I wrote this speech back in early September. No one solicited me for it. I just went ahead and did it. It was a fascinating election, and I was eager to digest it in my own way. I toyed with the idea of aggressively getting it to Trump’s inner circle, but I eventually held back. First, I was, as one friend put it, too “chicken shit”, to take sides. That’s true. I needed to atone for my mischievous, contrarian past and get back into the good graces of DC’s foreign policy establishment. Hey, I needed to pay the rent. The second reason had to do with what two friends had told me. My best friend said that I would never forgive myself should I help Trump get elected, and then things went bad. Another friend, a very wise and seasoned man, who’s known Trump for thirty years, told me that the candidate was “a very dangerous man, who may be very bad for America’s internal situation.” Yes, the divisiveness worried me, and I ended up remaining neutral. I liked Hillary. Always have. Even the bad stuff said about her, the corruption and all that, didn’t faze me; I respect those sorts of survival skill sets in a politician. But the DC establishment, and specifically the part I’m most familiar with, the segment with all the FP types, is really quite ‘off’. There are plenty of smart people within it, knowledgeable people, but their group instincts are faulty. Even after Trump nosedived in the polls, my instinct told me that he has a higher chance of winning than what many were saying. Two months ahead of the election, I began to watch every rally of his. My gut was telling me that this guy has something, and it is being missed by the immediate media reactions to that same events that I was watching with my own eyes. I also went back to almost everything he had said in politics, even to the early 1980s. There were threads of consistency there. He had been thinking about this for a very long time.
This, from his interview with Larry King in 1999, struck me as very telling:
TRUMP: I’m a registered Republican. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care, et cetera, but I’d be leaving another party, and I’ve been close to that party.
KING: Why would you leave the Republican Party?
TRUMP: I think that nobody is really hitting it right. The Democrats are too far left. I mean, Bill Bradley, this is seriously left; he’s trying to come a little more center, but he’s seriously left. The Republicans are too far right. And I don’t think anybody’s hitting the cord, not the cord that I want hear, and not the cord that other people want to hear, and I’ve seen it.
Plus, I think there’s a great lack of spirit in this country. You know, what happened over the last four years is disgusting, and I just think there’s a tremendous lack of spirit, and I think the spirit has to be brought back.
A week before the elections, I was telling friends that he’ll even end-up winning Michigan and Pennsylvania. Of course, I was saying it casually, lest they deem me crazy.
So here goes: I didn’t help him get elected. He won. And I want to share the speech in an honest manner, as it was written in September, without any after-the-fact edits—it certainly needed to be shorter. It’s an exercise in projection, and it is what it is. But that’s what elections are in many cases: projecting onto a candidate what you’d hope they would say or do. I did try to use it to muck around with 4chan and reddit.com, to test how that information ecosystem would respond, and whether it can be manipulated. It’s not as easy as it would seem, and we really need to figure out how it works because that is now the future of information and dissemination.
One thing I would like to point out is that I got the whole Philly cheesesteak gimmick right: Trump only had a hoagie at Geno’s! (that would have been my preference too.)
Before getting to the speech, here’s my Twitter thread from yesterday, which serves to put the speech into context:
- Reading @JeffreyGoldberg ‘s interview with H. Kissinger, a few days after the Trump win, is surreal, end-of-an-era stuff. Here’s a thread with many moving parts.
- It happens every time in history, the priestly/clerical class assumes it can co-opt, moderate and transform the victorious horde.
- If the Mongols are at the gates, chances are it’s already too late. The old way of doing things is done.
- The FP community assuming that there’s a second act, after Obama’s ‘Blob’, and after the Trump’s ‘cratering’ of DC, is foolish and tragic.
- As with every upheaval, the feudal classes are the first to convert. The old priestly class continues to administer to a dwindling flock.
- The feudal lords can see as plainly as anyone that the old gods have no kick.
- Money/subsidies for think tanks, academia, and even straight-laced journalism will peter out.
- The fact that the expert class put in a last hurrah, a final charge of the light brigade, and consequently failed, underscores its obsolescence to the old lords.
- Brushing over this reality only blurs the path ahead towards discovering what replaces the ancien regime.
- Don’t take my tone to be one of gleeful iconoclasm; I’m actually somber. Disagree as I may with the Kissingers, I still admired their ability to reign.
- I don’t know what replaces it, but clearly we need to start looking.
- I don’t like mob rule or demagoguery, but that’s the new terrain.
- Information and influence will work very differently. How? Still unclear.
- I’ve been working with others on some thoughts, and beta testing. Interestingly, unorthodox CVE approaches may yield short-term, functional applicability.
- But trolling, mis/disinformation, are the hallmarks of what’s to come. Consequently, it will shift from politics/intel to commercial applicability. Are big ‘brands’ ready? Doesn’t seem so.
- If judged by CVE, my sense of the Googles and Facebooks is that they are not well adapted to the prospect of their monster cyborgs escaping the lab.
- Other critical element: Trump-ism isn’t going to fail, and discredit itself. It comes at an opportune moment. Be prepared for long-haul.
- Trump is incidentally, and accidently, a symbiotic fit for a massive leap in manufacturing technology.
- You can be one of two people: you either believe new manufacturing is going to be as transformative as the internet, or
- You may think it’s significant, but not that significant.
- Count me among the former. Watch where @peterthiel and @mcuban put their money.
- Trump’s trifecta of neo-isolationism (incl. tech protectionism), reconfiguring trade, and strident anti-immigration, will weave seamlessly with this new opportunity for America.
