Donald Trump, the chaos strategist


One of the top executives of US intelligence, recently moved to the private sector, is questioned point blank by an acquaintance: “In your opinion, is Trump an exception in American politics or does he represent our future of populism and nationalism?”. The answer is accompanied by an enigmatic smile: “It depends: if Trump loses against the Democrat Joe Biden in November, an exception will remain; if it wins and rules until 2024 it will be our future life ”.

It is extraordinary how, just over four months after the vote for the White House, the American president, though ubiquitous in the daily life of the country and the world, remains a dilemma for supporters and opponents. Who is Trump really? What is your strategy? What do you hope to achieve in politics? It is surprising how friends and enemies remain displaced by the US leader, unable to finally understand his moves. One of the great mysteries of the White House, from the victory of 2016 to today, is in fact the arrogance with which so many top-level personalities, progressives – see the Nobel Prize in Economics and New York Times columnist Paul Krugmanor his colleague Tom Friedman, Pulitzer Prize, I hate Trump, without being able to explain why he seduces half the country.

Among liberal commentators, no one uses the categories of Antonio Gramsci, although very popular on US campuses: how does the cultural hegemony of Trumpism take root, why did his “war of movement” frustrate Clinton’s “war of position” in 2016? Conversely, among Republicans, those who have deluded themselves to mentor the fiery ex-entrepreneur of New York, certain of being able to dominate him, thanks to the experience and culture unknown to the kitsch hotel palazzinaro, only to see themselves quickly chased away and humiliated ?

The list of missing puppeteers is impressive in length and prestige. The first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was the CEO of the oil company Exxon, third in the Fortune magazine ranking after the Walmart and Amazon department stores, with an annual turnover of 238 billion dollars (213 billion euros). In comparison, Trump Corp. invoices a tiny fraction, 655 million dollars a year (586 million euros: not all budgets are available). Of course, sitting at the administration table, the two former businessmen, the heavyweight Tillerson and the featherweight Trump, must have been aware of the gap, yet in the thirteen months of coexistence, the head of the almighty Exxon never managed to influence the president, resigning in disgrace, after calling him “moron”, an idiot.

What about Steve Bannon? Breitbart’s astute new media strategist was sure he could harness Trump, making him a warrior against the “Deep State”, the historic US institutions that the activist pinafore activist is fighting. Former Navy officer who made the money in Gotha of capitalism, Goldman Sachs, a graduate of Harvard Business School, wanted to juggle between the president addicted to Fox News’s right-wing nightly news programs and the government, theater to be ensnared: it lasted less than seven months, from 20 January to 18 August 2017, like a flirtation from the white week in August. What people at Bannon, with the following of discredited military strategists and pataccarist economists, still find credit in the Italian media is almost tenderness, as when certain nice second-class singers arrived from America, to shoot dance halls and TV for a single summer, at Rocky Roberts 1967 “Tonight I throw myself”.

And every evening, in a new titanic undertaking, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, throws himself from the misadventures of his father Charles, sentenced to 14 months in prison for organizing clandestine meetings between his brother-in-law and a prostitute for blackmail. to Freud, I have a deep bond with Trump, who prefers him to the two, reckless, male children, one of whom is now in trouble for having relaunched via social content of the conspiracy sect Qanon, certain of fighting the Antichrist in the name of Trump.

Daughter Ivanka, who in stilettos and a $ 1540 Max Mara bag not usually suited to street riots, persuades her father to take a hapless march on the church of St. John, Washington, to be photographed with the Bible in hand , in exchange for the company, obtained the worst popularity surveys ever: apparently the designer bag was used to carry the holy book.

Stephen Miller, the enigmatic advisor who drew up the contested plan to block immigration from certain Islamic countries, remains convinced that raising fears about Mexicans is a winner.

Not even First Lady Melania, whose mysterious past is investigated by the new biography, “The Art of Her Deal” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mary Jordan, of the Washington Post, a woman so guarded as to have renegotiated the marriage contract with Trump after the election victory, plays in the team. Melania’s attorneys, Jordan says, when the Republican candidate was struggling with sexist jokes, “Women? Take them for the f … “they simply raised the price of silence. Ivanka teases Trump’s third wife as “The Portrait”, because she never speaks, Melania reciprocates with “Princess”, that is, spoiled daughter.

