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.
Both 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.