- This leap, I think, ensures generations of wealth-creation for Americans, and primarily for Americans.
- It will come quicker than you think: it’ll be happening in his first term.
- It will also mean that 30 years of a globalist crescendo will come to a discordant coda. Severe instability in the economies most wedded to globalism: eg. China.
- A rust belt extending from South Asia extending across Pacific to Latin America.
- Europe bet on globalism too, with a big wager on immigration. There we may actually see fascism emerge, as opposed to whatever category we end up describing Trumpism with.
- America, huddled away safely with its new tech, with 3D printing ‘garage factories’ in small town Pennsylvania, will deem Trump an accidental visionary.
- That new found ‘base’ of his will solidify as the outer world turns more unstable.
- Eventually, America would reassert some measure of power projection, as need for overseas middle class markets that buy its new products starts making more ‘common’ sense.
- Russia may temper its imperial pretensions, seeing how America doesn’t want to come out to play, and Europe and Far East looking ‘iffy’.
- Eurasia, largely untouched by transformations of globalism, may look very inviting to it.
- Dugin is a fool, and is probably seen as such by Kremlin presidential inner circle, but that narrative would find validation.
- Russia can become the civilizational lodestar of Eurasia; big implications for current power dynamic of the Middle East. Makes sense too as stand-alone trading market.
- Russia is about to climb out of that demographic hole; few teenagers in urban centers, but gaggles of ‘blonde’ toddlers.
- Russia is also organically synthesizing a new Islam with Sunni Muslim emigres from Central Asia, Caucuses. Still playing civilizational defense, but eventually an exportable ‘brand’.
- All this leaves remaining vestiges of old order in ME very vulnerable.
- Acutely so, as both IS and Al-Qaeda brands of jihadism will make big, bold final play for Saudi Arabia. A ‘hail Mary’ pass for their ventures.
- Assumption that there isn’t much smoke to that fire, as it stands now, is a dangerous blind spot. Remember, who saw Arab Spring coming in this way?
- To sum up, Trump phenom will ergo catalyze many ongoing percolations: demise of priestly class, de-globalization, and regionalization a la ‘Eurasia’. Brace for impact. END
TALKING POINTS FOR MR. TRUMP
The ‘Donald the Selfish’ Speech
September 17, 2016
Have you tried tweeting with a rotary phone, folks? Remember those, rotary phones? Remember when we had almost no clue how the internet was going to change our lives? How we communicate, how we shop, how we search, how we get entertained? It’s astounding to think that the internet revolution only got going twenty years ago. Think about it, only twenty years ago. Wow. Well, the world is about to undergo another huge transformation, and just like the internet, it’s all starting in America. It is a revolution, an upheaval, a disruption, in manufacturing. Huge. Massive. Everything is going to change. Everything from how we make things, where we make them, how we ship goods; trade is going to change, and even national security will change with it. But what’s different this time, is that we need to keep it in America. We need to get selfish about American innovation and prosperity. Selfish about American growth and wealth.
My opponent tells you she has experience. She does. She’s been doing politics for fifty years. I’ve been in business for fifty years. But what use is fifty years of experience if the next fifty years are going to be completely different? No one has the right amount of experience for what’s coming, because it is all so new. There’s no resume or expertise for what’s about to happen. It’s like saying that I am familiar with how a telegram machine works. Remember telegram machines? But how does working a telegram machine prepare anyone for maintaining an email server? It’s just different. Very different.
Have you heard about this 3D printing? We just began hearing about it a few years ago, and now it seems there are leaps and bounds happening in the technology. It’s happening here, right here in America. You know why? It’s called American innovation. But what does it mean? How is it going to change how we trade? How we make things? And how we sell products?
They, the experts from thirty years ago, used to tell us that it makes more sense to close a factory in Michigan, and open another one in Shanghai. I don’t know if they were Shanghai-ing us, but that’s what many businesses and corporations did. Labor was cheaper over there in China. Very little regulation. No rules and regulations about how much black smoke pollutes the skies. Very few safety precautions. And it all made us, at least us rich people, much, much richer.
Hey. I’m a businessman. I’m supposed to be selfish. And then when I make billions and billions I start giving a little out to charity to make myself feel good and so that they clap for me in high society saloons and ballrooms. That’s the shtick that I was supposed to stick to. That’s the role the establishment had assigned to people like me.
But business teaches you something important: how to spot trends, and opportunities, and to act quickly, and selfishly, in taking advantage of them. And I see this massive, huge trend coming, a revolution in manufacturing, and I tell myself: “Donald, what are you gonna do? Make another couple of billion off of this trend? Then smile for the cameras and click champagne glasses at a gala for some charity or another? Maybe GQ will write yet another profile on you?”
Or is there something more that can be done with this. Is there something you can do for America? Instead of being Selfish for Donald, why not be Selfish for America? Ha?
So let me share this hot tip with you America—the kind of tip-off that Wall Street honchos keep to themselves: 3D printing means we don’t have to make things in China anymore. It will be cheaper making stuff—you name it, parts, whole cars, anything you can imagine—right here, and very soon, we will be saying, “right now”.
