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The Pragmatic Art

O what tangled web we weave...

I will eagerly grant that two months does not an administration make, but I must say that my initial reservations concerning Donald Trump seem to be manifesting.

I certainly have no love lost for the Clinton Crime Family, and I was elated that Hillary lost - though it seems she refuses to be forgotten.  Her presidency would have been an unmitigated disaster.  Should the Liberal Elite manage to install her as mayor of New York City, we can at least rest assured that the labor union mafias of Thog's Neck will keep her contained.

As I noted throughout the election cycle, here on my rant page, I had genuine misgivings about Trump, as well.  I could not envision a man who is a walking, talking brand being anything more than a well-meaning pragmatist whose primary motivation would be protection of (his) business interests.

As we've noted often enough here, the marriage of corporate and government interests is the very definition of fascism, and one is not comforted by the 10-foot tall fasces that frame the podium in the US House of Representatives.  We have also noted that the only substantial difference between Socialism and Fascism is whether government owns the business, or business owns the government.

In his first two months, we must grant that he has spent an inordinate amount of time heading off a vicious attack from nearly every corner of the Deep State.  In case you are not up on your political jargon, the Deep State is a term coined in the 1940s to describe those who are life-long bureaucrats whose jobs span multiple administrations - particularly the intelligence systems and the law enforcement operations.  In the US, that includes the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, and related departments.

To a certain extent, the President exercises some control over these agencies.  He appoints the heads, who in turn appoint their staff, who in turn hire fresh meat for the mill.  Since at least the latter half of the Reagan Administration, the same faction (i.e. NeoCons or Bush Crime Family) have controlled most of the long-term functions of the Deep State.

Clinton is most definitely a member of the ruling NeoCon faction, as is Obama.  Trump most certainly is not.  Trump represents another faction that has been out of favor for the past 30 years, namely the Nationalists.  Make no mistake, the Globalists and Nationalists have the same goal - world domination - but who gets to run it is the primary bone of contention.

Make no mistake: Trump has plenty of support, not from the grassroots, but from the Nationalist elites.  His primary opposition are the ranks upon ranks of lifers who have been hired over the past 30 years, and who remain loyal to the Globalist wing.

To be clear, we here on the Far Side have never expected great things from Trump, only different things.  Our greatest hope is that the shocking rise to power of Trump will envigorate and activate the good men and women at the level of real life, and get them to realize just how much power they really have.  Sadly, I'm afraid the coming major disappointment over Trump will suck the wind out of their sails.  We shall see.

What we know about Trump, and increasingly see, is that he is a pragmatist.  Most successful Presidential candidates write books (or have them written) covering their political philosophies.  Trump wrote The Art of the Deal.  If you've read it, then you know that he falls squarely on the side of fascism.  He believes that government exists to protect business interests (not people's rights, as the Enlightenment posits).

Trump is also an artful negotiator - we must admit that regardless of personal feelings about him.  As such, he is well-versed in the concept of the means justifying the ends.  Any good negotiators knows that you sit down to the table with a set of goals and try to get the other side to give away the means to achieve them, or at least do so at the least possible cost.  There are no absolutes in a negotiation, only goals and means.

Trump's modus operandi is quite simple: weigh the relative value of everything, and figure out what you are willing to concede in order to get what you want.  Like the hiker several years ago who cut off his arm in order to survive, seemingly vital things are sacrificed for the greater good.  Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame might define pragmatism as, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."  Trump might add a rather narrow definition of who he thinks "the many" are.

In two months, Trump has already shown his pragmatism.  He answers every attack with an equal but opposite force, holding back his "nukes" until the other side escalates or caves.  He knows the Border Wall is his biggest ace politically (grassroot support), so he pushes that at the expense of Russian relations and peace efforts.  Accuse him of collaborating with the Russians, he doubles down by sending troops to Poland and chilling the happy talk.  He needs to placate the Military-Industrial forces, so he vastly increases the budget, while cutting back on arts and humanities.

Trump is an artful dodger.  He knows when and where to push, and he knows when and where to parry - even retreat.  He has clearly internalized The Art of War and The Prince.  He knows how to deflect an opponent's thrust and use it against them.  He is, in short, a white collar warrior.  We can respect that without necessarily agreeing with his goals.

Two months out of four, possibly eight years is hardly enough to judge his legacy, though it is certainly enough to become concerned about the relative weight he places on certain ideals.  In any event, he will not resign and he will not surrender, that much we can count on.  Being pragmatic, though, makes him a bit chaotic and unpredictable, especially since we don't know his precise agenda.  That much we will have to wait for time to reveal.

It is notable that his characteristic Twits and seemingly unregulated mouth (though we believe he is quite calculated in that regard).  He has also toned down considerably the rhetoric on tax cuts, Russian relations and has virtually gone silent on veterans' affairs, which he used to great advantage during the campaign.  We must also interpret his cost-cutting with regards to personnel is motivated by clearing house of Globalists, rather than pure budgetary reasons.

We can safely assume that Trump's actions have multiple layers to them.  Even after only two months, we can begin to connect a few dots to see where exactly his goals, principles and - yes - weaknesses are.  One major weakness is his burning need for applause, and we can assume that much of his agenda will amount to little more than clap traps.

It is always a good idea to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism towards government, but the wise reader will also cast a wary eye on Trump. It is tempting to pop the champagne and celebrate victory, but as Yogi Berra reminded us so eloquently, "It ain't over till it's over."

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