And the generals? If you read carefully the biographical notes of those who Trump, a former pupil of a military high school where the inflexible father Fred had chased him out of punishment, proudly called “My Generals”, be amazed and admired for their courage, culture, dedication , patriotism. The three-star general H.R. McMaster routed the tanks of the chosen division Tawakalna, of the Republican Guard of Saddam Hussein at the battle of 73 Easting, in southern Iraq, to ​​free Kuwait on February 23, 1991 to free Kuwait: the tactic was so brilliant that it was included in the textbooks West Point Academy and inspire thriller writer Tom Clancy for the essay “Armored Cav”. But the warrior is only a part of McMaster who also wrote a fundamental, poignant work, “DereLiction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam ”, analysis of what really defeated Americans in South East Asia, the inability of military leaders to tell the truth to politicians, for misunderstanding sense of duty, subordination, cowardice, opportunism. For this reason the general-intellectual accepts Trump’s offer, which he must not like too much, the young Donald ambushed at the time of the military draft for Vietnam with the diagnosis of a tiny bone spur in the foot, prepared by the family doctor. McMaster wants to see his thesis made in history, he will tell the President the truth about the war on terrorism that goes wrong, from Kabul to Baghdad to Damascus and Tehran, and the country will rise again. Trump does not listen to it, the strategy oscillates between sporadic raids on Syria, the elimination of the leader Isis al Baghdadi and that of the general of the Iranian militias Soleimani, only to then rant – as revealed by the former National Security Advisor Bolton – while have a confidential meeting with the astute Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif.

McMaster lasts 14 months, from February ’17 to April ’18, his colleague general Mattis, four stars and two classic nicknames “Chaos” and “rabid dog” (not “crazy dog” like, I don’t know why, repeats the TV Italian) lasts two years, from January ’17 to January ’19, at the Pentagon, Ministry of Defense, and the experience must have impressed him to the point of breaking the traditional reserve of military and ministers and criticizing Trump’s idea of ​​using the army against demonstrations, in an essay for The Atlantic magazine, one month ago. And we come to the last of the generals, John Kelly, the most melancholy and close to Trump for anti-emigration ideas, as demonstrated in the seven months since January ’17 as head of Homeland Security, therefore called to act as head of the cabinet to put order in the hustle and bustle of a White House where Kushner draws up a “peace plan” in the Middle East by himself that no one row. Considered “the adult in kindergarten”, the Marine Kelly general made his debut on the last day of July 17, when the frenzy of Bannon, Miller and the other populists had already sown a jungle of weeds. Deforestation rivalry, controls the president’s agenda with an iron hand, prevents Jared and Ivanka from making appointments in the Oval Office without permission, in short, tries to restore order. Hunt Bannon, hunt the bizarre Italian-American businessman Scaramucci in ten days (fired, under contract, even before taking service, rare record), hunt the intrusive councilor Omarosa Manigault.

Everyone bites, if you reread the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, as the brilliant survey site of the data scientist Nate Silver FiveThirtyEight tells, you will see how the mainstream media tried to persuade themselves, before public opinion, of Trump’s “normalization”. Enough with the president of the “US carnage”, of the wall on the border with Mexico, of the unprepared opening of Kim Jong un to nuclear power, to which Trump desperately tries to give a copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” album, to apologize with the dictator for having made fun of him, before the summit, as “Razzetto Man”. History, capitalized, recorded by Bolton’s careful notes, states that the gift is not realized, sanctions against Pyongyang prohibit it, but the president does not resign himself and storm diplomats and ministers.

General Kelly’s charisma is consecrated by the fate of his son, Robert Kelly, officer of the Marine Corps, like his father and brother John, lieutenant colonel: in 2010 a mine of Taliban killed him in Sangin, Afghanistan. At the 2016 Democratic Convention, Khizr Khan, father of a fallen Muslim man, criticized the president live from the podium and Kelly’s grief shielded his criticisms. Like the kindergarten teacher who ends up victims of the plague children of certain old cartoons, Kelly endures from the end of July 17 to January 2 of 19, then he also leaves the Grand Hotel Trump, people who go people who come. Break the silence to take sides with Mattis against Trump.

