January 4, 2016

The kinder, softer side of Donald Trump.

I've noticed it. Have you? Let me pull this out of yesterday's "Face the Nation" interview:
But I would be very enthusiastic, like I am right now, toward the country. We need spirit. We need a cheerleader....
I don't think I have rough edges... I went to an Ivy League school. I was a good student... And I can be more politically correct than any coach that they can get me. I can be the most politically correct person with you. I could say something, at the end of this interview, you would say, wow, was that boring....

Nuclear... has to be absolute last stance. Don't forget, I was against the war in Iraq. I'm not a fast trigger. You have guys that you would think are very low-key. They would be faster than me. I would be a very slow trigger with nuclear....

... I have more respect for women by far than Hillary Clinton has. And I will do more for women than Hillary Clinton will....  And I think I have, certainly within my company, done things that were very different, because, 30 years ago, I had a woman in charge of building a massive building on Fifth Avenue, more than 30 years ago. And nobody would have done that in terms of construction. It was unheard of. I was way ahead. And even to this day, I have so many women executives. And they're incredible. But I have been great to women in terms of the world of business. And I have been given great credit for that....

28 comments:

David Begley said...

This softer side of Trump is to counter the mean Mr. Potter businessman narrative.

Trump loves you! Not a meany!

This is all WWE.

Bay Area Guy said...

This isn't surprising. The man has smart advisors, who tell him, "Donald, you are the favorite to win the GOP nomination. Tone down the rhetoric a notch, appear more presidential to appeal a bit to the undecided voter. The objective is to win, and you need to do this, to win."

walter said...

One of his better refrains..kinder, softer or not..is the suggestion of maintaining some unpredictability in foreign affairs. There appears to be something in many modern Dems DNA to make them declare their limits when in international confrontations.

Writ Small said...

Trump's interview with Dickerson was a very good performance. But there is always a "but."

"And I can be more politically correct than any coach that they can get me. I can be the most politically correct person with you."

"... I have more respect for women by far than Hillary Clinton has."


If you listen to where Trump says he has more respect for women than Hillary, note the hesitation. He was on the verge of saying that he has more respect for women than anyone on the planet or something equally ridiculous. His coaches probably cheered from the green room when he put some limit on his self congratulation. Baby steps.

traditionalguy said...

The focus and energy that Trump uses with words and phrases selection and voice scares many slow thinkers. It seems unfair and therefore it must be social rudeness.

An interesting phenomena has been watching the way Professor Althouse resisted the alleged rudeness but now goes right along at Trump Speed and sees no problem with it. Smart minds attract smart minds, and then the Softness Tactic deploys.

n.n said...

The war on babies, men, women, and humanity, really, was conducted by a left-wing political movement that identified itself as "Feminism". Normal people do not cling to faith-based religions or moral philosophies pulled out of a penumbra in order to indiscriminately abort the first, disenfranchise the second, exploit the third, and debase the last for wealth, pleasure, leisure, and democratic leverage.

n.n said...

Normal people also recognize that men and women are equal but complementary, and that certain physiological differences and evolutionary imperatives only justify narrow exceptions.

Hagar said...

This is getting funny.
It is part of Democrat lore that George Washington was just a not very bright general being manipulated by that devil Hamilton. And Reagan and George W. in our time.

I rather think Trump feels about his "advisers" as my old boss said about lawyers: "Never ask your lawyer what you should do. If you do, you will shortly find he is running the business and you are out of it. You tell the lawyer what you want to do, and for him just to find a way for you to do it legally.

J2 said...

You did not include one of the best bits in this context - that political correctness takes too long. It requires clumsy circumlocutions. This also underlines the urgency of our circumstances.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Trump's rhetoric revolves around simple dichotomies. Tough vs. weak. Aggressive vs. nice. Smart vs. stupid. Winning vs. losing. Great vs. terrible. All voters can easily, immediately grasp these concepts. It's the opposite of the quality John Kerry was both praised and derided for: "nuance."

