The Donald, J-Vanka, and Realpolitik

In response to what may or may not have been a chemical weapons attack in Syria, President Trump flung some missiles at a Syrian airbase, a move which was explicitly labeled as a “one-off” and did hardly any real damage. Those who have followed American foreign policy since before 2016 are probably aware that these missile strikes are largely symbolic; that is, they’re intended as threats of war, not acts of war. It may sound cold and callous when there are actual human casualties involved, but considering that in ancient times warlords would burn down entire villages as a “warning”, I prefer the modern version.

The globalist leaders and neocons were, of course, thrilled at the news. The alt-right is literally shaking. Moderate and socialistic liberals, who are the majority demographic around me, are a mix of nonplussed, mildly skeptical or mildly supportive. Don’t believe any nonsense put out by Salon or HuffPo; the majority of the normie community is – arguably, for the first time since the election – debating a Trump decision as a legitimate policy issue, rather than the insane ramblings of Literally Hitler. That’s worth discussing on its own, but my focus today is how the mainstream right-wing media is desperately searching for someone on whom to pin the blame, and they’ve got J-Vanka firmly in their crosshairs. Even the leftstream media is joining in the festivities.

It’s provably true that Ivanka and Jared are New York Democrats; she couldn’t change her registration before the election. In various interviews, Ivanka comes across as intelligent, but not totally authentic, which seems par for the course in celeb-land, although I would not say the same thing about Jared at all. Watch any video of him speaking and it’s obvious from his words, facial expressions and body language that he not only isn’t faking it but also doesn’t particularly enjoy being in the spotlight. Regardless of what you believe about his ideology or his goals – and there is every reason to be skeptical of anyone we know so little about – it’s quite possible that he is the only straight-talker in Trump’s inner circle other than Steve Bannon, which might explain why some others on the Trump train don’t believe the drama llama.

The narrative being pushed now is that the God-Emperor, after all of the cut-throat political games and media hit-jobs he’s been subjected to, suddenly lost his mind and decided to derail his entire platform because Ivanka made a pouty face. This narrative doesn’t stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny, and reeks of the same “mentally unstable” narrative that the Clinton campaign broadcast via sympathetic media. The Donald is a former reality-TV star and understands kayfabe; from a realpolitik point of view, it’s in his interest to pretend to be a little bit crazy, so as to intimidate enemies and generate media buzz.

Unfortunately, the “fact” of his newfound gullibility is now being used by the right-wing media as a vehicle to assign blame, push ridiculous conspiracy theories, and sling any mud they can at these two nefarious outsiders, who, as pundits continue to remind us, are New York Democrats whom we didn’t vote for. Never mind the fact that The Donald was once a New York Democrat, or that we didn’t vote for people like H.R. McMaster or Stephen Miller either. Never mind that the most outspoken opponent of Syrian interventionism is a Democrat. It’s impossible that people like Jared or Ivanka might be motivated by loyalty to the Don, or simply a desire to excel at the work they do. They’re clearly rogue agents, because reasons. BE ANGRY!

As a public service, allow me to offer an alternative J-Vanka narrative that is not completely retarded. I cannot prove any of this, nor can anyone else prove their version. It is another plausible explanation that fits the facts, or as Scott Adams might say, another movie playing on the same screen. It’s simply this: Donald Trump is applying realpolitik, AKA power politics or Machiavellian politics.

The dominant influences in society today all follow the Alinsky model. Although postmodernists and Cultural Marxists don’t have any real authority, they are able to effect huge political and social changes by controlling the narrative (media and education) and subsequently using that to attain positions of influence in other areas, such as Big Tech. This has been going on since at least the second world war, but it’s only recently that broader society has been waking up to it. Pundits across the political spectrum have been keen to point out that the Trumpening is a reaction to the ascendance of SJWs and their authoritarian far-left identity politics, but don’t often stop to consider what this means, or arrive at oversimplified explanations such as “whitelash”. These aren’t entirely off the mark, but by laser-focusing on demographics, they ignore the political system itself.

