November 15, 2016

What I said 2 months before the election about understanding what Trump is doing.

I found it interesting to listen to this again. I was taking Trump seriously and trying to understand how he was speaking to us:



After the election, I really notice the urgency in my voice, begging people to look closely and figure out what is going on. Partial transcript:
Before the election happens, we should try to step up to the challenge of seeing what is happening to us... America really is going through a transition, we're becoming different, our minds are changing [through the internet and social media]. And Trump may seem weird by old standards, but he has some place within what is becoming the new culture that we're in, and we ought to have some sensitivity and perception about noticing what it is and operating successfully within it.... And I think [Trump] deserves credit for perceiving that there was something that could be done and putting it together... on the fly as a complete newcomer. People don't want to give him credit, and an awful lot of people in the elite are... calling him stupid or racist, and I just think, we're going to be looking back on this, especially if he wins, which he could.... [What Trump says and the way it's paraphrased and understood and misunderstood] is very fluid and dynamic, and you have to not jump to a conclusion but go back into the actual texts that are there and try to figure out what happened. I don't think people are doing that enough, and I feel like the election is going to pass, and if he wins, we'll have to look back for the rest of our lives.

51 comments:

Hagar said...

I don't know that it is possible to understand what Trump is saying. We are just going to have to wait and see what he manages to get done.

traditionalguy said...

And he talks like a woman. I guess his mother was the strongest influence over the way of thinking of this kid and his sister who became the Federal Appeals Court Judge. He really likes to appoint smart women to do the hardest jobs.

But we will take him as the best communicator of since FDR.

buwaya said...

Much of the Trump phenomenon does not seem all that new to me;
maybe because I am more used to personal politics as conducted in the pre-broadcast era. Where I come from this was in fact a very new thing practically, politicians did not really campaign on TV and radio advertising all that much. They hired local political staff to argue the case in person, or bought in local political chiefs who passed the word. Politicians also did very Trump-like personal tours and mass meetings.

Trump seems to be speaking as they used to, in person, off the back of the last car on the whistle stop tour. Modern tech permits a lot of this again, natural, candid (or its close facsimile), unforced.

We seem to be leaving a mass media era of campaigning though mass media advertising and unnatural, stilted TV appearances.

buwaya said...

"What Trump says and the way it's paraphrased and understood and misunderstood"

And this is a function of the corruption of the mass media.
I know I'm a broken record on this, but its simply not normal media behavior.
The US has an extremely uniform and centrally controlled media environment, it is still a top-down set of organizations that exist for political purposes only.

Anything and everything passes through a set of engineered messaging filters, and there is top down coordination between different sources to pass a uniform set of messages. This is no accident. Whatever Trump says or doesn't say will be twisted and filtered to suit, or blocked.

traditionalguy said...

OK, I just watched the Bloggingheads, and I was amazed by how much The Professor and Trump have in common. They both use words carefully in a slow but repetitive way to teach people what they see coming down around the corner as if they have a sixth sense.

It's fascinating to watch. And think it come from minds steeped in intense reading and disciplined verbal sparring practice (with Meade?)done until issues are perceivable by them before others even notice them. I know it freaks Bob Wright out.

rhhardin said...

A woman discovers political correctness and senses, spider feelings, something still mysterious may be wrong with it.

A guy abstracts right to the problem and doesn't do spider feelings.

Big Mike said...

I would listen to the clip, Althouse, except then I'd have to listen to Robert Wright, and there are only so many seconds in a day.

dreams said...

I heard Nelson Peltz, who is a wealthy money manager say on CNBC that the media are taking what Trump says literally but not seriously whereas the American people are taking what Trump says seriously but not literally.

mccullough said...

I don't know if your connection was off but you interrupted that guy a lot. He was, however, spouting conventional wisdom.

He also seem blinded by what kind of anti Muslim statement Trump was making about the Gold Star parents. As you point out, Trump was calling attention to women being subordinate in much of traditional Islam. I have to say they came off to
Me as American Muslim Gothic on that stage. At a convention, for a party, for a candidate that touted its Women are Awesome platform. The non verbal message was awful

Curious George said...

"...and if he wins, we'll have to look back for the rest of our lives."

No.

Ann Althouse said...

"I would listen to the clip, Althouse, except then I'd have to listen to Robert Wright, and there are only so many seconds in a day."

There's a substantial section in that clip -- which I didn't try to transcribe -- in which Bob challenges me over what Trump said about the Khans and I try to answer, making a distinction between what Trump said -- which is close to something I might have said about the subordination of women -- and how people paraphrased it and ran with it -- proclaiming it Islamophobic. Bob tries very hard to break up what I am trying to say and I have to work very hard at holding my ground and keeping my point together and making it incoherent.

