Sunday, January 29, 2017

Remember the Rumble: Donald Trump, Election 2016 wallpaper

Donald Trump and Election 2016 wallpaper
and why we should "Remember the Rumble"
Only a week into the Trump presidency and many people remain in a state of disbelief and denial that there's a new Sheriff in town. Trump is the first President to arrive into power with a sub 50% approval rating, his second day in office met with a wave of oppositional marches that overshadowed the crowd figures at his Inauguration. Not one to take disapproval lying down Trump snidely tweeted
The President's Senior Counselor Steve Bannon adding "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while". Whilst it appears like weeping and gnashing of teeth from Trump's detractors it's best described as blind fury. In pugilistic fashion, Trump has worked his opponents into a frenzy with goading rhetoric that aims to distract and debase them.
This is why it doesn’t matter when Donald Trump lies by Joe Hildebrand
Unfortunately many in the American left and liberal media still seem wholly incapable of seeing what drove Donald Trump to power and are thus hopelessly ill-equipped to remove him from it. The only trick in the playbook seems to be to dig up one more scandal, one more "gotcha" moment, and hope that this will be the one that sinks him.

If Einstein is right that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result then it’s not Trump who is the crazy one...

Instead of getting outraged by everything he says over and over again or protesting his very existence, Trump's opponents should find out why people voted for him in the first place and offer them a better alternative.

After all, if he's as bad as they say he is how hard can that be?
Its worth noting that Trump successfully divided and conquered opposition from his right flank, from Fox News to the National Review #NeverTrumpers. He also gave the last rites to both the Bush and Clinton dynasties. Trump has deftly fashioned friends and enemies across multiple, often unorthodox lines. Successfully repurposing the broad, bipartisan discontent on issues (trade, voter registration) and groups (Congress, the Media) to suit his ends. Redefining the playbook for modern politics, overlooked is how Trump revealed that voters weren't as monolithic as previously thought. Demonstrating its possible for a leader to convince supporters to accept sworn enemies, welcome"alternative facts" and forgive conflicts of interest.

A potpourri of policies offered by the right Salesman may be dutifully adopted especially if one is content to win only marginal support. Brandon Wetherbee and Chris Kelly, authors of 'The Donald: How Trump Turned Presidential Politics into Pro Wrestling' frames Hildebrand's prescription thusly
The Great American Bash "Heel President" (Nov 9, 2016)
CHRIS KELLY: (18m 25s) That's the thing, we just miscalculated that the heel would get his comeuppance now. Cuz there's still "heat" to get
BRANDON WETHERBEE: I got a text last night saying -- What happens to the Heel when he wins? Well he just keeps winning.
KELLY: He just keeps winning until there's a good challenger that you actually want to be the face of the Company...
We need to be reminded that Trump vanquished a gauntlet of opposition from both sides of the aisle. His audacious boast that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" without losing voters chillingly proved true. It'll be a tall order finding a challenger as teflon as the Don but the candidate pool has broadened, rival billionaire Mark Cuban indicating "I think it did open a door, I think he's set a path for entrepreneurs, for business people".

The road to the White House starts at the Rumble
Using the upcoming WWE PPV as inspiration, I've made a new wallpaper to remind voter's of the alternatives paths offered and what Trump's conquest in spite monumental doubts signifies. Reminiscent of Colbert's 'Hungry for Power Games', I've appropriated the tagline for this year's Royal Rumble in San Antonio. Whilst the theme is "Remember the Rumble", I have a feeling the aftershocks of this Political Earthquake will remain a constant until the Big One returns in 4 years.

- National Review "Against Trump" wallpaper: The GOP 2016 Royal Rumble

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This is Alex Jones and Donald Trump's America now: Hannity and Tucker on the rise. Glenn Beck and MSM on the decline

