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Sat Jan 11, 2020, 12:32 AM

Trump's Art of the Steal (Politico--long read)

This article has some original points on how Trump operates. As you can guess by the following italicized subhead, he's a copycat. I think what I liked most about this article is how it explains that Donald Trump is successful (if you want to call it that) because he appeals to the worst in people. He appeals to the basest, stingiest, meanest element of the human race. He never stops plumbing the depths of the negativity. See my snips for what I mean and then if you have the time, read the whole long article.

The article has a unique thesis statement: Donald Trump is not a leader. He is the ultimate follower. To understand that, though,you'll have to read the article. I didn't get it until I read through how the author explains he has become a leader by being a follower.

|How Donald Trump rode to power by parroting other people’s fringe ideas, got himself impeached for it—and might prevail anyway.


snip

For the better part of the past half-century, Trump, 73, has extracted from an array of similar sources—from the New York Post’s dishy Page Six to the toxicity of Twitter to far-right websites and lowbrow TV—a knack for knowing what people want. Not all people but many people. And not what they say they want, but what they really want. Ostentatious and aspirational glitz. Plain talk to the point of crude talk. Conflict.


Employees, executives, aides and others who’ve known Trump well say he’s not a book-reader so much as a room-reader, “sucking in information that he finds valuable,” grabbing “nuggets” that he thinks can help him get what he covets, which is some slurry of wealth, attention, respect and power. “A creature of feel,” the late strategist Pat Caddell described him to me in the summer of 2018, “a visceral stimulus creature”—who could repackage what he took in and sell it back to the hoi polloi.


snip

And Trump in 2011 seized on what people, some people—misguided, bigoted or both—thought about the country’s first black president. The birtherism campaign he began to wage was the distillation of his scattershot but resolute education as the kibitzer, the gossip hound, the insurgent outsider, the nascent politician, the feeder off the fever swamps. The follower.

snip

“It’s combustible because Trump’s only looking for news stories and information that suits his persona, that build his persona up,” Brinkley, the presidential historian, told me last week. “And by doing that he is following the trolls down an ugly path.”
snip

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/01/10/donald-trump-art-of-the-steal-096841




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