Many people think that Donald Trump has betrayed his campaign promises about NATO, Russia, war, etc, but I will demonstrate in the following essay that the shift has been not in his basic views but in the perception of what he was saying during the campaign. I will also seek to explain why most people believed his lies were his true positions (and either loved or hated them) but ignored the fact that after his lies worked, he always, in a fit of arrogance, blurted out the truth. Trump has not shifted: he was always a neo-con war hawk, always intended to let those who own the country run it.
John Jay (Gilbert Stuart portrait)
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John Jay, Founding Father, First Chief Justice, Slave Owner, set the fascist tone for America when he said, "Thow who own the country should run it." Donald Trump agrees 100%.
The problem is that Trump preannounced all those positions to which it is claimed he has now "shifted."
1. Shortly after he said NATO was "obsolete," which stirred the left, he said. "I am a big fan of NATO." Most have ignored this outburst, remembering only the part they WANTED to hear (this is the gift of a master propagandist).
2 Interspersed with this claim to seek friendly relations with the "good leader" Putin, he said in a Fox interview of Putin: "I don't trust him. Not at all." Most ignored that truthful comment and many, including on the left, supported him for seeking peace with Russia (now exposed as a campaign mirage).
3. His promise to clean the swamp was followed by saying he would appoint "people who have made a fortune." John Jay would be proud of him. Why anyone thought that a team of billionaires would dismantle the system on which their wealth and power was founded can only be explained by the psychopathology of propaganda.
4. His criticism of the neo-cons coincided with choosing as advisors such arch neo-cons as James Woolsey of the CIA/Wall St/9/11 and saying of (Bomb Iran) John Bolton: "He's a good man with good ideas."
5. His vow to avoid regime change and military aggression was coupled with a vow to increase the military budget, always a cause of increasing the arms race, which almost always ends in war. His earliest advisors were rabid neo-cons, bent on world domination.
The most radical neocon, John Bolton, was described by Trump as "...a good man, with good ideas." His primary idea is to bomb Iran. That alone should have made it clear that his peace initiative with Russia, a key ally of Iran, was bogus.
But people hear what they want to hear and ignore or denounce what they do not. That is why propaganda is so effective.
The problem is not that Trump has shifted but that too many people believed his lies were his real views but ignored him when he told the truth, after his lies had already worked. It works in reverse as well: when he first tells his true views (global warming is Chinese hoax), he then lies to cover it up. When he lies first, he waits until the lie as had its desired effect, then uncovers it.
He lies to manipulate and short circuit rational thinking to achieve a goal (the art of the deal), but he is compelled, by his hubris, to brag about how he has fooled or tricked people ("Supporters, you can go home now. I don't need you any more.). He lies to win and tells the truth as a way of showing how clever he is. When he brags, we can discern the truth. When he appears sincere, he is lhying.