Trump classifies everyone and everything worth talking about on the campaign trail as being on one side of at least one of those dichotomies. For instance, his refrain since day 1 of his campaign has been: America isn't winning anymore; other countries are beating us, because their leaders are smart and our leaders are stupid.

Of course, his message is that he's tough but smart, and will cause America to win and be great again.

But the one dichotomy he's more flexible on is aggressive vs. nice. He often describes himself as a "nice" person who "get[s] along with everybody," but he also calls himself the most "militaristic" candidate (or even the most militaristic person in existence).

The subtext is that he'd be great at making deals (which is why he constantly reminds us that he "wrote The Art of the Deal"), and he wouldn't stupidly overuse military action the way Bush and Obama have done, but when he did use force, it would be the greatest use of force you've ever seen — it would be so great, and we'd win so much, you'd get sick of winning.

readering said...

Doesn't everyone have a kinder, softer side. Even the Tony Sopranos and Nucky Thompsons of the world? Every blustering bully sounds kind and soft sometimes. Even so, setting the bar here very low for The Donald.

As far as I can see his experience in professional life has come from relentlessly promoting the "Trump" brand--and chiseling and litigating with partners, contractors, subcontractors, vendors and creditors with the brazen claim that they should be grateful that they were garnering valuable goodwill by their association with The Trump Organization. As for his out-of-the-ordinary promotion of women in his business? I'm unaware of it. Take lawyers. Has Trump ever in 35 years retained a woman in a prominent position, either in-house or as lead outside counsel? Don't think so.

bgates said...

But the one dichotomy he's more flexible on is aggressive vs. nice. He often describes himself as a "nice" person who "get[s] along with everybody," but he also calls himself the most "militaristic" candidate (or even the most militaristic person in existence).

There's no reason you can't be both. cf Gen James Mattis - "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet." Or for that matter Dalton from Road House - "Be nice - until it's time to not be nice."

Qwinn said...

Notice how thoroughly "political correctness" is being conflated with "nicer, softer" here. Yes, because what else could a Marxist rhetorical device meant to divide and conquer various identity groups be if not "nice" and "soft"? Even the people who hate PC fall for this crap to some degree.

Chuck said...

As I listened to it, I was struck by how much Trump sounded like one of several mouthy urban cab drivers I have had; spouting off whatever he can remember from radio and tv from the last month or so, which is about the effective range of his memory.

Is there anything intelligent in any of that? Nuclear weapons are a "last resort." Sounds like wisdom from the ladies' bridge club.

"I just want to make America great again." Yeah, it's on the hat. I saw the hat. You can't miss the hat.

"I will do more for women than Hillary will..." Now that's an interesting notion. It raises the question; was the Lilly Leadbetter case decided correctly? Was the Lilly Leadbetter Act reasonable and necessary legislation? Would Trump have voted for it had he been in the Senate? If he doesn't like the Act, what are the many, many yuuuge things he will do for women?

Trump really bitched about getting to see Obama's grades and transcripts. Have we ever seen Trump's?

Rocketeer said...

he wouldn't stupidly overuse military action the way Bush and Obama have done, but when he did use force, it would be the greatest use of force you've ever seen

I generally don't care for Trump - but actually, that very military philosophy is the one we're best served and most successful under. "Slow trigger, but then overwhelming force" got us successfully through two World Wars.

Chuck said...

John Althouse Cohen;

The only time Trump is "nice," is when he is in his own celbrity-bubble world. We've all seen it time and time again. Where Trump congratulates Chris Wallace on being a good journalist, almost as good as his father (whom Trump would probably claim to be an old friend), or where Trump insults a Jonah Goldberg or a John Fund because they can't hold a candle to Bill Buckley (whom Trump would claim to have had dinner with and was somehow and old friend). When Trump says something stupid about some demographic group, his defense is that his celebrity friends who are members of that group have called him to tell him just how alright their friend Trump is, and don't let the media bastards get you down.