A 3D printer may soon make something—faster, better, smarter—that, in the old days, needed seven different parts, one from China, one from Mexico, one from Germany, and the rest from God knows where. To make all those parts, raw materials, commodities, had to be shipped from God knows where else, to China, to Mexico, to Vietnam, to Turkey, so that cheap labor can build it and ship it back. Ships and cargo planes would run all around the world carrying commodities and parts. Oil would go from the Middle East to fuel these factories all over the world. That’s what they called Globalization, and they, those experts, told us, it was the greatest thing in the world, and that this was the future, global interdependence, where we would all become citizens of the world, would hug all the different nations of the world, and sing Kumbaya, and there will be no more war, no more ancient hatreds, because we are working side by side in this utopia.
Sounds like a nice dream. Believe me, I wish it could be doable. But here is another thing that real business teaches you that you don’t learn in Harvard or a think tank or doing community work: in business, everyone is trying to get ahead, everyone’s selfish. And this holds true when you talk about trade negotiations: the Chinese may smile and sing along to songs about friendship among nations, but they are taking you for a ride. They are getting what they want, because if they don’t, then the Communist Party leadership will show them what’s what back in Beijing.
It’s a tough world out there. And it’s not enough to play at being tough. You can’t fake tough. You can’t fake being a little ‘hood’. All that swagger, all that posturing, that doesn’t count. A real tough guy would take one look at you and know that you’re not really tough. That’s why Putin doesn’t seem to respect Obama. Just look at Putin’s behavior over eight years. Believe me, a guy like Putin can smell weakness and insecurity, and folks, for the last eight years, we
wreak reek of it. The Chinese are also tough. And that’s why they don’t seem to take us seriously anymore. But all that is going to change. Believe me. America is tough. Look at our sports. What the world calls football, and what we call soccer, is basically a pillow fight when compared to American Football. America is competitive and tough. Our scientists and investors and innovators are tough people: they take big gambles, big risks to find that new frontier. They leap into the unknown and find new ground, just like Christopher Columbus, just like Manifest Destiny, when our explorers and settlers went West. This is American know-how, it’s pioneering and tough. It takes heart, it takes courage. [Digression: And American toughness is not a macho guy thing. I wish my mom was still around; now she was a tough one, a Scottish Highlander choosing America. But have you met Ivanka? She’s tough. A baleboste, that’s Yiddish for a homemaker who’s got it together, by the way, and an executive at the helm of our family business. A Highlander mom and a daughter who observes the Shabbes—only in America. Only in this great, awesome America]. It takes vision, and passion. This is how we build things, or used to. American Built, used to mean American Tough. And that is coming back, folks.
But let’s be honest. The old jobs aren’t coming back. 3D printing and robotics and new technological leaps in agriculture are going to fundamentally change the workforce. And not just here, but across the world. A factory with robots doing all the
suing sewing of clothes and garments would make sweatshops in Thailand obsolete. It’s just cheaper to have robots do this than kids. Corporations, selfish corporations, will shutter up those factories. We will be talking, in 30 years time, of a Rust Belt across South East Asia and China. Artificial Intelligence may shut down the customer-service call centers in New Delhi and Bombay. Big changes are coming our way. So what are we going to do about it? Even if we renegotiate the hell out of TPP and come out with a good deal, would it matter much if the fundamentals of manufacturing and trade are about to change in a big way?
I want to make sure that we have Americans building and servicing those robots. I want Americans building those 3D printers. I want American trucks and American trains carrying those parts between American cities, cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland. I want American shipyards and docks choke-full of American-made goods, in places like Baltimore, that are ready for exportation to any market that appreciates them, and that appreciates them for being cheaper, and better made by American ingenuity and toughness. And I want it all powered by American fuel and energy that we produce right here in our country. And new technology helps us to make all this greener, all the better for our environment.
I don’t want to give our know-how to China. I don’t want them ripping off all our hard work and innovation. I don’t want to get them a blueprint, or a road map, for a short-cut. They want to have what we have? Then they should start by having a free society with free capital that nurtures the mavericks, that gives them that loan to try a crazy new idea that may just change the world. That is the America bequeathed to us by our ancestors, a great legacy of freedom, toughness, and innovation that, if used wisely, if harnessed with street smarts, will always beat the competition, will always generate wealth, will always bring us out on top.
The American mechanic is a hundred times better positioned to adapt to this new world of manufacturing. We just need to tweak the skill set a bit, but what the American worker bring to the game, the most important thing ever, is the work ethic, the drive, the passion, to make something of him or herself, to earn for our loved ones. To give them a fair shake at the next round, when a new generation goes up to bat on the playing fields of innovation and competition. Government should be focused like a laser on how to buff up our mechanics and workers on these new skills. We need to cut every red tape, throw out every dumb regulation, say ‘sayonara’ to every old playbook, just like we threw out the rotary phone and the telegram machine. If even I figured out to use Twitter, then we can all learn some new skills.
No folks, the old jobs are not coming back, but new ones are. And we have to fight for them like we have never fought for anything before. We have to keep them here, and it makes basic economic sense to keep them here. The experts, who have known one thing for forty years, are wrong about this. The era of globalization is shutting down not because we are closed-minded. The era of globalization is coming to an end because of all the breakthroughs in technology and manufacturing. We need to act quick. Throw out the old playbook. We can’t be tethered down by globalized trade deals of the past. The opportunity is right there for the taking. Let’s not hesitate. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that our competitors have our best interests at heart. Let’s go for it, America. It’s ours for the taking. Donald the Selfish? No, Donald the Selfish American. Let them boo me in Brussels. Let them jeer at me in Stockholm. Let the Chinese plutocrats fume from their ears. I don’t care. You know what’s music to my ears? American assembly lines coming back to life. Bye, bye globalization. Hello Americanism. When we say ‘America First!’ we are just acknowledging what is coming, folks. But we have to be smart, once we are in the lead again, once we are great again, we need to stay there.
