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Quote of the Day: Donald Trump’s Rules of Life and Leadership

evangelical support for donald trump
Cartoon by Dan Wasserman

Here are the Trump Rules, distilled from conversations we have had with countless people close to the president, some of whom have studied him for years:

  • Your brand should piss someone off. The worst thing you can be is milquetoast, bland. He wants some people to have a viscerally negative response to him and what he’s doing, because he bets that’s going to harden support on the other side.
  • Crisis is a powerful weapon — fire it indiscriminately. “Forget planning,” a source said. “Wake up every morning, survey the battlefield, let your gut instinct lead you to a crisis to exploit, bet that no one else can thrive in the chaos the way you can. Ratchet up the pressure until everyone else’s pipes burst.”
  • You can create your own truth. Just keep repeating it.
  • Accuse the accuser. A source who’s spent hundreds of hours working with Trump puts it this way: “He has a history of accusing people of whatever he’s being accused of. Collusion? Democrats colluded on the dossier! Blue wave? Red wave coming!”
  • Fear trumps friendship. Trump wants his inferiors to fear him and hold him in awe. He likes watching them duke it out in front of him.
  • Loyalty trumps talent. Case in point: Michael Cohen. No serious person would employ Michael Cohen as their personal attorney — a point Trump has belatedly acknowledged himself. But as Cohen used to say, he’d “take a bullet” for Donald Trump. Oops.
  • Never admit you are — or did — wrong.  Trump’s #MeToo advice, per Bob Woodward’s “Fear”: “You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women. If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead.”

— Jonathan Swan, Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, Axios, The Trump Rules for Life and Leadership, September 11, 2018


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    Sounds real Jesus-like to me.

    Actually there are parallels to fundy Christianity here. Be a religion that pushes people off – it shows God is right because the devil is fighting back. Crisis – that is where you can exploit and convert the most vulnerable people. Create your own truth – just about every Christian doctrine was created this way. Accuse the accuser – or rather in Christianese call all detractors sinners, apostates, tools of Satan. Fear – doctrine of hell, OT angry God, fear of Satan/demons, are great examples. Loyalty over knowledge, thinking, skepticism – and loyal faith is a great virtue. Never admit God did wrong – blame his smiting and directives to murder infants on the victims.

    Trump and God aren’t so different after all.

  2. Avatar

    I find our political state to be very scary right now. we are entering a time of greed is good and everyone else be damned thinking. we need healthcare for all now more than ever, but it is continually blocked by the insurance industry’s lobbyists and the politicians they have bought and paid for. we still have not addressed the issue of our jobs being exported in order make a millionaire a bit richer. we are holding children in prison conditions instead of keeping w/mom or dad. it should not take this long to find out who the kids belong to w/dna testsing. I will admit to being caught up in the idea of trump helping the economy, but now realize how dumb it all really was. I will try to make a difference by voting more wisely this time. I will be voting for beto orourke here in TX so hopefully things can start turning around. his ideas are just plain common sense. I wish I had been smart enough to see through all the fear mongering. trying to change this fear and change the way I vote. hopefully the dems will have a better candidate waiting in the wings this time.

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Bruce Gerencser