Skip to comments.Trump's 5 Rules for Ruling the World - Greenfield
Posted on 06/16/2018 6:03:51 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell
Trump's 5 Rules for Ruling the World Trump isnt reacting to the world. The world is reacting to him. June 15, 2018 Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Politics has a way of turning everything upside down.
Flit over to Twitter and the same government media echo chamber that was loudly defending the Iran deal is concern trolling about strong inspections of North Koreas nuclear program and worrying that President Trumps suspension of military exercises is far too great of a concession to the tiny tyrant.
The clever ones ask, Whats the difference between the Iran deal and the North Korean negotiations? Isnt Trumps stated willingness to meet with dictators a lot like Obamas no preconditions pledge?
And then there are the trade wars. What is he thinking by upsetting the Chinese and the Europeans?
Its 2018. And after spilling several small rivers of black ink (digital and virtual) analyzing, smearing, belaboring, insulting and fact checking President Trump, the media still doesnt understand him.
Thats not surprising. The media has been writing about America for much longer than that and has even less of a clue about how people live outside its preciously hip urban and suburban bubbles.
But there are 5 simple rules for understanding President Trump. They define how hes lived his life until now. And what still drives him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you understand them, you will get what hes doing. If you dont, theres always a job waiting at the New York Times.
1. Act, Dont React
Trump hates reacting, he loves taking the initiative and forcing others, rivals, competitors, media syndicates or foreign dictators, to react to him. Thats the essence of strategy and he nails it the way few have.
When UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson muttered that there was a method to his madness, that was it.
The method is becoming the driving force in an escalating conflict. Instead of reacting to attacks, Trump forces his attackers to react to him. He takes the initiative and leaves his opponents sputtering.
Thats how he became the President of the United States. Its what hes doing internationally.
By acting, Trump takes control of each encounter. What happens next may not be ideal, but Trump cares more about maintaining the initiative than about forcing a specific outcome. He doesnt see politics as a chess match, but as a boxing match. He doesnt get locked into predetermined goals. Instead he lets the kinetic confrontation create opportunities by exploiting his opponents reactions.
Picking a fight with the North Korean dictator, led to a peace summit. A trade war with China has already led to some serious concessions. A trade shoving match with Europe and Canada offers potential wins.
Unlike previous administrations, Trump isnt satisfied with the status quo. And that means that he tries a lot of things.
That takes us to Rule 2.
2. Try Everything
Critics have poked fun at Trumps failed business ventures. But you dont succeed without trying and failing.
Trump is comfortable with failure. He knows that if youre willing to knock on 100 doors, you might get 1 sale. His approach to politics is trying a lot of different approaches and policies to get to a win.
When Obama expressed a willingness to meet with dictators and terrorists, its because he was already sympathetic to them. The seeds of the Iran deal were always in him. The negotiations just took him where he already wanted to be. Trump however isnt meeting with Kim Jong-un because he likes him. Hes doing it because it might pay off. Or it wont and then hell try something else.
Obama needed Iran. Trump doesnt need North Korea. He can take it or leave it. Hes hungry for wins, but he also sees the potential for them everywhere so he doesnt overcommit to any individual deal.
Political professionals scoff at that scrappy attitude. They insist on the importance of posture and position. Trump knows all about posture and position, but he refuses to be its prisoner. He can insult Kim one day and flatter him the next. Politics is just business with countries instead of companies.
Trumps approach is the same to both politics and business. Do whatever it takes to get the deal. And then decide if the deal is worth taking.
3. Chaos is Power
Most people want to minimize chaos. Countries and companies spend fortunes, fight wars and dedicate decades to reducing chaos. Trump however thrives on chaos. Instead of trying to control chaos, he generates it, causing uncertainty and then offering a sense of security in exchange for a good deal.
Thats what Trump is doing with trade. Its what he did to China and North Korea.
Trump tries everything (Rule 2) and escalates confrontations (Rule 1) so that his opponents have no way to counter him except by escalating the confrontation and creating more chaos. And then Trump forces them to negotiate by proving he can function in a chaotic and uncertain situation better than they can.
Thats how he got North Korea to the table. After decades of the Norks intimidating previous administrations by creating chaos with their threats, Trump topped those threats. The media warned that a nuclear war would break out. Instead China and North Korea chose a peace summit.
The summit may come to nothing, but Trump had already broken the Nork ability to intimidate us.
China, Europe and Canada dont want a trade war. They have nothing to gain and plenty to lose. By creating economic chaos, Trump also became the only man who can end the chaos and restore security.
Chaos is power.
When the United States became a world power, its administrations emphasized stability over everything. Trump welcomes chaos because its a much more effective negotiating strategy. Entities that seek order can be intimidated with chaos. But politicians who seek chaos cant be intimidated.
Trump doesnt seek order. He wants victory.