It's been months since my last post and obviously a lot has happened. We have a new President, one that no one expected outside of the few true believers. With that comes a shift in the power structure of the Pundit Class. Anyone who follows me on Twitter would have noticed my fixation on Alex Jones and Donald Trump. Both epitomize the Politics is Wrestling analogy. They understand showmanship and the cult of personality and have capitalised on it to emerge as the most influential voices in American Politics.
'Politics is Wrestling' on major News publications in 2016:
The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, NY Times, Washington Post etc...
Whilst I've tracked the 'Politics is Wrestling' analogy for 10 years, the rise and conquest of Donald Trump and Alex Jones took me by surprise. Donald Trump was the undisputed star of the Election cycle. Overlooked in Trump's deftness at bypassing the MSM was how he mollified Rush Limbaugh, the traditional gatekeeper for the Right. Trump also boldly challenged Fox News, fracturing them into two factions. The Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly wings, the Champions and skeptics respectively of the Trump movement. Hannity's winning gamble for Trump positions him as the official media surrogate for POTUS45. Megyn Kelly, destined for a payday regardless takes her talents to NBC where she'll have to resettle her footing with different stablemates and a broader audience.

Another pundit whose fortunes have been shaped by Trump is Glenn Beck. He put his stock on Ted Cruz for GOP nominee and was the defacto figurehead of the #NeverTrump resistance. Beck fashioned himself as the voice for principled Conservatism, poised to pick up the pieces after the seemingly inevitable Trump and subsequent GOP collapse. Trump's improbable victory made the public wary of Pollsters and News Media but Beck did something Pundits never do, show contrition. He flagellated himself on various News programs, making a show of aligning with Satirical News host Samantha Bee. After rising to the top of the Pundit power rankings a few years previous, a humbled Beck explores a new gimmick to face the Trump era.

Matt Taibbi weighing in on Donald Trump's tweet.
Not to be outdone, Alex Jones shot back at Matt.
One media personality ascendant with Trump's rise is Alex Jones, an outlandish broadcaster with fringe ideas. Entertaining but otherwise innocuous, his program taps into the worst imaginings of libertarians. These views amplified and validated as Trump echoed them and began winning over crowds. "Birtherism" was the springboard for Trump's candidacy, this and conspiracies like them had been Alex Jones' stock and trade for over 20 years. Hillary Clinton and President Obama often referenced Alex and aimed to discredit Trump by pairing them together.

Whilst other Right-Wing pundits vacillated during the primaries, checking the pulse of the masses before supporting a candidate. Alex Jones with the endorsement of Trump was becoming the zeitgeist.

VIDEO: Alex Jones exposes Beck/Savage/Limbaugh (2010)
ALEX JONES: Here's the deal, I'm an alternative, grassroots radio host that isn't part of the Left-Right paradigm. I don't let myself be put in a box, OK. It would appear that I'm allies with Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and others right now... because I'm opposing everything Obama is doing. Limbaugh, Beck and others aren't opposing Obama on the War, they're saying he's not doing enough...

But as soon as they're in power, unless we really we get real leadership in there it is only going to continue, the Democrats will suddenly be Anti-Establishment. I'm Anti-Establishment and a constitutionalist no matter whose in power... I'm into facts, I'm into issues. I'm into how things actually work, OK. And I know the Government gets bigger and we lose freedoms no matter who's in there because of Global, private interests. Again I don't sit up here bashing these guys all day, of the three you mentioned I think Savage has always been the best...

All I'm saying is in three years when you get a Republican you're gonna hate me. A lot of you Republicans now love me just like when Democrats liked me when Bush was in. And then when Republicans get in you're gonna hate me. Liberals hate me now Conservatives love me. Folks you gotta grow up. I mean c'mon, some how you've got to grow up and get the facts. Somehow you've got to shatter the Left-Right paradigm. Please!
Jones and Trump represent a paradigm shift, the rise of Alternative and Independent Media. Not beholden to decorum and the rigours of Mainstream politics, they command a sizeable audience that they communicate to directly. Operating outside the traditional ecosystem of Pundits and Politicians, they have noone to answer to but the people who brought them to power.
APF Extreme Rules: Billy Bush, Hillary Clinton VS Donald Trump and Alex Jones
I originally crafted this graphic to highlight the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, a year when voters were clamoring for an outsider. After Bernie was ousted, I tweaked it for my series of PPV posters hyping each debate. This was for the second showdown, on the heels of the lewd leaked video that seemed to be the elusive silver bullet to fell the Trump campaign.
They say "What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger". After overcoming the gauntlet from the Left and the Right, Alex Jones and Donald Trump are incredibly powerful and by all accounts thus far - impervious.