Tag Archives: Trump

Cuckoo in the Republican nest – Trump’s plan is finally hatched

“So, I just look at this, and I said that if she gets elected, she will cause the destruction of this country from within. Remember that. Remember that”: Donald Trump’s words in a speech delivered on August 9th, 2016.

What Trump saw himself leading was not so much a political party. His speech gave clear warnings that he was already starting to shift his ground away from the Republican party, because “… we have a movement going, folks”. As I wrote in my piece dated September 10th of that year: “The question may turn out to be, will the leader of this movement be prepared to play by the rules if he’s defeated on November 8th?”

Well, he won that time. But his four year tenure since has been an ongoing campaign, not for his party, but for his movement. It’s now as clear as crystal that the whole of his presidency has been pure entryism, devoted to building his base, his “movement”, to ultimately fulfill the objective of insurrection and overthrow. As his ongoing campaigning for that movement over the ensuing four years has attested, his sole objectives throughout the term were infiltration of the Republican party, expanding membership of his cult, deepening discontent with the established democratic system and preparing the ground for something akin to what began to happen yesterday.

And it’s not as though he has hidden his objectives. Here’s a reminder of what he said at the 2020 Republican Party convention:

From the moment I left my former life behind—and it was a good life—I have done nothing but fight for you. I did what our political establishment never expected and could never forgive, breaking the cardinal rule of Washington politics. I kept my promise. Together we have ended the rule of the failed political class, and they are desperate to get their power back by any means necessary. You have seen that. They are angry at me because instead of putting them first, I very simply said, “America first.”

And let’s not kid ourselves: yesterday’s events were not the end of the affair. The cuckoo’s eggs were hatched yesterday but the MAGA menace still has a comfortable home in the Republican party. And one aspect of it, notably low key yesterday, may well come increasingly to the fore in the weeks, months and years ahead: guns. It will be astonishing if Trump – about to be politically “in the wild” – doesn’t use the ambiguities of the Second Amendment to stoke the fires of future possible insurrection even more. Here’s a reminder of what it says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Whatever transpires in terms of actual policy on arms enacted by Joe Biden’s new administration, gun control, either actual or hinted at, will provide Trump with ample ammunition with which to fire up his ‘deplorables’ (to use Hillary Clinton’s description). Positive policies take a back seat for most of the time at Trump’s rallies. But I expect the fight against gun control to become the single most important element of his future strategy.

Not only are guns and support for the NRA go-to themes in his speeches when he wants to trigger acclamation from his zombie-like zealots; building gun ownership amongst his more extreme followers is clearly in the interests of this would-be dictator. Just as the UK suffered thirty years of their own “Troubles” with the IRA from the 1960s to the 1990s, it may be that the US is about to enter a similar very troubling period.

I quoted some other words from his 2016 speech in my previous blog: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know”.

” … maybe there is”.

Remember that, remember that.



Image credits: Capitol crowd: https://www.flickr.com/photos/191615548@N05/50807455126/ Author DrDannielle

Trump tweet: public domain



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The NRA and the power of ‘unsponsorship’

While sponsorship is often a powerful force in producing positive attitudes towards a particular brand or organisation, its benefits are entirely proportional to the perceived attributes of the sponsored organisation or individual.

Commercial sponsorship is all about associations. The sponsor spends money on buying into a selected audience’s positive attitudes towards the sponsored party. Being seen to sign up as a supporter of, say, a popular sports team or athlete can generate enormous warmth and gratitude towards the sponsor.

But, as owner/MD of The UK Sponsorship Database since its launch in May 2000, I’ve noticed that very often the reverse is also true. Where, for instance, a world-famous athlete or sports person is suddenly unmasked as a drug cheat or wife-beater, existing sponsors who withdraw their support typically attract very favourable media coverage. Conversely, those who stick by the offending party may well suffer negative coverage. There will always be those who appreciate a sponsor who shows loyalty through thick and thin; but by and large there are far greater gains to be made by the positive act of ‘unsponsoring’.

Indeed, ‘unsponsorship’ can often have benefits which outweigh the positive associations of the initial deal.

A sponsorship deal typically creates a virtuous circle – the more the sponsored party succeeds in his, her or its field, the more sought-after said party becomes in the eyes of competing sponsors seeking an association with that kind of success and those perceptions. But, on the other other hand, those who are associated with bad publicity – ‘negative vibes’ – are typically dropped almost instantly by most sponsors who fear that their image will be tainted or even shattered. And the market reflects that fall in value, as the negotiating power of the sponsored party is undermined.

In the case of the NRA, for companies who (for instance) offer discounts to NRA members, the option of withdrawing support provides a very positive unsponsorship opportunity – a chance to be seen by many as taking the moral high ground. Whilst their previous loyalty might have been taken for granted, as they passively added their offering to a list of NRA members’ benefits, their decision to unsponsor the organisation puts them very much in the public spotlight at a time of intense political debate. Whilst their withdrawals will no doubt offend NRA loyalists intensely, amongst a broad spectrum of the public they may well be seen as having made a laudable, morality-based decision.

At the time of writing, according to press reports the list of companies who have withdrawn their support from the NRA (many of whom are also sponsors across a wide range of sporting and other activities), is growing rapidly and includes Alamo Rent a Car, Avis, Allied Van Lines, BestWestern, Budget, Chubb Insurance, Delta Air Lines, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, First National Bank of Omaha, Hertz, MetLife, North American Van Lines, Paramount Rx, SimpliSafe, Symantec and TrueCar.

Amongst the companies who continue to align themselves with the NRA are Bass Pro Shops, BlackRock, Clearent, FedEx, HotelPlanner, ManageUrID, MidwayUSA, NetSpend, Omni Hotels and Vinesse Wine Clubs.

So here we have a highly-charged and quite complex interplay between commerce and morality, with a “chain sponsorship” structure, involving companies who sponsor the NRA which then sponsors politicians. Different companies may take very different decisions. Politics aside, there will be a wide range of moral and commercial considerations to take into account.

From a commercial standpoint, the main question will be whether the benefit of withdrawing will outweigh the cost in terms of causing offence to NRA members. From a moral standpoint, of course, the individuals involved in the companies’ decisions may conclude that any negative effect is a price worth paying.



Image credits: NRA Headquarters Virginia USA – Bjoertvedt; Northwest side of the Delta Center – Paul Kucher; other – public domain.

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