I did not accept the characterization of Trump as evil or stupid, and I thought the elite was being foolish not to see how he'd figured out something about speech today, something that combined internet savvy with old-fashioned in-person rallies.

Anglelyne said...

dreams: I heard Nelson Peltz, who is a wealthy money manager say on CNBC that the media are taking what Trump says literally but not seriously whereas the American people are taking what Trump says seriously but not literally.

I wonder how many people are going to be credited with originating that "seriously/literally" aphorism before it settles into its final mal-attributed quotable quote form.

Unknown said...

I came up with a hypothesis the other day about the whole dust up with Megyn Kelly and Trump's, "blood coming out of her eyes, blooding coming out of her whatever," remark that was so bizarre. It was probably not an allusion to menstruation at all.

I think that Trump's advisors had coached him to say, to try to mildly discredit Kelly, "You could see it in her eyes, she was out for blood." But when the moment came, Trump tried to call to mind what he was supposed to say, but the words were jumbled as he was putting the sentence together in his head.

He got "blood - out - eyes", notably the exact reverse order of what he was supposed to say, and partway through trying to give his line he realized he had utterly screwed it up, and tried to drop it by dismissing the statement with a "wherever".

This suggests a sort of last-in-first-out way in which his mind handles communication, and also ties together with the commonly accepted wisdom that his statements about policy are strongly influenced by whoever he most recently spoke with.

-MJL

dreams said...

Accusing Trump of attacking Gold Star parents reminded me of the time when the Dems had a twelve year old girl give the response to a Republican president's speech and when the Republicans criticized her response, they were accused of attacking a twelve year old girl.

buwaya said...

I also suspect that Wright cannot afford to argue in complete sincerity, as unlike you he has a rice bowl that depends on the opinions of his paymasters. You have an independent income and a secure position, so you can say what you like.

You are fundamentally a free woman and he is not a free man, even if the limits to his opinions only exist as background fears in the back of his head.

This is a powerful thing among the US elite, there is far too much personally at stake to permit free speech. The only really free people here are the poor, the retired and the extremely rich. Its no accident that Trump was the only candidate who could go where he did, as he had little to fear. Perhaps his path was open only to a billionaire, and a particularly independent one at that, with no responsibility to stockholders or business partners.

dreams said...

"I wonder how many people are going to be credited with originating that "seriously/literally" aphorism before it settles into its final mal-attributed quotable quote form."

Yeah, I don't think Nelson Peltz was claiming to have originated that saying but had heard it himself and was passing it on.

Gusty Winds said...

Ann Althouse said...

Bob challenges me over what Trump said about the Khans and I try to answer, making a distinction between what Trump said -- which is close to something I might have said about the subordination of women -- and how people paraphrased it and ran with it -- proclaiming it Islamophobic

Trump successfully challenged liberal media norms that elites thought were 'settled science'. Not only with the Khans, but earlier with Michelle Fields' false assault accusation against Corey Lewandowski during the primary. Both narratives were blown up by what you saw with your own eyes. Trump challenged institutions and people considered sacred by some, but full of crap and hypocrisy by others. Other GOP candidates would have knelt down in apology.

He even made the Pope take back his insults.

robother said...

"Bob tries very hard to break up what I am trying to say and I have to work very hard at holding my ground and keeping my point together and making it incoherent."

And I had the same reaction to the first time I viewed this: You really would've made a hell of a lead deal-doing lawyer (and maybe court-room lawyer but I am no position to judge those skills.) Not true of many law-academics.

Sebastian said...

"And think it come from minds steeped in intense reading" Not talking about Trump here, are we?

Michael K said...

This is a powerful thing among the US elite, there is far too much personally at stake to permit free speech.

Excellent observation and I agree completely.

The Khan thing was a setup with Khan being a lawyer who does Muslim immigration.

Trump spotted the woman suppression thing and pointed it out. He said too much but most of the flap was about what he didn't say.

He picks up stuff very quickly. He notices and that is a quality I like a lot.

Too many people are thinking of what they are going to say and don't listen. I think he listens.

MaxedOutMama said...

But it is it "how" he was speaking or "what" he was speaking?

Trump is not a convoluted character, and nothing about his life has encouraged Proustian levels of introspection. His professional life has been turned outward, observing both external economic and social trends, and what people can make with them. His entire modus operandi is to figure out what's the most necessary to accomplish his goals and get it done, and he picks his goals very carefully so that they are achievable.

Trump's campaign was more "This isn't working, it can never work, we're hurting, we have to make some changes." And he said that loudly and continually, and when the media and opponents stupidly leaped in to do the PC-incorrectness dance, waving their SJW magic wands of social disapproval, he just stood there, doubled down, and basically demonstrated BY IGNORING THEM that they had no real power.

Many people cheered that demonstration.

