking for the secrets of Trump’s successes in business, his ambitions and his moral flaws. This was the folly that led them to a critical misconception about Donald Trump. Instead of reading The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump, they should have read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese warrior-philosopher who wrote the book two thousand years ago. Sun Tzu taught that the central importance in war is deception. “Even though you are competent, appear incompetent. Though effective, appear ineffective. One with great skill appears inept.” “Wear them down by fight, foster disharmony, use their anger and pride against them,” advised Sun Tzu. We all remember the midnight tweets, “Lying Ted,” “Low Energy” and “Crooked Hillary.”
Trump meticulously created the image of a dumbbell to mask his multifaceted personality. He succeeded to the point that the Democrats genuinely believed he was a joke, a clown, whose campaign was poorly organized and underfunded, who would be easily defeated in November. In a state of political intoxication, many predicted an election Armageddon: a landslide Democratic victory, taking over the White House and both houses of Congress, and the destruction of the Republican Party. Mark Cuban even betted on the demise of the Trump brand and his personal bankruptcy.
It never occurred to either his opponents or his supporters that the way Trump appeared to be was part of a calculated strategy.
Trump understood long ago that the moral imperative of the president of the United States is to look out for the interests of this country; hence he framed his campaign into a movement of bringing the nation back from the ideological retreat it suffered with the election of Barack Obama. Trump expertly used massive political rallies, media, and press conferences to deliver his promise to renege the iniquitous policies that were causing the misery of the American people and offer innovative solutions to the nation’s problems. In the process, Trump orchestrated and dominated almost every news cycle.
During a meeting with the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump demonstrated a political acumen superior to his interlocutor when he prudently pushed the most explosive issue, building the wall, to the margins of the agenda. Nieto raised the issue to his own detriment. Such signs of political cleverness and intellectual prowess, a prelude of what was to come, contradicted the accepted postulate and were mostly ignored by the Democrats and, over time, discounted by the Republicans, leaving widespread incomprehension intact. As if to preserve the ambiguity, Trump, after exhibiting aptitude, would retreat behind the veil of ignorance, resisting the temptation to reassure his supporters and consequently reveal his strategy prematurely. “The inscrutable win, the obvious lose,” taught Sun Tzu.
It all came to fruition during the last month of the campaign, when the real Donald J. Trump showed up. Intelligent, ruthless in his attacks, single-minded in the pursuit of his objectives, he exuded authority, evoked trust, inspired confidence and took the moral imperative. While Trump talked about replacing Obamacare, bringing back jobs, improving education, keeping America safe and rebuilding American inner cities, Hillary, who presumed superior maturity, suddenly found herself woefully unprepared for a substantive discussion of the issues. Desperate to contrive a response to Trump’s substance and populism, Hillary allied herself with the radical elements of the socialist movement, acting like an American Leon Trotsky, attacking capital more viciously than ever and advocating “fair” wealth distribution. Having nothing to offer, she continued attacking Trump’s character, bringing back his alleged mistreatment of women and disparaging remarks about Muslims and Mexicans.
While Trump went forward on the issues that concerned Americans, Hillary went backward, recycling what had already been digested by the public. Economic and political realities compounded ideological differences. The rising costs of Obamacare, a dismal economic performance and Hillary’s string of scandals were hardly a blessing for her presidential aspirations. Again, Trump adroitly exploited Hillary’s vulnerabilities, and the extra dose of demagoguery and lies did not save her campaign and the Democratic Party from a crushing defeat.
There was something at once heroic and heartrending in Trump’s immense steadfastness: heroic because only a person of great self-confidence could withstand the extraordinary pressures coming from all sides to reform his campaign and even abandon the race altogether; heartrending because of an undercurrent of panic among Trump’s closest supporters, not only doubting his ability to manage the campaign but challenging his sanity as well.
Democrats and the media will continue to question Donald Trump’s aptitude to govern this nation. Critics will probably devote themselves to revisiting some of Trump’s statements and point to a few tactical blunders he made during the campaign, in an attempt to elevate them into proof of Trump’s unfitness for the office of president. Given the current state of affairs, those predicting Trump’s demise shall not fall prey to the illusion that the voters are not conscious of the choice they have made. Whether by intuition or infinite wisdom, the American people have elected a brilliant man to be their forth-fifth president.
By Alexander G. Markovsky (www.alexmarkovsky.com), author of Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It, was born in the Soviet Union and now lives in Houston, Texas. He holds degrees in economics and political science from the University of Marxism-Leninism. He is a contributor to FamilySecurityMatters.org and his work also appears on New York Daily News, RedState.com, Israpundit.com and WorldNetDaily.com