And this brings me to immigration. Guess what’s going to happen when the cheap labor jobs of Asia and Latin America disappear while globalization recedes and reverses? There will be tens of millions of people clamoring to get into the United States, to follow the jobs that migrate back here, and to jostle their way to the new ones that the new manufacturing industry creates. Are we supposed to stand by and say, “Meh, it’s only fair. They lost their jobs so we have to open the flood gates and let them in?” Forget about the crime and the terrorism that might also come through, but how does it make economic sense not to get a handle on this situation? This is not a new problem. The experts had thirty years to come up with a viable solution. They didn’t fix it. Should we turn to the same experts for advice just as the problem gets worse when more and more foreigners want to get here as quickly and as easily as they can without standing in line like the rest of the legal immigrants? We need immigration, but just like everything else in this rapidly changing world, we need to be smart about it.
First, we need a simple, straightforward way to stop the problem from getting worse. That’s the wall I’ve been talking about. Once we have stopped the problem from growing, we need to get smart about reversing it. We need to be a teensy-bit selfish folks, because if we’re not, then we’re just being suckers. And it’s fine being a sucker if only you have to pay the cost. Unbridled illegal immigration makes us all pay that cost, a cost that will be deferred to future generations, even the future generations of those who came here illegally. Being a little selfish today is far more merciful than the harsher decisions future generations may be faced with. Let’s do the smart thing now, even if it’s unpopular. The media tells Hispanics that I am against them. That’s “insano”! Okay so I don’t speak Spanish like Tim Kaine does, but I do speak common sense, which is sentido común in Spanish. Common sense, sentido comun, see how similar that is? So here’s some sentido comun: which jobs do you think illegal immigrants are going to compete for? They will be competing for the same jobs that legal immigrants, who are getting started on their American life, will be trying to get. Is that fair? Is that good for Hispanics, who are overly represented in the kind of jobs that immigrants start out with? I can understand you want to get your brother or sister over here somehow, but how does that make sense when you don’t have a job to support your son or daughter who are already here?
When we talk about immigration from Latin America it is not, as my opponent would like to make it, and everything else, a racial argument. The assimilation of Latinos into our society is a cultural shift. And folks, I for one, think it is a beautiful thing to behold. This is a beautiful addition to our American tapestry. These are good people, who love their church, who love their saints, who love their families. They work hard, very hard. They bring spice and rhythm to America. Their food, their weddings, their music, their parades, their poetry, their literature. It’s gorgeous. And it makes sense for it to come here; we are so close geographically. And it can give us so much. Canada gives us maple syrup, and Celine Dion, but not much more. Latin America gives us tacos, salsa rhythms, great art, great movies, great novels, and great telenovelas. I’m not sure I should admit to liking telenovelas, but it’s great entertainment. I like the stories. The families. The drama. The passion. I catch an episode from time to time on TV, and I don’t even know the plot or the name of the series, but I just take in the passion. We are the richer for it, when it meshes organically with American culture. But not when it tries to supersede it.
America is the greatest human experiment. But it works and develops and moves forward when immigrants bring the best of their culture, and when they come here to escape the worst of their culture. Most Latino immigrants want New Mexico, the state, not old Mexico. They are escaping old Mexico. And Mexico is a beautiful country, with so much promise, so why would anyone want to leave it? Because there are problems, problems with how its corrupt politicians run things over there, problems with those murderous drug cartels, problems with race and the privilege of a few families with the right pedigrees, while America holds the promise of a new life, where you can bring the best of your culture, and escape the problems of the old country. That has been the basic premise of immigration since our founding, but somewhere along the way we veered away from it. When we think of immigration, we need to be thinking about this cultural shift, how we incorporate and adopt, all of us, the best of the potluck dinner of our ever-rejuvenating America.
Think of the food: we got pizza and lasagna from the Italians, we got gyros from the Greeks, we got pita bread from the Lebanese, Iranian kabobs, Chinese take-out and Thai curries, Ethiopian stews, Polish kielbasa, Indian and Pakistani food that sets your head on fire, Peruvian chicken, French deserts and Austrian torts; when America gathers over a table, we throw the most kick-ass picnic the world has even seen. You don’t have to pretend to like everything, but isn’t it wonderful to have all these options to choose from? Try out the options, what do you have to lose, and then stick with what you like. Kids, being kids, would probably throw a tantrum, seeing as they would prefer a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. When they grow up they will appreciate choices. It would be so boring if we limited our options to boiled potatoes and haggis, sauerkraut and schnitzel. Mom’s cooking is great, but won’t it be wonderful if all our moms, with recipes from grandmas who came from all over the world, got together and laid out one awesome, mouth-watering spread? Hey, and dads should be doing some cooking too, maybe they can take care of the grill, flip some burgers, or Trump steaks, and chop up some salads. Rinse the Tupperware later. It would be so boring if we all sat at separate tables, eating one kind of dish, listening to the same song over and over again. Come on over, bring your best, the best of your heritage, the best of your grandma’s recipes, put it on the table, choose the catchiest tune from your playlist, and let’s get together. But multi-culturalism will get a bad name if you huddle behind imaginary, ghetto walls, if you close yourself off. If you shun assimilation. If you recreate the old world in the new, with all its problems, with all its closed-mindedness and tribalism. American culture can take in everyone, but it needs to remain American so that it can keep taking in everyone. The way immigration has been handled, has not be wise, has not been smart, and has not been visionary. It is putting too much strain, too quickly, and it is causing resentment. We need to rethink our approach, so that Latino culture is seen for what it is, a beautiful addition, rather than how some think of it today, the bad with the good.