I don't mean to disrespect your observations in this post or what you were trying to do this entire campaign - I thought your blogging on this election was a beautiful job done courageously.

But Trump is really a crappy speaker and a bad debater. Obama can convince by speaking. Trump is a good salesman because he knows how people think, not because he is an orator, or a great communicator.

Trump won this election because he paid a LOT more attention to the electoral college than the Clinton campaign (stupid!!!!!) and because he suckered the media and the Clinton campaign into attacking him on his political incorrectness and ignoring all policy questions. In the end, the Clinton campaign slogan in ads and rhetoric was mostly "I'm a woman and I'm not evil like Donald Trump!" The campaign hardly even tried to push ANY message other than identity politics.

dreams said...

"Too many people are thinking of what they are going to say and don't listen. I think he listens."

GE CEO Jeffery Immelt said in an interview on CNBC today that Trump listens.

JaimeRoberto said...

"I wonder how many people are going to be credited with originating that "seriously/literally" aphorism before it settles into its final mal-attributed quotable quote form."

I'm pretty sure Ben Franklin, Mark Twain or Einstein said it first. They are usually the go-to guys for pithy quotes that they never said.

uffda said...

If Trump, with all three branches aligned, actially uses his meat ax to eliminate unconstitutional cabinet departments, slash regulations, reform the tax system etc, the looking back will be with satisfaction at the leftist road-kill in the rear view mirror. Even just a few large steps to make life less oppressive for the average joe may keep the reform train on track for upcoming elections.

I especially like the idea of getting Ted Cruz on the Supreme court. Perhaps the next opening. Hard to call him unqualified after Dershowitz called him his one of his smartest students ever and many in the Senate would be happy to confirm just to get him out of their limelight.

Recent GOP excercise of majority power keeps me looking for rain clouds over my parade.

James Pawlak said...

The NYT, if and and only if they were honest, would change their masthead to read: TELL A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH AND IT BECOMES THE TRUTH.

Christopher B said...

MaxedOutMama - I don't know if Trump's group paid more attention to EC strategy so much as, after 2008 and 2012, Hillary's gang simply believed their own press releases about 'demography being destiny' and figured the remaining WWC votes for Trump would be swamped by minority voters. If reports are to be believed WJC saw things differently but his effort was out of sync with Hillary's messaging.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Hillary's gang simply believed their own press releases

They believed their own bullshit. Never believe your own bullshit.

gadfly said...

@traditionalguy said...
But we will take him as the best communicator ... since FDR.

Nobody could possibly believe Trump anointed as the "best communicator" over any other choices available at anytime and by any celebrity. I offer this one sentence proof from a Sun City, SC campaign speech on 7/21/2016:

Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

Donnie indeed loves Donnie - so much that he cannot stop talking about himself. Notice all the proof he provided about his skills and and all the reasons he gives to voters to vote for him - but nobody listened because he said all this mumbo-jumbo with little more than a single breath. The secret must be in the orange hair and complexion. It turns out that he didn't need anything as obvious as an orange vest. What must have worked was his standard campaign phrases, "You can believe me," and "I alone can fix."

YoungHegelian said...

Watching that video (again...) reminds me how much Robert Wright needs a director for his videos. He needs a guy off-camera, yelling into his earpiece:

"ROBERT! STOP STARING AT THE FUCKING CEILING WHEN ANN IS SPEAKING!"

That eye role is so annoying!

buwaya said...

Gadfly,

I am ashamed to admit that he speaks extemporaneously no worse than I do. We all can sound - disjointed - speaking like this. Or maybe you don't, being a supernally organized speaker I suppose, but the rest of us are no more than the common run of humanity and our casual discourse would not look good transcribed.

Personally I need a whiteboard to make sense. Without one I feel my tongue paralyzed.

And yet, I get things done, somehow. As do most of us.

damikesc said...


And this is a function of the corruption of the mass media.
I know I'm a broken record on this, but its simply not normal media behavior.
The US has an extremely uniform and centrally controlled media environment, it is still a top-down set of organizations that exist for political purposes only.


The media is incestuous --- and it's that with all kinds of media.

or example, I'm a gamer. I followed Gamergate a few years back and you realize that the gaming media was really, really uniform and everybody knew the other people. There wasn't any actual competition. They all felt the same.

Same with the news media. Nobody wants to COMPETE. You don't see NBC trying to out-scoop CBS. I don't know if they ever tried to, but they definitely don't try now. And they find one media outlet that tried something different in FNC and, rather than copy the hell out of it, they attack it.

They have the same experiences and social circles and don't realize how brutally insular their lives are. I am aware that my life isn't the one everybody else lives...the urbanites of Manhattan seem oblivious to that reality.

eric said...

I think you misunderstood him as well, professor. When he said grab em by the pussy and you said he admitted to sexual assault.

