Tag Archives: President Trump

Swarm the Trumpephant

You are hopefully wondering what you can do, if anything, to push back against the unfolding tin-pot dictatorship of Donald Trump (see here). The good news is that this President is particularly vulnerable in two critical areas. The first is his wallet. Money is all he cares about. The second is his brand, because that is what brings him his money.

trumpephantBoth of these vulnerabilities are at the mercy of us, the public. If we work individually but in sufficient numbers we can bring him to his knees like an army of ants swarming to bring down an elephant – the Trumpephant.

Trump is not really a great businessman. He doesn’t build or produce much of anything. The Trump hotels he pretends to own are mostly owned by others who just license his brand name. He is essentially just a brand marketer and his brand is his only real product.

For example, his newest hotel, The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver was actually built by a Malaysian businessman named Joo Kim Tiah (see here). Although Trump pretends to build and own these hotels, he does not. Mr. Tiah simply licensed the Trump name for branding and marketing. The Trump Hotel Collection just manages the hotel portion of the tower.

Reportedly, Mr. Tiah attempted to cancel the licensing deal as soon as Donald Trump ran for President but was unable to get out of his contract with the Trump Organization. This should show you just how vulnerable Trump is. All he has to sell is his brand and if that gold tarnishes, he has nothing left to sell to his major partners.

All we need to do is to taint his brand name. We, you and I, can do that. We just need to take the Trump name that he has worked so hard to make synonymous with luxury and quality, and instead make it inextricably linked with corruption, lies, and excess.

So, make “Trump” a part of your everyday language. Every time you wish to ridicule something or point out a poser or liar or charlatan or cheap excess, refer to it as a Trump.

“Wow, check out that pathetic Trump over there.”

“That guy was a pretentious idiot, I’m talking Trump grade.

“The Congressman must think we are complete morons, he tried to pull a Trump on us.”

“Wow he really messed up, an epic Trump up.”

“You she looked absurdly tacky in that dress, a total Trump.

“I wouldn’t be caught dead going in there. It’s so… Trump!”

You get the idea. Be imaginative, wicked, relentless, and merciless. We need to take away Trump’s only real asset by turning it into an overused joke – a derogatory expression that will endure for generations as a cautionary tale to those who would follow his example. We need to make sure that the next Joo Kim Tiah does not even consider signing a deal with the Trumps.

YOU can ninja this Trump brand anti-marketing every day. But you can also take direct action as well by boycotting companies that peddle his ridiculous Trump crap. Boycotting DOES work. We know that. And boycotting in this case is easy. Just keep track of companies that sell Trump shit. Simply search their site for “Trump” or check this spreadsheet (see here). There is even an app for that (see here).

For example, Amazon was petitioned for nearly a year to stop promoting Trump merchandise. They continue to do so. Now, I know you probably cannot stop using Amazon entirely, but you can still pressure them. On occasion, just go to their feedback page and send them an email saying that I am NOT buying my new <fill in the blank> from you because you continue to promote Trump. Do this for all the retailers you can.

Even if you only do this occasionally, it is still huge when enough people do it together. One ant nibbling on the Trumpephant does nothing, but together we can reduce it to a zombie skeleton in minutes.

Now I know are probably rationalizing that it’s unfair to punish retailers. But you’re wrong. Now that Trump is President, these retailers are no longer non-political when they continue to sell his crap. Amazon (as the largest example) is potentially currying favor with the White House by continuing to offer his junk. They also implicitly condone his activities by hawking his garbage. Don’t feel sorry for them, this is part of the territory.

And are you thinking that boycotting is unfair because Trump cannot extricate himself from his businesses? Too bad! That would be like saying that it’s ok if Melania were a Slovenian spy because, well, he can’t really just be expected to divorce her! But that’s exactly what he would need to do, or step down as President. Our President simply cannot make policy that impacts Amazon and other retailers without concern about a conflict of interest, any more than he could remain free of legitimate concern if Melania were a known Slovenian spy. If retailers sell his products, will he favor them? If they do not might he punish them? Do companies favor him simply out of fear that he might punish them? He is after all known to be singularly petty and vindictive. We cannot ever know for sure and every decision he makes has this inherent uncertainty. That is why his particular conflict of interest situation is deeply unacceptable and just one reason why Donald Trump is entirely unacceptable as President.

Yes maybe 50% of Americans voted for Trump knowing that he would have business conflicts while in office. So what? If 50% of America voted for a candidate with a spy-wife, we should not simply accept that situation either. If 50% of Americans voted for a slave owner, well that is why we have checks and balances – including direct action by the other 50%.

So, tarnish the brand as much as you can. Turn it into a sad cliché of a joke. At the same time boycott not only Trump crap, but all companies that carry Trump crap. Make association with his brand a “loser” for business partners and retailers and elected officials and for voters.

Oh yes, and keep organizing, protesting,  and pestering your representatives. Call them out and embarrass them for aligning with Trump. We can bring down this lumbering Trumpephant that is trampling all over all our great nation – if we all relentlessly piranha his thin orange hide at every opportunity.


The Trump Zone Shocker Ending

For those of you who are too young to have grown up on it, The Twilight Zone was a science fiction show that featured a shocker ending, typically in the form of a sudden reversal of perspective. There was one episode, for example, when an astronaut to Mars is welcomed by aliens who greet him warmly and offer him a comfortable Earth-like room with all the amenities. Everything seems wonderful until he notices a sign that says “Earthling in its natural habitat.” Then the wall drops open and he is stunned by the realization that he is actually in a zoo (see here).

Last night was a real life Twilight Zone shocker ending. There we were. My wife and I and all our friends were in an uptown Manhattan apartment expecting to watch Hillary declared the winner within the first hour – or two at most – before popping our champagne. As the first states went to Trump, many reassured us that there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Hillary did not need that state to win. As each subsequent state fell to Trump, we kept clinging to the next certain path to victory. When it finally became undeniably apparent that Hillary was out of paths to 270, the utterly stunned looks of shock and disbelief were every bit as profound as if we suddenly discovered we were actually exhibits in a Martian zoo.

This is the Twilight Zone ending of this long election cycle. All of us who opposed Trump lived under a delusion of absolute certainty that all those crazy Trump people were living in some artificial bubble created by Fox News. But suddenly we had to accept that is we who have been living in the bubble, not them. It is we who thoroughly denied the reality of a disillusioned, hurting, and profoundly desperate majority in America. It is we, including those in the media, whose bubble of relative affluence did not allow us appreciate or even imagine that too many of our fellow Americans are so fundamentally damaged by our system that disqualifiers like misogyny and all the rest are merely frivolous preoccupations of the privileged classes.

Those with all the power are always shocked and surprised when the “masses” rise up. Many slave-owners in the South were probably mystified to learn that there was so much discontent amongst their slaves. In every country when there is a popular revolution, the leaders and those who are well off live in their own bubble that only gets penetrated when the workers rise up in some form of Marxian revolt. They are always stunned and shocked.

That may be exactly what we have seen here. In recent decades SO much wealth has gone to the upper classes, siphoned by the rich like vampires directly from the life blood of the working class, that Karl Marx would be nodding his head saying “I told you so.” He would probably only be surprised that it took so long for reality to burst through our happy little bubble.