Trump: The Psychological Presidency
Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
It is already quite clear that President Trump might be one of the best presidents in American history. I say this based solely on the fact that, for once, he has proven that perhaps words can speak just as loud as actions. We are seeing tremendous change, for the better, taking place in the United States, and it’s almost entirely based on the rhetoric employed by President Trump on a regular basis, even before he has taken actual action.
Take the economy, for example. As has been noted repeatedly, the markets have been soaring since the President’s victory on November 8, 2016. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has smashed two historic records in the wake of his election, breaching 20,000 for the first time ever just five days after Trump’s inauguration, and hitting 21,000 after his first full month in office. All totaled, these milestones account for a gain of over $2 trillion for the markets since Trump was elected. In addition, the month of February saw a gain of nearly 300,000 jobs in the U.S. economy - the highest monthly gain in six years - as goods-producing jobs in particular saw massive gains. These historic surpluses have all been directly attributed to Trump’s pro-growth, pro-business rhetoric, including pledges to reduce regulations and cut taxes.
And remember, all of this comes before Trump has even instituted any concrete economic policies such as tax cuts or deregulation. Thus, these incredible financial gains speak volumes about the power of the President’s rhetoric. As Scott Adams, an expert on persuasion and psychology, noted on Twitter: “Economies are driven by psychology. And that means we just elected the world’s best economist.”
The economy isn’t the only issue affected solely by Trump’s words. Take the issue that Trump brought to the foreground the moment he entered the presidential race back in 2015: illegal immigration. Although he already signed an executive order approving construction of the border wall, and cracking down on illegal immigration in general, it is still early on in Trump’s presidency - presumably the ideal last chance for illegals to sneak into the country now before the border is sealed. Yet, illegal immigration plummeted in Trump’s first full month in office, dropping nearly 40% by the end of February. Once again, it would appear that even the President’s rhetoric has done more than enough to discourage more illegal aliens from sneaking into the country the way they felt they could during Obama’s tenure.
And let us not forget, of course, the President’s endlessly entertaining relationship with the media. Take the recent debacle with Rachel Maddow and Trump’s tax returns. It is entirely possible, as speculated by Maddow’s guest David Cay Johnston, that President Trump himself (or someone in his office) leaked the tax returns first, so as to make Maddow and Johnston think they had potentially damning evidence against him. However, once the tax returns revealed that he did, in fact, pay a large sum of taxes (larger than most other prominent political leaders), it not only proved his potential to play the entirety of the media like a cheap fiddle, but also effortlessly forever put to rest the entire issue of his tax returns that dominated the back end of the 2016 campaign and beyond. It may even have also been a brilliant - and indeed, successful - ploy to distract from the current disappointment surrounding the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan. Trump wins against the media by getting inside their minds and playing with their expectations.
And if these are the effects of not even two months of President Trump, just imagine what he can do with four (or eight?) more years of this psychological gameplay. Imagine, even beyond that, how amazing things will be turning out for our country once he actually moves past the psychology and rhetoric, and starts actually implementing his policies. America will become truly great again...because Donald Trump says so.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.