With Trump, it is a kind of media/celebrity cosmology like the Greek Gods. All-powerful Gods of influence and opinion, but with human frailties. And Trump knows all of them, and that is how he'll run America. With a pen and a telephone.

Trump is not being nice. He is being a phony starfucker on a cosmic level.

eric said...

Chuck, you are too angry about Trump.

Calm down.

Alex said...

Chuck - go ahead vote for Cruz.

lowercase said...

@traditionalguy Some of us have simply been dealing with Trump a lot longer than others and so are not so easily led. Or as John Mulaney's dad put it when 10-yr-old John fell in love with Clinton: "Son, you have the moral backbone of a chocolate eclair."

Chuck said...

Oh I will vote for any real Republican over Trump.

The only problem for me is in fact unlikely; the possibility that Trump somehow wins the nomination. I don't think it will happen, if people are fully aware of how badly he'd be destroyed in November.

In that event I will assuredly hold my nose and vote for Trump and I'd actually hope for him to win. Because the alternative is so bad.

What I don't appreciate right now is the other side of the intramural Trump debate. Where folks whom I normally like and enjoy (Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham) are conducting a kind of kamikaze mission against whatever it is they think is a "Republican establishment." It's scorched-earth. They aren't arguing that Trump has a great vision; they are arguing that they need to purge the Party. How on earth do they expect Trump to win Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and/or Nevada?

I never disliked Ann Coulter. I respect her for her absolutism on her pet issue which is of course immigration. I just don't like her attacks on Republicans.

traditionalguy said...

Lowercase...Just say no to falling in love with candidates. Trump is a very common man with a competitive streak that makes enemies out of other men that he likes to defeat by outworking them, wise advance planning and persistance. He has also been blessed with a superior mind and memory, but he gets no credit for that.

When a man like Trump offers to save my dissolving country, then I just say we accept the offer and use him.

Iapetus said...

I'm waiting for the Trump campaign to roll out the Greek columns. Not the wimpy ones from Obama's campaign, but great big ones. Huge, tall, fat ones. Lettered with his name in gold: he'd name them Trump Columns. They would be the greatest Greek columns the world has ever seen. He'd make Greek columns great again.

pm317 said...

Well, if you had watched any of his (Celebrity) Apprentice shows, you would have seen it. It is subtle but a discerning person would get it.

Amanda said...

Oh please. He has more respect for women than Clinton? How about the time he said an opposing female attorney was "disgusting" because she needed a break to pump breast milk? How about when he said blood was coming out of Megyn Kelly's "whatever"? How about when he said Carly Fiorina was unattractive? How about when he says it's "too disgusting" to mention referring to Clinton using the bathroom, during a break in the Democratic debate? He can claim he is respectful of women, his actions for years have clearly said otherwise. Liberal women don't buy his spiel.

traditionalguy said...

One more observation of Commander Trump metamorphosis. He is actually following General Patton's aphorism about a new Commander. He can come in and take over being a SOB and then turn nice later and everyone in the unit will love him

But if the new Commander comes in being a nice person, he can never turn into a SOB later when it is needed or the unit will hate him.

John said...

Quoting, roughly, Mike Milligan:

Every new leader should immediately perform an act of great kindness and an act of great cruelty to show that he is capable of both.

John Henry

chickelit said...

n.n said...Normal people also recognize that men and women are equal but complementary, and that certain physiological differences and evolutionary imperatives only justify narrow exceptions.

In chemistry that's the difference between equivalency and equality. Equality in the male/female context fails because it requires that X = Y which is nonsense.

There's also the nuanced difference between the words "identical" and "identity" even though both are rooted in the same word: idem = same. "Identical" requires everything be the same; "identity" acknowledges differences -- at least in psychology.

Paul said...

Chuck is like the guy on his boat, facing astern and waving frantically for the rest of the flotilla to change course and follow him while everybody but Chuck can see the big smoke from the huge cataract he's heading toward.

One of the many blessings of Trump winning the primary and general will be, hopefully, that Chuck will STFU.