Rules for Radicals was written as a counterbalance to The Prince (Machiavelli). Alinsky and his disciples arrogantly described the Rules as a method to take power [back] from the powerful, but in reality it is simply a recipe for petulant children to extract handouts and other concessions from the powerful. If you believe, as I believe, that the USA is no longer a true representative democracy nor a true free market, but rather a corporatist oligarchy (bordering on principate) colluding with a few large corporate oligopolies (military-industrial-intelligence, media-academic, tech-infrastructure, etc.) then these rules work exceptionally well because of the concentration of high-value targets. However, the other reason the Rules have been so effective is because, until recently, the political right had naïvely given up on realpolitik, apparently in the insane hope that the government bureaucracy – the Deep State, if you will – would voluntarily shrink itself.

I don’t know how serious President Trump is about shrinking the bureaucracy. He pushes hard in some areas, like the EPA, but he’s also been handling the elephant in the room with kid gloves. One thing I am sure of, though, is that he wants to re-establish American dominance and American exceptionalism, and he knows a thing or two about dirty fighting, hence his tough stance on immigration. Removing the Alinskyites from public influence will require the use of power politics.

To be effective in this, President Trump needs, first and foremost, a loyal inner circle – but not yes-men, empty suits, or timid bureaucrats. He needs people who bring physical, economic, and intellectual firepower to the table, and who aren’t afraid to use it. These are his “generals”, and by necessity, some of them will be unsavory characters. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are offensive to the left; Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner are offensive to the right. These choices may seem to be chaotic or even self-destructive when viewed through an ideological lens. However, they make perfect sense when viewed through a realpolitik lens. Nikki Haley, for example, is a nutty neocon, so Trump put her in a bully-pulpit position at the UN where she could rant and rave and please the foreign policy hawks without doing any real damage. If Politico is to be believed, Kushner may be able to find common ground between America and Russia on Israel, which has historically been virtually impossible and might explain why Russia has suddenly and inexplicably decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

However, there is more to the specific case of J-Vanka’s influence, and it is brilliantly summed up in one of CGP Grey’s Rules for Rulers videos: No man rules alone, and no man rules forever. In a de facto oligarchy, the succession question matters. If The Donald wants his sons to inherit his business empire, he needs another potential successor on the political front. In a hypothetical future political campaign, Ivanka would be poised to get the female vote and the Jewish/Zionist influence machine; if she could manage not to piss off the white male voters at the same time, it would be an even bigger landslide than the God Emperor himself. Her election prospects are solid, she doesn’t mind the spotlight, and Jared himself would be the campaign’s engine.

Again, I’m not talking ideology here, just politics. Is Ivanka’s true nature a typical fuzzy-headed, feminist-sympathizing, liberal New York Democrat? Or is she just playing that up in order to gain popularity? I don’t know and neither does anyone else, but I have a hard time believing that her Dad has had zero influence on her values. That would be a major criticism of Donald and Melania’s parenting skills, and judging by their sons, it’s a stretch. President Trump either earnestly believes that Ivanka will someday be able to carry on where he leaves off, or believes that other politicians and special interests believe it, which is good enough to seal the deal and convince them that supporting him is worth the very real economic and physical risks.

I don’t like the idea of a Trump dynasty any more than I like the idea of a Clinton, Bush, Roosevelt, or Kennedy dynasty, but there is simply no denying the powerful and lasting influence that these dynasties have had on American politics. Even as I write this, Chelsea Clinton is being groomed for an eventual political career, Jeb Bush may try to make a comeback, and if not, then his son George Prescott has already started his political career. Let’s look at the possible upside: What would it mean to have a dynasty that is fiercely nationalistic and opposed to the neoconservative/neoliberal establishment? Do we hate dynasties because dynasties are inherently bad, or have we simply been disillusioned by a slew of awful presidential dynasties?

In my movie, J-vanka are not Trump’s enemies; they are his literal lifeline. Any serious drama between them and Bannon is exaggerated or not real at all, played up like a pro-wrestling match for the excitable corporate tabloid media to keep them satiated with clickbait headlines and distracted from serious policy issues. I don’t know if my movie is the right one, but unlike the other movies in the political theater, it maintains continuity with the prequels.

Time will tell.