I’m from New York City, born and raised. New Yorkers are loud, brash, and sometimes they rub others the wrong way. We don’t mean it, it’s just our culture, it’s who we are. It is a great city. I love New York, so bite me. That’s sums up so much, doesn’t it? Feeling so much love while at the same time doing a “so whatcha gonna do about it” kind of thing. Hey, it’s what makes us unique, just like every part of this great country has that one special extra thing that makes it what it is, and I have been so privileged to experience all that uniqueness on this campaign, it’s gorgeous. New York City is a great city that took our nation’s tragedy 15 years ago, and showed the world that New York City is full of great people. Kind people. People who stand up for one another, who stand up next to each other in hard times. Where’s Rudy? There he is. He saw it. I saw it. New York City is the most diverse place on earth. Nothing like it. It is also the most prosperous place on earth. Somehow it works out. There is a deep wisdom in there if you go looking for it: that diversity, when done right, when done wisely, when acknowledged but not fetishized, can contribute to generating wealth and advancement. But when it isn’t managed well, then something goes terribly wrong. New York City took in everyone, but kept its identity. It kept its edge, its uniqueness. You can come from anywhere, and just feel the energy, and after 15 minutes of walking its streets, the energy turns you into a New Yorker. It’s a wonderful feeling. That magic is what we need when absorbing all these new cultures, and changing just a little in the process. But it’s magical in that even when we take all this in, we still recognize who we are. The same New York, just with a little more oomph, pizazz and color. That’s how it is supposed to work. I don’t think my opponent gets that about NYC; I think she just moved there, not for the energy, but because that’s where the big donors are. If you don’t understand the magic, you won’t understand how to manage these cultural shifts, in a smart way.
Take, for example, the controversy in France now, which is a country under siege by Islamism, over this who issue of the burkini. Do you know what I am talking about? A burkini is a full body covering that some observant Muslim women wear at French beaches. On the one hand, it could be an issue of choice. A woman should have the right to wear whatever she chooses. But on the other hand, you have this whole culture of honor, that a woman must be punished if she dresses in a certain way that her male relatives don’t like. Does she really have a choice then if she wears a burkini just so that she follows what her father or brothers or cousins tell her she must wear on the beach? Families have the right to raise their children in the manner that they like. They have the right to teach them about their culture and religion, and hope those children follow them. But where does one draw the line? When is freedom supposed to be just that, freedom? When is a kid supposed to learn that in a place like France, or even in the United States, that she has the freedom to break away from tradition if she chooses to do so, without being shamed, without bringing dishonor to her family? Which is more important? Family honor, by basically dictating male hegemony to women, or freedom? Our culture is about choice and freedom, for all, for men and woman. Any culture that has a problem with that needs to rethink itself, or reform itself. You want to be here? Fine, here are the ground rules. And that’s where France is having such a big problem. Immigrants are not respecting the ground rules. They may be physically there, on a French beach, but their mind is still back in the old country. Does that make sense? Is that feasible in the long term? Why invite these tensions, that increase the unhappiness of everyone involved, to our shores? I don’t think it is smart. I don’t think it will work out smoothly. You will have unhappy people, who don’t adjust well, and they may lash out against freedom and choice. Lashing out by taking a machine gun to a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, or driving a truck through a crowd of families in southern France. These are the horrible outcomes of not managing immigration, and the assimilation of cultures, well. We need to fix it, wisely, rationally, humanely. But here is a preview of the Trump presidency: Aint’s no burkini on the Statue of Liberty, ain’t going to happen, not on my watch.
Can we talk a bit about race, folks? Because the experts in the media, and our culture ‘experts’ and critics, are obsessed by it, and to them, all this, all that this campaign is about, is a hidden conspiracy, what they call a dog whistle for white power. That would be just dumb, if it wasn’t so nefarious and self-serving for the establishment. Establishments don’t like change. They don’t like disruption. They are fine with how things stand. And they only allow you to rise through their hierarchy if you play by the rules they set. But change is coming, change in manufacturing and trade, change in how we judge expertise, change because we want answers for why things got so royally messed up by the royals of Martha’s Vineyard. And they are freaked out by it. So what do they do? They distract us by institutionalizing a national obsession with race and identity politics, the Politically Correct era as they call it. They want to keep it in place because it keeps the establishment in place. No, no more, and that’s why they are freaked out by me.
Here’s another thing that business teaches you: if you are going to be obsessed by race, then you are losing out on opportunity. Racism is dumb. It’s boring. It doesn’t make sense in business. Same goes for sexism. Because at the heart of every business opportunity is the talent that makes it happen. I’m not talking about Ivy League resumes and well-bred pedigrees. I am talking about raw talent, things like street smarts, talent that adapts and develops when given the opportunity to take advantage of an opportunity. Donald Trump doesn’t say something ridiculous like “I don’t see skin color”, but if skin color or your gender or your sexual orientation defines you then that bores me. It simply bores me.
