What Happened to the 'Old' Trump?
So, the question is this: Now that Trump is going to avoid jail time because he’s made a deal with Joe to keep his f**king mouth shut, who’s going to take over the MAGA brand? Let me be clear on this point, okay?
It’s not who will head up the 2024 ticket for the GOP. We’re still at least a year away from figuring that one out. The question right now is who will continue to promote MAGA and, in the process, make a few bucks by selling those t-shirts, lawn signs, baseball hats and other branded crap which right now is sitting largely unsold on Trump’s website.
Because what Trump brought to the process of choosing the President in 2016, was not just a reliance on social media to promote his campaign. It was the idea that a political campaign is just another way to earn a buck by creating and then selling a brand. In this case, like everything else he has always sold, Trump’s brand is his name.
The only problem with selling products which bear your name, as opposed to selling a product that can be used for some project or other – cutting the lawn, painting the garage, all the crap at Home Depot – is that names of politicians go stale pretty fast, unless you figure out a way to keep reminding people that you are still around.
I have to assume that comments which have recently popped out of the mouth of Marjorie Taylor Greene fall into the category of what you say when you’ll say anything to let people know that you’re still around. Her comment about not disclosing whether she was vaxxed because it was a ‘violation’ of her HIPPA ‘rights’ was so stupid that it got some media play, but her statement about how Kwanzaa is a ‘fake religion’ founded by a ‘psychopath’ really takes the cake.
In the olden days (pre-internet) you got noticed when you said or did something that attracted attention from a newspaper in your town. If the story was interesting enough, maybe it would get picked up by the AP or one of the other wire news services and make the national news. TV and radio were careful about how much coverage they gave politicians because the ‘equal time’ rules made it easier just to avoid giving any politician public exposure at all.
Those rules have all disappeared, and thanks to the internet, anyone can get noticed no matter what they do or say. In fact, the whole point now in public life is to do or say something that will attract attention, regardless of whether or not what you do or say has any connection to the truth or to reality at all.
Now it used to be that when it came to saying things that were either too stupid, too nasty, or too vulgar, that Trump had the stage all to himself. But now that he’s toned things down somewhat in the hopes of avoiding a jail term for planning and directing the riot on January 6th, all of a sudden Trump is just sounding like every other politician out there, which means that he’s beginning to commit the biggest crime of all.
And what’s the biggest crime that any Politian can commit? In the words of my dear, late friend Jimmy Breslin, it’s to be a bore.
Take a look at Trump’s last public statement on his website. First of all, it runs several thousand words. Who’s going to read that? And there’s not a single curse-word, a single piece of profanity nor a single personal insult directed towards anyone at all. Where’s the old Donald Trump? Where’s the guy who delighted us by referring to those “sh*thole countries?”
All of a sudden, Trump’s becoming an Elder Statesman. Which means he’s done promoting the MAGA brand.
Somebody out there better take his place. Otherwise, Trump is stuck with all those unsold t-shirts and lawn signs and politics goes back to being a rhetorical exercise which doesn’t pay worth a damn.