Thu, Jun

Why Trump Thrives on Manufactured Chaos

VIEW FROM HERE--Obviously, President Trump perceives himself as a leader who can thrive on chaos. But what has been overlooked is why he chooses to "lead" this way. There are plenty of other ways to get things done as a manager of a company and/or nation. Why does Trump prefer chaos over order? 

I contend that Trump prefers chaos over order because it allows him to create a "fog of war' mentality that basically stupefies the general public into not fully seeing how criminally ignorant, incompetent, and immoral he really is. Like any great conman, he thrives not so much on chaos-which is by definition unpredictable and random-but on manufactured lies and illusions-which are created with the intent to confuse and manipulate a susceptible electorate. 

Trump is also able to create stakes that are so high that people have little choice but to go along with him or suffer incredible losses.  Thanks to a New York Times expose, what the world recently discovered about his business dealings in the 80s and early 90s, is that Trump forced many of his partners into corners that they could not bring themselves to back out of: either they could get out of a deal with Trump and lose millions, plus ruin their reputation, or they could stay with him and tap into his uncanny ability to generate investment in his brand. Despite Trump's own massive personal debt and legacy of business failures, he always gets people to give him more money, more chances, and more power. In this respect, he is the ultimate conman. 

Now that he is president, Trump has created a situation where the stakes are so high for those who have supported him, that they cannot get out of the relationship without paying a personal price that seems unbearable. Individual political examples are plentiful but take a quick look around the world and it is clear that Trump has forced, not only influential members of the GOP but the entire nation into coerced relationships that have become too risky to just cut and run from.  

Calling Guaido Venezuela's legitimate leader is one. Will Venezuela become another Vietnam? Does Trump have a long-term strategy or has he put all of his chips on regime change? 

In Iran, after pulling out of an international treaty, Trump has brought the intensity level up to code red levels. According to National Security Adviser John Bolton, "The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on the United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force."  

Regarding China, Trump is ramping up tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods. No one, least of all the president, knows what the consequences of a major trade war with China will lead to.

And in Congress, the president is now staring down the barrel of impeachment by the House of Representatives. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said, "The president is self-impeaching...He's putting out the case against himself. Obstruction, obstruction, obstruction. Ignoring subpoenas and the rest.” 

As if that was not enough, Trump is also embroiled in a high stakes showdown with the dictator of North Korea. In an interview with Politico, Trump downplayed the missile tests by North Korea, calling them “very standard stuff...", but does anyone truly believe that he has a coherent strategy in place after the last summit collapsed so publicly and haphazardly? 

Of course, this is to say nothing of his immigration policy, which has been an utter fiasco.  

He is a president swept up in so many crises, that the American people have, by and large, entered a devil's bargain: either they go along with Trump's high stakes gambling or they risk suffering incredible consequences. Just as he did with his real estate properties, Donald Trump has made the stakes so enormously high that to remove him from office, is, in the eyes of so many allies and foes alike, a far worse crisis.


(George Cassidy Payne is an editorialist, poet, and social worker. He lives and works in Rochester, NY. George is a contributing writer to City Watch LA and has been published in a wide variety of domestic and foreign outlets, including The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Buffalo News, The Albany Times Union, The South China Morning Post, The Havana Times, Counterpunch, and many others.)