The pundits, the professional pollsters, the politicians, they want to pigeon-hole you: they talk about the “African American voter bloc”, soccer-moms, whites with college degrees, people who live in the exurbs and the suburbs. What is this nonsense? They are reducing us to clichés, to mere statistics. They think we can’t think or feel for ourselves. They see us as herds—brown cows, white sheep, a gaggle of geese. It is your birthright as an American to be an individual. I want to meet the real you. I want you to shine through. The only color that really matters to me is the color of your passion, your aura, the fire in your belly, your drive to succeed. Show me your truest colors. Show me that you can reach out higher than everyone else. I don’t care if that hand is white, black or brown. A calloused hand or one with beautifully painted nails. That’s the hand that I will pull up. I’m not going to hold your hand and talk about your feelings. That’s not who I am. I’m not your nanny, your butler or your shrink. The establishment media is obsessed with big hands and small hands. I’m interested in hands that build things. Helping hands that pull others up. As president, my job is to hand you a wrench, a diploma, a soldering gun, if you’ve earned it. If you show me that you really, really want it. Show me the passion, show me why you want this, for yourself, for your loves ones, heck, even if your loved one is a cat. (There are these cat videos on the internet where they show my picture to a cat, and it freaks out. So funny, so cute. I think it’s my hair or something). Show me you want to earn, along with US citizenship, or a valid green card, or an employment visa, and I’m there for you. Cheering you along, believing in you, and doing my darndest to get the tools you need in hand to make it.
Some people say—oh, the pundits hate it when I say “some people say,” because I don’t play by their Duchess of Queensbury rules—so, here goes “some people say” that when I eat KFC then I am sending out a subtle racial message, another dog whistle. Isn’t this crazy? I mean, I just like KFC. It’s just fried chicken, folks, not a manifesto. What should a politician do, huh, alternate between KFC and Popeye’s? Maybe mix in some Korean fried chicken too? I’ve tried the other options, and I still like KFC. What’s with all this dumb PC pandering? You know what politicians do when they go pandering for votes in Philly? So there are two iconic cheesesteak places in Philadelphia; Pat’s and Geno’s. So politicians go there to show that they are normal people, but unlike normal people, they eat half a hoagie from Geno and half a hoagie from Pat’s, so that they don’t hurt the feelings of the fans of this one or that. Isn’t this crazy? Just pick a damn sandwich and eat it, already. Donald Trump loves KFC, so sue me!
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, or, maybe when we talk about the presidency, it isn’t. Remember cigars? Let’s not go there!
No, no. All kidding aside. I want to say something about the Clintons, and I know you all will start booing me. Wait for it. Wait for it: I secretly admire Bill and Hillary Clinton. I know, I know. Just hear me out. Sure, we have this big bout going on, me saying things, she’s saying things, and it’s all just like the wrestling, like the WWF, and here is something else the expert class get wrong: they look down at wrestling and its fans, but what they don’t understand is that at the end of a hard day’s work, and annoying bosses, like me, and screaming kids, folks just want to sit back and enjoy a good story, some good entertainment, and I’ve been trying to keep it entertaining for you, folks, haven’t I? And the smarty-pant jabronis in the media keep taking the bait! Every time, every time. It’s so funny, so funny.
But here’s what I like about Bill and Hillary. Their tenacity. Both of them shoveled so much—excuse my language, crap—to get ahead. They paid their dues. Coming with the odds against them, they made it, and they made it big. I like that in people, only problem is, the trenches they fought in are really, really dirty. Politics, and what big money from billionaires—hey, I know this world—have really made it dirty. And you can’t get ahead without getting a little crooked. Sure, you keep telling yourself, “only this one time”, that you’ll compromise your principles, so that in the end, you get to exercise your principles. But what happens in a crooked and rigged system, this establishment we all keep fuming about, is that you lose bits and pieces of your soul, and you don’t realize it. You keep telling yourself, you are the same idealist, the same person who started out, but the rot is just too deep. It’s a tragic story, if you think about it. Before you know it, you don’t think twice about donating all your charity to the Clinton Foundation, and using the foundation for doling out political patronage. Bad form, Bill and Hillary, bad form. It’s as if I ask for a tax cut because I took cash out of my right pocket and put it into my left pocket, and then used that cash to buy an ice cream for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Not good, not good. But that’s what politics as it is being practiced today does to you, and those doing it for fifty years, well, that’s what happens to them. Now, let me be clear, not all politicians are crooked. Some manage somehow to keep their souls intact.
Look at Bernie Sanders, a true believer. Believe me, I truly admire this guy. I disagree with much of what he stands for, after all, I am no socialist, but both me and him agree on something like the TPP. He’s an honorable dude, a revolutionary. You can just watch him speak and get that feeling—and here’s a thing about the media, they tried to paint him as ‘angry’ which is how they try to paint me and the crowds like you that come out to these rallies, and they’re so wrong, so wrong. Bernie wasn’t angry. I’m not speaking from anger. You are not coming from anger. We are passionate people. We care. We care deeply and passionately. This electric energy we’re all feeling, this is not anger or wrath or hatred; this is passion, a passion for justice, a passion for America. The snobs think that, being pro-America, is passé, old-fashioned, retro, and that we should all be citizens of the world now. “Globalized citizens”, sounds like an army of robots and drones to me. No. No. No. My heart still beats to an American drum. Passion. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about—I wish I was running against him, against Bernie, to be honest. I wish I had the chance to debate him. Two passionate people going at it, fighting the good fight.
