Friday, June 2, 2017

Trump's Two Step Decision Making Process

Yesterday, to the surprise of no one, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change accord.


Yeah, I know we were supposed to pretend there was some doubt about Trump’s intentions, that forces in favor of remaining a part of the accords, several large businesses including oil and chemical producers and his own daughter Ivanka, might carry the day. Even the friggin’ Pope had no sway as appeals to logic and emotion fell on deaf ears. This is because Trump’s decisions as President are based on a two part process.


Step one: Answer the question “W.W.O.D?” “What would Obama do?”

Step two:  Whatever the answer, do the exact opposite.


Now this maybe shouldn’t be much of a surprise as Trump is allegedly a Republican and Obama was not. One might expect a certain split from the actions of the previous President.


But I don’t think Li’l Donnie is that ideologically driven. I think it all boils down to a personal vendetta: Trump is out to roll back everything Obama did or wanted not based on ideology but because taking on Obama and his legacy is to Trump's view "good for business".
That "business" is keeping the base that put Trump in the White House happy. 


Whether Trump truly feels any deep, personal animus towards Obama is beside the point. But the Republican Party, Fox News and the alt-right spent years stroking up the anger of people who felt disenfranchised and were told repeatedly that their problems were all Obama’s fault. And Trump tapped that market of rage and frustration in his campaign and sees no reason to stop now that he’s President and Obama no longer is.


Punching holes in Obama’s legacy is a great way to throw red meat at that base and keep them in his corner.


At some point, even the dumbest Trump supporter should realize, “Hey, my life still sucks and Obama’s no longer president. Hey, Trump, stop fucking with Obama and actually do something helpful!” 


But for now Trump thinks running against a former President still works and he’s probably right about that. 


Pulling out of the Paris climate has all sorts of downsides. 

  • Withdrawal from the Agreement jeopardizes our relationship with multiple strategic allies at a time when diplomatic relationships are already weak.
  • The U.S. departure from the Paris Agreement also abandons a role of leadership on the world stage while China uis more than willing to step up.
  • Renewable energy is on track to being a $6 trillion dollar industry. Instead of being at the forefront of that largesse, America will take a back seat to China.
  • Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement does nothing to create new jobs for Trump’s loyal supporters. But it does diminish America's competiveness in the renewable energy market.  

Notice these reasons do not address the Earth’s climate at all. Even if Trump wants to foolishly disavow climate change, the stakes here go the core of subjects that Trump would be expected to care about, economic and political power. Withdrawal from the Paris agreement weakens America’s standing in the world as we forfeit our place at the table, forfeits our hold or gains in power.

So why would Trump walk away from that?


W.W.O.D? Stay with the Paris climate accord.

Trump’s response: do the opposite.



Tomorrow on the blog thing, the long awaited Dave-El write up on Doctor Who and The Pyramid At the End Of the World. Give it a look-see before watching this week’s new episode, The Lie Of the Land.


Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

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