Tess said...

MrTrump is as NWO as they come. All part of the same group, both sides, we just changed the sheets. Look at his advisors, Bffs, appointments, his walking back things, blah blah

Kirk said...

Trump will be the incarnation of Jeb Bush in his presidency. The old bait and switch. Low information voters indeed.

Drago said...

Hey Uffda, you are not, by chance, an Ole are you?

eric said...

Anyone want to bet that Cory Booker is the next Dem nominee for POTUS?

eric said...

Blogger Anglelyne said...
dreams: I heard Nelson Peltz, who is a wealthy money manager say on CNBC that the media are taking what Trump says literally but not seriously whereas the American people are taking what Trump says seriously but not literally.

I wonder how many people are going to be credited with originating that "seriously/literally" aphorism before it settles into its final mal-attributed quotable quote form.

11/15/16, 12:59 PM


I thought it was Salena Zito. But then I saw her giving props to someone else for it.

HT said...

Why isn't it genius? Are you talking about Trump? Because he's run so many times before. It wasn't like he was biding his time.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Buwaya, don't bother with the gadfly, he has a hate-on for President Trump that will not be abated by reason.

All you "sellout" people, just wait and see. (It's not like you have a choice.)

DavidD said...

"...go back into the actual texts that are there and try to figure out what happened."

As should the Supreme Court re: the Constitution.

rhhardin said...

Question for @gadfly - are you the same gadfly as used to be at Bell Labs? Everybody liked the annual Christmas festivities.

Quayle said...

That this is so funny proved how conditioned we all are after decades of the same old standard communication patterns in public discourse.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Could we just shoot say half of the American media and just replace them with Brits? Or trade, if you're squeamish?

madAsHell said...

Ya know! You are adding far more to Mr. Wright's brand, than he is adding to yours.

I really thing you should engage Lazlo.....and good luck!!

madAsHell said...

think....not thing

wildswan said...

Look, [I want to say something about] having nuclear [power]

My uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT;
good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart,
the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—

You know, if you’re a conservative Republican,
if I were a liberal, if, like,
OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat,
they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—

it’s true!—
but

When you're a conservative Republican
they try— oh, do
They do a number—

That’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—

You know I have to give my, like, credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged— but

You look at the nuclear deal. The thing that really bothers me [is that]
—it would have been so easy, and

[The nuclear deal is not] as important [to us] as these lives are.

Nuclear is powerful;
my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and
that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going
to happen and he was right—who would have thought?),

But when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—
now it used to be three, now it’s four—
but when it was three
and even now,

I would have said
It's all in the messenger, fellas.
and it is fellas because,
you know, they don't, they haven’t figured
that the women are smarter right now than the men, so,
you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but

The Persians are great negotiators; the Iranians are great negotiators;
so, and they, they just killed,
They just killed us.

So this is how I would diagram what Trump said. When he was speaking he puts in verbal cues that he is making a digression, making a joke, going back to the point. I've heard him speak and he is perfectly clear. As here: For thirty years the incredible power of nuclear weapons has been clear to me since it was explained by an MIT professor. (People say the conservative Republican are stupid whereas if I had run as a Democrat they would be saying I'm the smartest person in the world as Valerie Jarret said about Obama. It would happen!! But being a Republican, I have to explain credentials over and over as I just did.) Anyhow I know this about the nuclear deal (I won't be heard because what gets heard depends on who is saying it) but I know this - we gave the Iranians nuclear power in exchange for four hostages - and that was a bad deal for America.

Now why does Trump throw in all the side comments? I think they make the speech more interesting when you hear it because it resembles inner thought. When I write I strike out side issues but speaking isn't writing and maybe the internet is making speaking more important than writing. Also on the internet you do jump to little informational bits and sidebars.

wildswan said...

Damn
As I entered the speech I tabbed in the digressions to make Trump's argument clear but the tabs didn't stay when the comment was posted.

If someone can tell me how to make indents stay indented I'll try again.

Alex said...

It's pretty obvious Wright is utterly flummoxed and can't handle the logic of the professor. What a wuss.

Alex said...

That eye role is so annoying!

It's just plain disrespect. Robert Wright is a leftist ideologue who feels that anyone not on 'the plantation' doesn't deserve an iota of respect. That's how these people are, I've encountered people like him. They are scum.

Ann Althouse said...

@wildswan

I have noticed the same thing. The transcrpits of Trump's speaking are not properly punctuated.

I've had a quote from Bill Maher mocking him for speaking without punctuation and I haven't done the post yet, but you are reminding me to do that.

uffda said...

Drago said...
Hey Uffda, you are not, by chance, an Ole are you?

The last 100% Norske in my MN family. The moniker is like a secret signal as most folks don't know the term.