And I’ve met others who are also good people that somehow managed to stay clean even though the establishment never liked them, or tried to break them. Mike Pence, my running mate, is a stand-up guy. A family man, a man of vision, a politician who stands by his ideals. We may disagree a bit here and there, but it’s so nice disagreeing with honorable people, people who really believe in ideas and values. But sadly, the establishment machine finally broke Bernie’s back. Sad, so sad. Hillary shoveled so much, so much, but that back breaking shoveling did something to the metal in her spine. The crooked establishment had her doing all sorts of contortions so that she would fit in. It’s sad. So sad. I’m not saying she’s not tough. She’s surely one tough lady, maybe one of the toughest. Tough but bent. Crooked Hillary. But you’ve got to admire that they made hundreds of million of dollars, just for giving speeches. They didn’t build anything. They didn’t make anything. They just talked and talked, and ran out the meter. It’s such a devious trick. You don’t have to respect it, but you can still admire it as a gimmick. And you know, in 2008, when she started losing the primaries, I felt so bad for her. She paid her dues, and it was her moment, that was supposed to be her time, eight years ago, but the media and the establishment thought otherwise, they saw this handsome, stylish guy, and they decided to turn on Hillary. They savaged her, I mean they savaged her, just so that their guy gets through. Remember how condescending it was, “You’re likeable enough Hillary.” Not fair, not fair.
You know who I don’t admire: Barack Obama. And no, it’s not about race. The doors just magically opened up to him. They rolled out the red carpet. He arrived just at the right moment, and people, the media especially, projected all sorts of dreams and aspirations onto him. He had the look, the costume, and the media provided the story and the script. Heck they even gave him a Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything! Nothing, absolutely, nothing. Give me a break! Nelson Mandela was locked up for 27 years in a prison cell, a prison cell, for 27 years, before he got his Nobel Peace Prize. What was it, Obama spent 27 days, days, in the Oval Office before he got nominated for it? Oh, please! It came too easy for him. Too easy. Not fair, not fair. People started imagining him to be the Redeemer, the Messiah, who will fix everything, everything. At long last, America is getting Mr. Smarty-Pants as president. And you know what really makes me uncomfortable, he played along to these hopes. He fanned them. He didn’t temper down expectations. He played, cynically, the role the media assigned to him. He didn’t respect Hillary’s hard work, the dues she paid while shoveling through the dirt of politics. At least pay her some respect from one politician to another. No. He just glided right by, as if walking on water. And I have to say, our folks on the right took the bait too, and they turned him, and the presidency, into this world altering, reality altering moment, as if the gates of Hell were opening. Let’s tamp it down folks, after all, Obama has also been a big disappointment, as an Anti-Christ. You know what I’m saying? He’s just a guy running for office. One guy isn’t going to change the human condition. One guy isn’t going to do miracles, if you need to pledge allegiance to such a guy, well you had one some 2000 years ago in Jerusalem.
The stars aligned for one black guy, and the media told us the stars will shine on all black people. I understand their pride in having Obama there in the White House, believe me I do, but things aren’t great for black people out there. Electing Obama twice did not take away all the hurt, the pain, and the disadvantages that black people face. We have to be sympathetic. Sympathetic. And we have to help them, but not as black people, we will help them because they are our fellow Americans. Why work hard, why dream big, why should you exert yourself if the system is rigged? And it is. They know it. We need to change that. The best deal for black people is that they get treated right, and equally, as everyone else. That’s the deal that I can get them. A real deal, not photo-ops and pretty words. Treated by the government equally, fairly. To do that, we must really make opportunity available for every American. Not by PC pandering. Not by over-promising. Not by institutionalizing an obsession with race and identity.
Let’s bring back the presidency from the heavens down to the nitty gritty earth. Let’s not try to reset history every four years. It’s too much. Too much to expect. Let’s set a reasonable goal that we can achieve, and let’s be realistic. Sure, it would be great for us to make history, again, by electing Hillary, as America’s first robot president. Malfunction, short-circuit, malfunction! But let’s put the joking aside. It happens that being realistic now, with this really accessible goal that is within reach, being realistic now, and electing a realistic president who can take realistic steps to fully take advantage of the opportunity.
It’s easy for the expert class to be cosmopolitan and pretend that they don’t see skin color. It’s easy when all of them went to the same top schools, benefitted from the same rigged system, wear the same high end clothes and summer in Martha’s Vineyard. Folks, I know this world, and I know this rigged system. I figured out how to hack into it. I had better preparation than most. I know that. I appreciate that. But now once I’m on top, I don’t feel so good about it. It’s basically unfair. My children and grandchildren are going to do well in this rigged, closed establishment. They got a head start just like I did. But do I really want them to be the kind of people who belong this establishment, to this exclusive club, who would protect their exalted status at all cost, employing all sorts of tricks and media manipulation to keep it going? And does it really have to stay that way? I mean, there’s a technological revolution coming, and if we, as a country, as a nation, play it smart, and play it quick, then we can carry up so many, believe me, so many, of the hands that reach out. The opportunity is there. My life as a businessman prepared me for this very opportunity. That’s what my campaign, my vision, is all about. Sorry I ain’t got no pretty words for you. Sorry I don’t have any soaring sermons to read off a teleprompter that would make you feel good, for a couple of hours, but keep you poor and struggling for a lifetime when matched up against a rigged system. Sorry the establishment doesn’t like me or sing my praises, which creates an echo chamber, a herd mentality that stampedes to the polls. It’s not going to be easy to vote me. You’re going to have to break away with all that you’ve been told about what a proper politician is supposed to be. You are going to have to imagine what the next fifty years of America are going to look like. You are going to have to think about what a technological revolution in manufacturing is going to do trade and globalization, or rather, to de-globalization.