Now the president is alone. His republican party dares not contradict him, but mumbles. Senate campaign gurus yell at candidates not to be photographed with the red baseball cap Make American Great Again, “Do you want to lose votes?” According to the White House, one million militants had to attend the Tulsa rally on Sunday, 6200 arrived and not for the hoax of the Tik Tok app used by the kids to block fake entrance tickets (the software works differently …) , but also because the iron trumpians are exhausted, by pandemic, unemployment, riots.

All those who, from the opening day onwards, have bet on the “new” Trump have been, like the naive generals, denied. In reality, those who know the life of the President, those who followed him step by step in New York when he created his empire, in slalom with bankruptcy, casinos and Miss competitions, the TV show, the golf courses, the three families, the pages in the New York Times asking for the death penalty for young blacks, then innocent results, for a rape in Central Park, doubts about Obama’s birth certificate that would disqualify him from being president, know that Donald John Trump is always been true to himself. Do the hard with gritty lips, then sign the agreement under the table, prefer the image to reality, reduce life, business, politics at grand theater, where the gesture with an effect prevails over diplomacy, strategy, military discipline , loyalty to values.

The lawyer Gianni Agnelli, president of Fiat, once told me about his fencing master, at the Pinerolo School, before being transferred to the Nizza Cavalry Regiment. At the last lesson the instructor said to the famous pupil: “I taught her to shoot against every type of opponent, except one”. “And which?” Agnelli asked curiously. “Who lives in chaos – replied the master – who ignores the normal calculation of giving and taking in risk, who for a scratch opens the guard completely, who does not follow the rational rules of convenience and hazard”.

In Trump, the Chaos strategy has opened a White House that everyone thought was barred. He will not moderate, he will not use TikTok, you will not see him in affable dialogue with Merkel as Reagan with Thatcher. He has already banned international work visas for 2020, the excuse is the virus, he actually winks at the anti-immigrant base. He knows that the country is divided, when the automobile formula of the Nascar races prohibits the racist flag of the South on the circuits, someone hangs a lynching noose in the garage of the only African American driver, Bubba Wallace. In solidarity, the drivers of the more macho, southerner sport linked to the right-wing voters push Bubba’s car from the pits to the starting line. Among women Trump loses against Biden with a 23% gap in the polls, while Hillary Clinton, the first candidate woman, had a 14% advantage. Among white women with no degrees, Trump still beats Biden by 14% but, be careful!, Four years ago he had 25% against Hillary in that electric band.

Joe Biden, an elderly, bungling, never front row leader, promises peace after four years of chaos and a return to a normal Republican-Democratic dialectic. To America exhausted this summer, Trump once again proposes the Chaos Strategy, still betting on the instinct to turn the table over. He accuses Obama of “treason”, but does not say why. Will it work? Four months are long in politics and every month had its tragedy in 2020. Moreover, for the first time since wartime, millions of voters will vote in the mail due to viruses, extending the wait for the ballot beyond the night of November 3, with Trump already talking, via twitter, about possible fraud and leaves to fear weeks of deadlock, if Biden doesn’t win in an avalanche. And the headlines in the media are incredible, the New York Times writes: “US soldier Ethan Melzer arrested for plotting the terrorist massacre of his ward with the Nazi-Satanic sect” Order of the 9 Corners “. You risk life in prison. ”

40 years ago the director Landis imagined in his “The Blues Brothers” the famous charge of John Belushi against “The Nazis of Illinois”, it seemed a joke, now the US Nazis really exist, reversing Marx’s saying that history repeats itself first as a tragedy, then as a farce: now the tragedy follows. Hard to say if 2021 will see Trump in Washington, or in his buen retiro of Mar a Lago in Florida, to face the treacherous procedural sagas that will await him patient: be sure, defeated or victorious, the president will not change line in his fencing with the life, chaos, until the last hit.

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