Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Will Trump/Bannon End in Ruin?

Today Jonah Goldberg writes that President Trump is following the Bannon way of politics and it will all end in ruin.
The Bannon Way might work on the campaign trail, but it doesn’t translate into good governance.
The problem is that Democrats have been going the Bannon way since Al Gore un-conceded the 2000 presidential election, and every Subaru Outback for the next four years sported a "Redefeat Bush" bumper sticker. You could say that smash-mouth politics is in their DNA because Democrats all, more or less, believe in the religion of activism, to "peacefully protest" their grievances in marches and demonstrations. That means, in the word of President Obama, getting in their faces and punching back twice as hard.

For as long as I can remember Republicans and conservatives have decided not to go the punching back way, because well, because we should resolve our differences peacefully.

I don't know how that works out for Republican politicians and notables, including media notables like Jonah Goldberg, but clearly, over the last eight years, the conservative base has had it.

That's what the Tea Party was about. That's what the 2010 election was about. That is what the 2014 election was about. And that is what all the talk about RINOs and squishes and GOPe and cuckservatives has been about.

In the 2016 presidential election, we saw, the only candidates that got traction were the ones promising to take it to the Washington establishment. Only the guy that thought he was going to get the anti-establishment vote, Ted Cruz, came up short because Donald Trump was much better playing the role of the anti-establishment candidate.

So now we have Donald Trump as president and he is going for the establishment 24-7. Which is pretty well what his supporters were voting for.

Will it work? Nobody knows. All we know is that the old collegiate Republican party got hornswaggled by the liberal/Democrat/activist activist machine.

But here are a few ideas from my reading about conflict to give you hope.

First of all, the importance of acting. In the Franco-Prussian War the subaltern Prussian officers had been trained to a culture of acting now. It got them into a number of problems tactically, but it didn't stop them from winning the battles and the war. Ever since, military culture has moved more and more towards pushing responsibility for action down to the lowest level possible. Right through World War II the Germans were the leaders in this.

Second, the OODA loop, invented by US Col. John Boyd. OODA means Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and then repeat. That is what every economic or political or economic or military actor does. But the key is to do it faster than the opposition. That is how you will battles, wars, market share, and elections. By running your OODA loop faster than the opposition so that they are confused about what is happening and why.

Now, Jonah Goldberg is worried about the reckless way in which Donald Trump, advised by Steve Bannon, launched into the "Muslim Ban" without proper preparation and consultation. And he may be right. But the OODA loop philosophy says that you shouldn't worry too much about getting things right the first time. The important thing is to act, and get ahead of your opposition.

And really, what in the world is Goldberg thinking when he writes about "good governance." There is no such thing as good governance, certainly not in a big government society where government chews up 35-40 percent of GDP to hand out to its followers. Government is a train wreck, always and everywhere. That is why it is important for people trying to deal with government to act, and act fast, in the knowledge that the government blob is slow to act and react.

Nobody knows how all this will turn out. All we know is that the old way wasn't working and that the GOP base and the Trump voters despaired of the old way and wanted someone to get in the face of the establishment and tell 'em to put it where the sun don't shine.

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