The establishment has been telling us that running for the presidency should be like winning a spelling bee contest. There is an assigned check-list of degrees achieved, jobs held, contacts made, interest groups to pander to, and bits of your soul gradually mortgaged off in order to qualify for president. I don’t know the name of the capital city of Burkina Faso off of the top of my head. So, sue me. But here is what I can do for you: I can maximize America’s advantage during this exciting time of innovation and change. I see the trends, and I know what to do about them. And believe me, being able to spell complicated words, and citing obscure world capitals, is no preparation for the task at hand.
Which brings me to national security. The establishment has run national security the same way for the last sixty years. Sometimes it worked out well for us, and sometimes it didn’t. But does the old way of doing things really help to manage American strength and prosperity as the world undergoes profound and systematic changes? If de-globalization is the way of the future, then should we keep the same matrix of alliances and arrangements that made sense during the era of globalization? Why should the regular American have to pay to maintain the territorial integrity of some far away country when that really doesn’t add value to his or her bottom line? The high priests of the foreign policy establishment chime in to say we need to keep doing things as they are because of American values. What they don’t tell us is that if we do things differently then many of those establishment gurus may be out of a job. Now listen, I’m not out to embarrass and punish the DC establishment. But I think it is high time to ask them some tough questions. Let’s take the example of the Middle East, which is now giving Western civilization a massive headache, and yes, emerging as a serious, existential threat. I want to know why the experts got all the following things basically wrong, why they failed to see them coming over the span of almost forty years: the failure to predict the Iranian Revolution; the failure to anticipate what Khomeini is planning; the failure to predict resurgent Islamism; the failure to arrive at a practical peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians; the failure to foresee Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait; the failure to understand with the consequences of leaving him in power; the failure to predict the insurgency in Iraq; the failure to anticipate the Arab Spring; the failure to anticipate the far reach of Islamic jihadism into Syria, and beyond.
Don’t they owe us some answers? Instead of admitting their mistakes, and owning up to them, they are busy writing letters and Op-Eds saying that I am unprepared and unfit to be president. Are you kidding me? Are these the same people who have made such a mess of things? And folks, it seems that the mediocrity and dysfunction of the DC elite is a bipartisan affair. Thank God they have finally found some common ground: being in the wrong, and being anti-Trump. I guess I am a uniter after all.
But I’m not going to go all Genghis Khan on them and unleash my Mongols on their ivory citadels. I am going to treat them with a lot of respect, more respect than what President Obama had to say about them. Remember when he said he feels contempt and disdain for the foreign policy establishment? Remember when Obama’s Mini-Me, Ben Rhodes, called them ‘The Blob’ and included Hillary Clinton as one of the top figures of The Blob? It’s amazing isn’t it folks? One day the White House calls her a member of ‘The Blob’, on the record, and then at the convention Obama and Hillary are standing there as if they are the best of friends. What people would do for power! I’m not going to do any of that. I am going to respectfully sit down with them and ask: “Tell me why you got it wrong.” And if I sense that all they’ve got is ‘BS’—believe me, in business, you really have to spot BS in order to succeed—then I will respectfully say: “You’re fired.”
I will then go looking for all the mavericks, all the dissenters, all those who expressed the minority opinion. All those who were ejected from the ranks of the establishment because they warned that the high priests were reading world events and world trends wrong, and I would hire them back. They will be vindicated, and they will be given the opportunity to get things right for a change.
And I need the mavericks on my team. We all need them in Washington. Because they will be the ones who will pick up on the implications of De-Globalization faster than anyone else, and they are the ones who can figure out how to make Americanism come out on top.
They are the ones to whom I will direct questions like: What does it mean for our Middle East policy if we are energy sufficient? If maritime trade routes shift? What does our Navy need to be at its best in this scenario? What does our Airforce need? Our Army and Marines?
See, once we get American prosperity up and running again, we need to make very sure that no rogue actors try to come here to disrupt what we have going. We need to make sure that no one dares to steal our innovations. The world that competes with us, or seeks to harm us, should know this about a President Trump: you touch a hair on our heads, even if its funny hair like mine, and I take an arm. And our armed forces will be always at the ready, and never over-extended with dumb wars and defunct alliances, to take that arm when given the order. We are not coming over there to do nation-building and hand-holding and gather around in sing-alongs; if you can’t take care of whatever extremist crazies spring up among you—believe me—we will smack them down, and we won’t look back.
Our responsibility as Americans is to keep making our America better. We will keep making America fairer, stronger, smarter and safer. If the rest of the world wants to be inspired by our example, then that’s great. They can learn from American values and try to make their own countries and societies fairer, stronger, smarter and safer. America is the greatest human experiment in governance and managing diversity and hopes and aspirations. Ever. The greatest ever. But its fruits belongs to the American stakeholder, who works hard to make it better and better, and greater and greater. We have to tend our orchard, because it’s ours. Because this is how we will feed our children and grandchildren. We are under no compunction to share these fruits with the rest of the world, especially since we have Americans right here in America who still feel that they haven’t gotten their fair share. We can’t afford to fix up the rest of the world when it really doesn’t help us to fix up our own country. I wish we could afford it, I wish it was all about “it takes a village”, but the real world isn’t really like that. We will do our best to make America really awesome, and we wish the rest of the planet all the success as they do the same for their own backyards.
And that’s why we say: Making America, America, America, America, Great Again!
And that’s my promise to you: I’ll be selfish, but selfish for America.