May 10, 2017

Trump rollercoaster still going: It's going to be a bumpy eight years

A year ago, I noticed Trump's campaign going through a fairly regular cycle, roughly one month going up, then another month going down. Each peak or valley was in the first half of a calendar month. That continued throughout the electoral season and beyond, so it wasn't just something about campaigning.

The last update I wrote was in December (with links to earlier posts), providing a basic model of what was going on. Read that post for more detail, but the gist is that the collective emotional energy level is like a neuron being stimulated and firing. It goes through its excited stage, then a refractory phase, then a resting yet excitable phase, before firing again.

From that model, I predicted that this rollercoaster would continue if the level of energy being injected by the stimulating source -- namely, Trump himself -- remained high. A low level of stimulation only excites the neuron a little bit, and it goes quickly back to the resting state, without sending it through a soaring high and crashing low trajectory.

Trump has kept the energy level high, and sure enough the rollercoaster has continued.

Since the last report, there was a relative peak in January, when people were looking forward to Inauguration and ready to "give him a chance". After Inauguration Day, late January and into the first half of February, there were constant negative leaks, the failure of the travel ban (plus the protests against it), and the Deep State kicking out NSC Advisor Flynn.

Late February and the first part of March saw his Joint Address to Congress, the bombshell revelation that Obama had Trump surveiled, the start toward repealing-and-replacing Obamacare, and the ultimate punking of Rachel Maddow with "Trump's tax returns".

Late March and the first part of April saw the collapse of the Obamacare repeal effort, the interventionist take-over of foreign policy beginning with the airstrike on Syria, and the evaporation of the investigations into Trump being surveiled by the government.

Late April and so far into May, the hawkish foreign policy stuff has cooled for the moment, Trump managed to cajole the House into passing a healthcare bill, and now FBI Director Comey has finally been axed, clearing the way for long-overdue swamp draining.

Notice that since the cycle is an even number length, it's the same up months and down months as last year. First half of March were all his victories, early April was the Wisconsin primary and abortion punishment controversy, early May was winning Indiana and effectively sealing up the nomination, etc.

That means prepare for the rollercoaster ride to continue. Like last year, there will be a nadir coming up sometime in the first half of June (last time: the La Raza judge controversy, rioters mobbing Trump rally attendees in San Jose). Maybe it will be the Senate delivering a fail on the healthcare bill, or another thwarted attempt at the Muslim travel ban, or the Pentagon dragging us into more pointless interventions.

Going forward, we should take into account where we are in the rollercoaster cycle, to write off some of the blackpilling if it's during an expected depressive phase, but also to temper ambitions during an expected manic phase.

For example, we've moved into an excited phase, and with Comey unceremoniously fired, both Trump supporters and Trump fearers alike are thinking that Crooked Hillary, Bill, Huma, Pizza Podesta, and the rest of the gang are going to be led away in chains. Something will happen to some of them, but the last time around should give us pause.

In early March, during a manic phase, we heard that Obama had Trump's "wires tapped," and the investigations turned up more and more, then they hit a plateau, and although Susan Rice herself was outed as a participant, that whole storyline went up in a puff of smoke after the airstrike on Syria and subsequent Cold War revival.

It's going to take a little bit for a replacement to be found at FBI, let alone to draw up formal indictments. By the time things actually get going, we could already be in the next depressive phase, and it's going to either go nowhere or get put on the back burner, leaving us feeling cheated and defeated.

So rather than the short-term cycles up and down, we should focus on where the longer-term trends are pointing. The foreign policy area has been heading the wrong way ever since Flynn was kicked out. The economic re-development and trade area has been trending the right way ever since the TPP was killed. "Draining the swamp" is a lot more mixed, with the Pentagon and military side of Deep State being much harder to clear out, whereas domestic domains have been easier (DoJ, FBI, etc.).

Buckle up, folks: it's going to be a very bumpy eight years -- that's nearly 50 total months of depressive blackpilling, intercut with 50 months of manic invincibility. If only Trump weren't injecting so much energy into the excitable system after the election had been won... but given how much radical change needs to happen, he's without much of a choice. The fake media will raise the volume so loud anyway and make him respond with his own intense response. Nobody said Making America Great Again was going to feel soothing and peaceful.

11 comments:

  1. Yes! I've been wondering if this wasn't still going on, too; it sure felt like it.
    When Trump's numbers went down around the time of Ryancare, I strongly felt that it had more to do with an ebb in this cycle than Paul Ryan or the bill itself. Just being in tune, one could feel the "going down" already...
    It was *perfect* timing and I'm incredibly grateful.

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  2. Before reading this, I made a comment at Steve's floating a hypothesis that Trump himself is what causes his enemies to have trouble becoming mentally well again, that perhaps he understands this on an intuitive level and therefore keeps them off-balance by sometimes becoming an antagonist...

