This is the second post on the “depravity leaks”. Read this if you want to have the scene set for you amateurishly by me.
I’ll preface this post by saying I have not read the now-publicly available dossier completely. There are many links that can be searched for, and I don’t want to endorse any particular news site who are hosting the content if you’re interested in reading up.
There are only two possibilities regarding these leaks: they are somewhat or completely true, or they are completely false. There is no true nuance between these two options, but the ramifications aren’t quite so binary: a man that has been recorded to carry a conversation including the phrase “Grab them by the pussy” can reasonably expect leniency toward other acts of depravity because that has been the established reaction to any missteps (ones that would bring down any other politician, one might imagine). The degree of outrage by the “mainstream media” will vary.
That calls into question even whether there would be wavering popular support if all allegations were possible to prove true. Trump is a man who trades on being different, to the extent that he not only addresses the American equivalent of the “just about managing”, but also those who have genuine hatred of President Obama. They would welcome the truth, if the allegations were completely true – supporting someone who isn’t afraid to act the way they wish they could.
Even so, the rest of the demographics, who might not persuade themselves to hate President Obama but certainly couldn’t see themselves supporting Hillary Clinton, may not fall by the wayside for Trump because his appearance in the media cycle is an aberration of expectations. Who knows how long this story will last, and what the next story will be? Already now the political process is underway with members of Congress attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (an Obamacare known by any other name…) – a significant change that citizens should be aware of and interested in.
What we must recognise is that the United States of America are going to be governed by a brand. We had inklings of what this could be like with JFK, a man who was a celebrity of a kind, and Obama, who brought branding into the election campaign unlike any other Presidential candidate in my memories of American history. Trump fuses the two – he made his name running the American Apprentice format, and became beloved for his no-nonsense, direct nature, and sustained this into the White House. He will never stop being this person, because stopping this would mean being inauthentic to his brand, and he would lose his following. He can lie, backtrack on his words or be inept and guess at what to say but if it is sincerely he will not be faulted.
And that can be dangerous.
I’ll leave it at this, having explored who Trump is, and how I think about his supporters. My next post will hopefully (I’ve stretched this out more than I thought) look at how Putin relates to this figure that is Trump, and what the leak will mean for both.
(Photo credit goes to the Kremlin)