There is a specter haunting the free market place of ideas; it is the specter of Trumpeterianism.
Trumpeterianism is a neologism derived from Trump, the Donald’s last name, and trumpeter, the noun used to refer to a person who plays the trumpet. The nomenclature is hereby used to refer to Donald Trump’s ability to harness his style, force and big bucks into a movement that has veritably transformed the arena of presidential politics in the USA.
Most of today’s politicians are not leaders, but followers; followers of what is popular even at the expense of what is right. Trump has disrupted this norm by trumpeting his own voice and refusing to simply echo what may be perceived as the majority opinion. Truth be told, whereas he is bold, some of his policy suggestions are just outright wrong and, thus, conspicuously out of joint with what is legally and constitutionally viable.
- Jonathan D'Oleo
Akin to Joseph Schumpeter’s creative-destructive entrepreneurialism, Trumpeterianism is characterized by disrupting normality with something foreign to the status quo. In other words, Mr. Trump seeks to introduce the new to destroy the old just like the car replaced the horse, and full color the monochrome.
When it comes to communicating, Mr. Trump is not shy about trumpeting his praises and pointing out his opponent’s malaises. He does it so effectively that adversaries feel as if they are in a trick-or-treat vendetta with the blond man who oft acts like youth, full of hubris and aloof from the senses in his roof.
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Scorning John McCain’s heroism and treating Megyn Kelly so ungallantly makes Donald Trump look unworthy of the office that he seeks, but his prospects are not bleak. And that is because he disrupts with gust and with truth; truth that he sometimes carelessly misrepresents for the sake of controversy and dissent. Yet truth all the same, spoken plainly in a political environment that used to be rather lame until Trump irrupted untamed, determined to use his fame and power to gain the title of President of these United States.
Before this phenomenon, some of Trump’s fellow Republicans in the presidential race seem to be in a state of panic. Pretending that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is not working. The Republican pack must measure up to the force of Mr. Trump. Such force compounded with the greater lucidity and equanimity of people like Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio can very well knock the Donald off his first place in the polls.
In order to do this they must create lest they be destroyed. How so? Through the articulation of a voice that stirs to action and the projection of a clear vision that inspires and enlightens.
The norm in contemporary politics, however, is to mindlessly echo what people say in the polls. If today it’s popular to dress green, then candidates dress green. If tomorrow people’s favorite color changes to yellow, then candidates dress yellow. Hence, most of today’s politicians are not leaders, but followers; followers of what is popular even at the expense of what is right.
Trump has disrupted this norm by trumpeting his own voice and refusing to simply echo what may be perceived as the majority opinion. Truth be told, whereas he is bold, some of his policy suggestions are just outright wrong and, thus, conspicuously out of joint with what is legally and constitutionally viable. His advocacy for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.” being the most recent case in point.
Nonetheless from a business perspective one can kind of make sense of his strategy as Mr. Trump knows from the outset that he is not going to get what he is initially asking for. But as the great negotiator that he is, he puts something outrageous on the table with the sole purpose of getting the conversation started. And, strangely enough, for that we should be thankful because an open and actionable conversation beyond political correctness is grossly overdue regarding important issues such as radical Islamic terrorism, trade, the national debt and illegal immigration.
Speaking of immigration, as Hispanics we should not panic for if and when Trump gets the nomination he will have to put an end to the senseless altercations with this country’s biggest and fastest growing minority population. Our political capital notwithstanding, we should refrain from asking of others what we would not have others ask of us. That is unconditional amnesty when the reality that we face is that many of our Latin-American brothers and sisters have broken the law overstaying their visas or crossing the border illegally. Yes, most of us came here in search of a better life. But worthy ends do not justify illegal means even when politicians tell us what we want to hear.
Remember “Obámanos”, the Spanglish bumper sticker that many Hispanics so proudly displayed supporting the young democratic presidential candidate in hopes that he would finally fix the broken immigration system in this country. Boy, have we been disappointed. Barack Obama took office in January 2009 and sloppily missed the opportunity of a lifetime to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill under the auspices of his party’s congressional majority.
But that is water under the bridge. Now we must deal with the issues at hand, national security, economic opportunity and religious liberty, chief among them. The Democrats led by Mr. Obama have been tried and found wanting in each and every one of these particular matters. Therefore, the time has come for change. Not change for the worse like in 2008, but change as described in these lines; change of the positive and transformational kind. Change with a vision and a voice.
We do not need the sort of change that derides virtue and celebrates vice. What the times desperately demand is change that replaces the inferior with the superior while conserving the timeless principles that made this country great since its very inception and can, in this and future generations, make it even greater. But for this to happen we must tirelessly labor and cater to the stature of our statutes as one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Jonathan D'Oleo is a management consultant, author, speaker and public policy expert. Twitter @JonathanJDOleo.