    Maybe, maybe not, but we both seem to agree that Trump himself is a stimulating source, an active locus.

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  3. A.B. Prosper5/10/17, 12:24 PM

    Back in the days when Trump was with the WWF he played a Heel and at other times he's played the Face

    Switching off between those facets is nothing new to him

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  4. It's not Trump who is switching on a regular cycle -- he tries this, he tries that, but he's always the same Trump. It's his followers who are interpreting him as a face or a heel, according to their own emotional swings and not necessarily due to any real shift from Trump.

    Conservatives are already more emotional than rational, and now we've got this never-ending emotional rollercoaster that's going to make them even more unbalanced. It's turning them into one great big menstrual cycle, crashing down the White House hallways like that scene in The Shining.

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  5. Having said that, it's wrong to brush off any criticism from Trump's followers as just a mood swing in the depressive direction, or any praise as just a mood swing in the manic direction.

    We need to take a more objective look at what's going on, and not just ask whether some interpretation resonates with my current emotional state -- a downer interpretation if I'm in a blackpill mood, or an upper interpretation if I'm in a whitepill mood.

    Given how emotionally driven conservatives are, I don't expect them to be the best at assessing what's going on. Obviously the flaming libs are going to give their kneejerk hateful whining take no matter what. It's going to be people who are more moderate on the moral dimension who can strike a balance between being rational (liberal) enough to accurately see what's going on, but also emotional (conservative) enough to be open to Trump's message and goals.

    E.g., are they skeptical of sky-high enthusiasm during the upper phases, and are they not wallowing in misery during the downer phases. Not getting swept up emotionally.

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  6. So it's more accurate to describe Trump's followers as "over-reactive" instead of "backwards reactive".

    When things are truly heading in the wrong direction -- re-birth of Cold War, no progress on The Wall -- it's the wrong take to dismiss this bad news as "yet more blackpilling". Maybe the 20 year-olds are *over*-reacting negatively, but are they supposed to react positively? That's the backwards reaction.

    When there's good news, like firing Comey or threatening to re-negotiate NAFTA, the 20 year-olds are going to be high as a kite. That's an *over*-reaction, since Comey is just one piece of a larger Deep State machine, and threatening to re-negotiate NAFTA is not the same as actually having gutted or terminated it -- especially when our worthless GOP Congressmen have stalled the nomination of the US Trade Rep, Lighthizer. But how are they supposed to react -- negatively? Of course not, that would be a backwards reaction.

    That said, I still see more danger from dismissing the blackpill over-reaction than from dismissing the whitepill over-reaction. If Trump followers are insufficiently hyped up about altering NAFTA or killing TPP, it doesn't exactly kill the movement -- just not a great big love-in like during the campaign.

    If Trump's followers are insufficiently harsh when the warmongers from the Pentagon hijack foreign policy, then we could get into multiple Iraq Wars, and this time with a nuclear adversary who wasn't there the first time around. Nuclear war, or even just more conventional wars in the same vein as the past 70 years -- not impossible, and catastrophic if we're heading that way.

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  7. What's going on at this moment with the neocons is very reminiscent of the coup against Trump in October, ostensibly over the AH tape, before the election (Blind Gossip said it was a coup long in making by "former presidential candidate" whom we now have figured out was John McCain).

    Like back then, the neocons are frantically spinning a yarn about Trump losing it, "crazy", isolated, etc., and will hopefully have about the same effect as last time.

    Of course, Trump started it this time and has been more than ready: the entire point of having Kissinger at his side today. Brutal.
    I do expect that McCain and his neocon media allies will make better use of neoliberals this time around, though, whom they've been cultivating.
    FOCUS and buckle up!

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  8. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mfarussia/

    Henry. Having Henry by his side while discussing Comey was the biggest F-U to McCain and co. whiLe reassuring America with a serious calming presence.

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    Replies
    1. I want to clarify this some because I made it sound like the motive was juvenile and really don't believe that is the case.

      Trump would have no love lost for the guy who has tried to destroy him at every turn, of course, and having Kissinger there is a message to McCain that the Realists will be in charge. But it is also a message to all the people -pundits, intellectuals, other- in movement conservatism who might be inclined to Neoconservatism that everything is going to be okay. Only someone of Henry Kissinger's stature can move conservatives back closer to the center. Keep in mind, Kissinger and McCain are roughly on the same side ideologically, but McCain became a neocon on steroids. Kissinger being with Trump sends the message that Trump's vision is tenable within conservatism and Russia isn't something to be feared.

      Yesterday was the biggest day of Trump's presidency in the foreign policy arena.

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    2. Nice intro article from December 2016
      https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/31/trump-and-revenge-of-the-realists/

      Delete
  9. John Miller wants to know if Julian Assange's reward is guaranteed...


    https://mobile.twitter.com/wikileaks/status/863088282686472192

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