President Trump’s leadership style is unorthodox and often unsettling. His methods, derived from business and popular entertainment rather than politics, are in many respects unlike anything that has come before. Yet they are not entirely unprecedented.
He forgoes ideology for simple, cross-partisan principles: America First, safety from terrorism and violent crime, better jobs and schools for the poor and working class, defiance of self-serving elites. He has filled his cabinet with people of proven talent, including erstwhile opponents Ben Carson and Rick Perry, and named a diversified team of White House advisers. Mr. Trump cultivates independent sources of information and is unlikely ever to become captive to his staff. He is unpredictable and uses his talent for drama to keep allies focused and opponents distracted.
Most of all, President Trump is comfortable with controversy and dissent, indeed often incites them to advantage. His tweets and pronouncements can be outrageous and overstated—Up to a point, Lord Copper!—but they demonstrate a healthy skepticism toward ossified orthodoxy and, critically, are designed to stimulate debate rather than close it down.
For instance, global warming is not a “hoax,” as Mr. Trump has said. But the public and scientific debates over climate change have involved several hoaxes, one of which is the deliberate conflation of causation, degree, consequence and policy response. Several of the president’s officials are now propounding the more nuanced view and disentangling the critical distinctions. Deliberation on an important, complicated problem is opening up.
[T]he hysterical, hateful reaction in many quarters to everything Trump says and does is absolute proof that the ruling elite deserved a comeuppance. The establishment was drunk on power, political and cultural, and never yielded an inch voluntarily or had the decency to admit error. Its rage reflects its sense of entitlement.
This unhinged rage is the new America — only it’s not new. It was hiding in plain sight, hinted at by the contempt that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, tenured radicals, college snowflakes and the Democratic media openly held for those who don’t share their worldview. [snip]
Trump’s victory ripped open the vein, but it would have erupted at any Republican president. Modern liberals’ contempt for others is essential to their sense of superiority and justifies violence in the streets, threats and simple rudeness. Contempt for others lets mayors think they can disobey immigration laws and judges think there is no law but theirs.
This is from an excellent article by Victor Davis Hanson. Worth the time to read the whole thing.
In sum, it’s an America that emulates (even if hypocritically so) the lost culture of the 1950s; exploits fossil fuels; is run by deal makers who make money ostensibly to achieve a GDP that can fund the niceties of American civilization; opposes unfettered free trade and is united by race and class through shared material success; assesses winning as what’s workable rather than what’s politically correct or doctrinaire; makes “tremendous” cars, air-conditioners, and planes; has the largest and most powerful and least-used military; and is loyal to our allies and considerably scary to our enemies. All that seems to be Trumpism (at least for now).
Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. He’s a risk taker’s risk taker. But he doesn’t make high-risk bets and back unpopular causes for the reasons you might think. He’s not a contrarian for the sake of being one. He’s certainly not a thrill-seeker. He bets on a longshot when believes in the cause and he believes it’ll pay off. That’s his formula.
Thiel understands that there is no wisdom in crowds and nobody wins big by doing what everyone else is doing. “Thinking about how disturbingly herdlike people become in so many different contexts,” he once said, “As an investor-entrepreneur, I’ve always tried to be contrarian, to go against the crowd, to identify opportunities in places where people are not looking.”
Now a trusted advisor to the President-elect, the German born prodigy who immigrated to America with his parents as a young boy sat just to the left of Trump at a summit between his incoming administration and a dozen or so of tech’s most powerful executives, an event that Thiel played a key role in orchestrating.
Trump began the meeting by thanking his Silicon Valley surrogate – not just for putting so much on the line on behalf of the campaign, but for his extraordinary ability to see what others can’t.
“I want to start by thanking Peter because he saw something very early, maybe before we saw it and of course he’s known for that in a different way, but he’s been so terrific and so outstanding,” Trump said. “He’s ahead of the curve, and I want to thank you, man. You’re a very special guy.”
The Pirate Bay cofounder on Facebook: ‘From a democracy standpoint, Mark Zuckerberg is a dictator’ | VentureBeat | Social | by Emil Protalinski
The Pirate Bay cofounder Peter Sunde is not a fan of Facebook’s online domination. Specifically, he argues CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has too much power.
“People in the tech industry have a lot of responsibilities but they never really discuss these things. … Facebook is the biggest nation in the world and we have a dictator, if you look at it from a democracy standpoint, Mark Zuckerberg is a dictator. I did not elect him. He sets the rules,” Sunde told CNBC. “And really you can’t opt out of Facebook. I’m not on Facebook but there are a lot of drawbacks in my offline world. No party invitations, no updates from my friends, people stop talking to you, because you’re not on Facebook. So it has real life implications.”
The latest numbers from Facebook show the social network has 1.65 billion monthly active users. This is more people than in all of China, the most populous country on the planet, with some 1.38 billion people.
Krauthammer: Trump’s Cabinet a ‘reassertion of basic constitutionalism’
By Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) • 12/16/16 12:06 PM
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, a frequent critic of Donald Trump, said the choices he’s made so far to fill out his Cabinet represent a more constitutional approach to governing.
Critics on the Left have charged that Trump is appointing department heads that will undo environmental, education and energy regulations put in place under the Obama administration.
Krauthammer said that Democrats and liberals criticizing Trump’s nominees for his Cabinet — including Rick Perry for the Energy Department, Rex Tillerson for State and Betsy DeVos at Education — are under delusions that the Constitution dictates what each department is supposed to do.
“The left has been in equally high dudgeon that other Cabinet picks appear not to share the mission of the agency which they have been nominated to head,” he wrote. “The horror! As if these agency missions are somehow divinely ordained. Why, they aren’t even constitutionally ordained.”
I love reading Ammo Grrrll on Friday’s at the Powerline Blog. She always makes me smile and often she makes me laugh out loud. Her logic is impeccable, her presentation is delightful. Farnham
I watch a lot of crime shows, so I know that a criminal needs both motive and opportunity. In 50 state elections (57 if you do Obama’s count) , with everything from early voting to election-day-registration to voting machines and paper ballots, where exactly is the opportunity for Putin to hack?
And more to the point: WHY? What on earth would motivate Vlad to prefer Donald to Hillary? She already sold him all the uranium he wanted. She blurted on national television the time it takes to launch an attack. Her whole “pay to play” fraudulent charity meant she had a giant “For Sale” sign on her ample rear. Trump is supposed to be a maniac who can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes, unlike, say, Jimmah Carter, who once sent a coat to the cleaners which contained the codes. Why would Mr. Putin want such a terrifying loose cannon to win?
Apart from liking beautiful women, which sets them apart from all the men I know, it’s not clear that Donald and Vlad have that much in common. For example, I have never once seen Trump without a shirt and hope to maintain that record until the day I die.