4. Never Show Your Hand
Conventional politicians have a narrow window of agenda items. Theyre very clear on what they want, what they dont want, what theyre willing to do and what theyre willing to give up to get it.
Trump has always been ambiguous. Parse his sentences and you can read them three different ways. Each assertion eventually uncovers a contradiction. Thats confusion. Tactical confusion.
As Trump has mentioned plenty of times, he loves being unpredictable.
Trump is the only president in a century who is able to go into negotiations with a completely unpredictable outcome. And the roster of competing figures around him only creates more chaos.
To truly create chaos (Rule 3), you have to be unpredictable. That creates insecurity. It forces your opponents to read things into every move you make. And then to be stymied by the futility of it.
Ambiguity leaves the other side unable to assess what the United States would actually settle for. Instead it ends up offering far more than we would settle for just to restore that sense of security.
Trump is the most famous man in the world. And yet his decision-making remains mysterious.
5. Dont Be Afraid to be the Bad Guy
If Americans have a fatal flaw, a weakness that undermines our domestic and international politics, its a need to be liked. Most other countries dont wonder whether the rest of the world likes them.
Blame Hollywood, dime novels or comic books, but as Americans we see ourselves as the heroes. And our enemies, foreign and domestic, know that they can break us by making us question our goodness.
Its how they did it in Vietnam, in Iraq and too many foreign policy debates to count.
One of Trumps great strengths is that hes not afraid to be the bully, the heavy and the jerk. He can flatter Kim Jong-un, Trudeau and any other leader. Or call them names.
He can say shocking things and take unacceptable positions if it gets him what he wants.
Thats the attribute that upsets and infuriates Never Trumpers. But it also gives the United States far more negotiating leverage and freedom than it ever had before. And thats why the people chose him.
Trump embodied all the things that had been going unsaid and all the truths that needed telling.
Past presidents valued their personal relationships with foreign leaders. But Trump is willing to throw a punch at the boy band leader of Canada if it gets a farmer in Wisconsin a better deal for his dairy.
On the global stage, President Trump has forced North Korea, China, Europe and Canada to react to him. Hes trying everything. Hes creating chaos. Hes hiding his hand and hes winning.
The media shouts that Trump is isolated. If he were isolated, the world wouldnt be revolving around him. The world doesnt stop when Putin or Chinas Jinping issue a statement. But a single Trump tweet can upend the priorities of international diplomacy for days, weeks and even months.
Trump isnt reacting to the world. The world is reacting to him.
And as long as he can keep the world reacting to him, hes the one setting the agenda for the world.
Front Page mag - A Project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center
Daniel Greenfield Ping List Notification of new articles.
I am posting Greenfield's articles from FrontPage and the Sultan Knish blog. FReepmail or drop me a comment to get on or off the Greenfield ping list.
The Point is a collection of short articles posted on FrontPageMag by Greenfield on current topics. I recommend an occasional look at the Sultan Knish blog. It is a rich source of materials, links and more from one of the preeminent writers of our age.
FrontPage is a basic resource for conservative thought.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
To get on or off the Greenfield ping list please reply to this post or notify me by Freepmail.
Excellent article he Nails it.
That is some tremendous thinking by Greenfield. Thanks for posting.
HOORAY President Donald J. Trump. Thank you, sir.
Kim Jong Un?...or ???...
“I never attacked him on his look, but believe me there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”
Exactly — a brilliant analysis. Greenfield is a journalist who consistently thinks and delivers.
plus he is not afraid of a fight or competition, and thrives on them.
Trump loves to whack the Gordian Knots he comes across (or has long been mentally stymied by) with a sharp edge to see if he can cut through.
Great job, Mr. Greenfield! MAGA! :)
Brilliant analysis by Greenfield! Best insights I’ve ever read anywhere, anytime about President Trump’s way of thinking and operating. It’s all about TEMPO and taking the INITIATIVE, keeping your opponents off guard and unbalanced.
Trump is a brassy New York real estate mogul with a heart for people and a deep belief in the traditions that made America the greatest nation in human history. The prissy PC zealots who oppose him raise his approval by their contempt for him. Acosta’s daily rants and boorish behavior create opportunity for Trump to show his true class.
Trump never loses his cool. He is always controlling the agenda and the conversation.
How refreshing to read a true journalist in these times.
Fantastic article and a great summary of why we all admire President Trump.
Great article, Lou. Made my day.
This is part of the Fundamental theory of poker. Make your opponent react and have to be the one making a decision.
Trump reminds me more of Teddy Roosevelt. I like it. He portrays a more mature but still brash, exhuberent, confident United States that has earned its place and needs, no deserves, to take advantage of that and not merely maintain that let alone apologise for it.
He cant break what is already broken so the only way is up and better. Bravo Mr. Trump.
Outstanding, T Y 4 posting.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.