There is something profoundly unsettling about Trump’s continual “Oh
Come Let Us Adore Me” public events. (Or, as Ms. Brzezinski puts it,
during his “dear leader” moments.) The worst was when he introduced his
cabinet members one by one and each was compelled–whether explicitly by
Trump, or as a self-generated demonstration of their subservient status–to
do obeisance to Trump in the most uncomfortable way. It was grotesque.
The Trump show’s possibilities are a dim echo of another great power’s
shift from republic to oligarchy to dictatorship. That would be Rome. Read
Tacitus, a somewhere-around-the-first-to-second-century AD (it is thought)
historian who chronicled that declension. It’s all there.
Ms. Brzezinski seems absolutely correct in her analysis of what Trump, if
left to run wild, would/could and probably wants to, accomplish. Get rid of
those pesky rules. Regulations? Anathema, get thee behind me!
Those rules he decries, which stipulate how the executive, legislative and
judicial branches of government are to interact and conduct business, are
archaic, says Mr., Trump. That would be the checks and balances our
forefathers baked into the constitutional cake as a hedge against a power
hungry megalomaniac taking over as a dictator sometime downstream. No
chance of that ever happening, right?
And now we have to endure those noted martial tacticians, Sarah Huckabee
Sanders, Melania Trump and Kellyanne Conway touting as somehow
praiseworthy the fact that Trump is easily baited and induced to respond to
someone else’s agenda. While I’m sure these women have many fine qualities, they don’t know beans about the principles of successful conflict. Neither they, or Trump, get it that a knee-jerk response to “fight fire with fire” or “fight back ten times harder” is strategically and tactically unwise and gives away the advantage conveyed by being the initiator of, not reactor to, any situation or issue. Blindly responding to someone else’s ploys means someone else is pulling the strings. Believe me ladies, that is not what ya want in a supposed leader. A leader is supposed to make the other side dance to his tune. Forever on the defensive is not a tactical road to success.
Whether it’s business, war, or civil society, if you don’t understand power
and have a plan for how you intend to use it–then don’t seek power. Just
“fighting back” is not a strategy and simply emulating one’s opponents
leads to stalemate not success.
So, shut up ladies. You’re clueless knuckledraggers or knuckledragger-enablers encouraging blindly “fighting back”. Muhammad Ali frequently employed the tactic of getting an opponent to wear himself out reacting to Ali’s floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. He used different techniques but the aim was inexorable–to make his opponent do what he wanted him to do. It was called “rope-a-dope”.
In the contested endeavor, the wise leader chooses her/his own time and
place to contest it, whatever “it” is. They’re not supposed to let someone
else sucker them into an inopportune course/time/place of action because of
low impulse control. Make your opponent do what you want, don’t respond
to what he wants you to do.