I sat and watched parts of the Republican National Convention (RNCon), and even watched a number of the speakers on YouTube. It was painful, but I subscribe to the theory of know thine enemy. And I have grasped some things about them. Especially Donald J. Trump, the RNCon nominee.
Mr. Trump. is not a politician, and he does not have the skills or knowledge of a politician. He might have a rudimentary grasp of politics, but he doesn't care about the art of politics. Trump is a business man, the type that sees an opportunity and tries to turn it into wealth for himself. And it is the "himself" part of the description that is the most important. Trump is for Trump, no matter what he says about being the voice of the American people.
But it is more nuanced than that. In his run for POTUS, Trump sees himself as a corporate fixer, a specialist brought in to turn a losing enterprise into one that, at the least, can generate wealth for the corporate elites who own/run it. These fixers don't always have in mind keeping the entity they are fixing in business; their goal is to turn things around enough to make a profit for themselves and anyone else who is a major shareholder or top executive, and then get out. (And, by the way, Trump isn't the first corporate fixer to run for POTUS - remember Mitt Romney?)
So think about it for a moment; Donald Trump has only one kind of job experience: he is a wealthy generator of wealth, using real estate development, casino building, and a number of other dodgy endeavors to make himself wealthier. And he has also raised some wealthy kids in the same mold.
Trump approaches his bid to be POTUS as another business deal. His Plan, such as it is, is to fire and hire his way to better governance, to make superior deals when it comes to foreign policy, to fix any and every problem or thorny issue by bringing in experts to make things work better, by instituting human relations policies that keep the work force limited to certain types of people. Immigration issues? Start a capital project (build a wall) and send the bill to someone else. Illegal immigrant issues? Lay off (deport) everyone who does not fit the job description (native born or legal immigrants). Institute hiring criteria that exclude certain applicants (Muslim immigrants). Retool supply and sales agreements (import and export treaties) to maximize corporate (government) profits and protect company (national) interests.
The Trump campaign is voracious. It feeds on bigotry, anger, fear, jingoism, white privilege and a range of other negative emotions of a mostly-white, Christian demographic. A major contradiction of Trumpism is the calling out of the billionaire class by a family of billionaires, and the buy-in to this by people in lower classes. This is classic autocracy.
I don't know if Trump sees himself the way I, and many others, see him; in fact, I doubt he does. He likely does not see himself as a dictator, but rather as the aspiring Director or CEO of a privately-held large company. And the Director of a privately-held company often is the equivalent of a dictator.
Let's be clear; the Trump phenomenon is a perhaps logical extension of the trend in America towards corporatization of government. It is no secret, and it has been demonstrated and proven many times, that the government of the United States is run for and by corporate interests. Follow the money. So it is perhaps logical then to go to the next step in the corporatization process and elect a corporate Director to run the business, the business being the United States of America. It would be great to at least elect a more benevolent Director than Trump, but if he wins, it is game over.
This is the biggest challenge the other candidate, Hillary Clinton, has in this contest. I think running against Trump's negatives is the wrong strategy. Mrs. Clinton is a career politician, not a career corporatist. As such, she needs to convince voters that retaining professional politicians to run the country is better than installing a corporate Director to run the company/country. After all, everything said at the RNCon about the ills of America, and the need to Make America Safe/Work/Strong/Great Again is easy to agree with on the surface. There are a lot of things wrong in the world today, and America is not in the same global position it has been for the past half-century or more.
In other words folks, we have a problem!