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I felt from the very beginning of Donald Trump’s appearance as a presidential candidate in 2016 that to mention him in any positive way is a sin to political correctness. Any rational debate about the Trump phenomenon was impossible from the very beginning since he was seen not only as an outsider to a political elite but even more as a repulsive threat to that same elite. He was, and still is, rude, unpredictable, unbehaved, misbehaved, illiterate, and with an appalling (fake) haircut. Since he has a fake haircut, he also conveys fake speech.

Further down, there is a post I wrote on April 3rd, 2016. Unchanged.


This was my 2016 post:

I received an email from Mike Fishbein today regarding my blog, referring to this article I was unaware of while writing mine. After recognizing it was an article from Al Ries, I went numb. How come? I appreciate Al Ries, but this article blatantly oversimplifies Donald Trump’s success and some branding issues. And by the way, Al obviously went completely wrong since Jeb Bush, whom he praised, is already out of the game.

But then I read Mike Fishbein’s article on Trump and the 12 Things He Learned About Marketing From Donald Trump. I liked his post much more. Why? Because he recognized that branding rules are not static. For instance, he was the first (at least to my knowledge) to recognize the actual value of Donald Trump’s hairstyle.

It would be wrong to assume that branding should necessarily follow the prevailing style. It would also be wrong to assume that branding should necessarily go against the prevailing style. It has to go with its internal brand style (brand internal value). You can not tell in advance what style would (should) work in any particular case. Hairstyle is one of the brand’s moments of truth that should be aligned with all other moments of truth. In particular, Donald Trump’s hairstyle is obviously aligned with his other identity elements. That is why it works despite being against all contemporary fashion trends.

This is precisely why Al Ries is entirely wrong, assuming that a brand (political brand) should stick to one issue only. A brand can not stick to one issue only. Trump tackles all issues, not just immigrants. But he tackles all issues (or at least many issues) with an easily recognized set of values. Beware: It is a set of values, not only one value. Donald Trump seems like a single-issue, plain, one-dimensional brand. How far from the truth! No brand can be one-dimensional! The one-dimensional brand is a contradiction in itself. That left intellectuals disregarding Donald Trump’s brand as one-dimensional and “stupid” tells us only that such intellectuals lost a grip on reality.

Branding is too severe of a business to leave it to intellectuals.

So, Thanks, Mike, for provocation!


And this is what comes out three and half years later:

Famous Slavoj Žižek, a man who influenced the intellectual scene in Slovenia in ’80. Even more than his global impact in the 2nd millennium that launched him as a global star, it supports particular views that I can definitely not subscribe to now. Lacan psychoanalysis, which he transcribed in popular language, was then seen as a sign of liberation of the mind from totalitarian oppression. It is now quite evident that I/we have wholly misjudged the ideology behind it. It is clear now, not only from Slavoj’s personal development, that one can not take psychoanalysis as separated from authoritarian and even totalitarian ideology as its axiomatic value background.

It came thus as a huge surprise for a global sect of intellectuals that Slavoj preferred Donald to Hillary. Not only this famous article from the Independent, but many other similar ones pushed Slavoj into a sort of isolation. As he stated recently in one Croatian newspaper, the sect mentioned above, which praised him a couple of years ago, now prevents him from publishing in papers like The Guardian, The London Review of Books, and the New York Times. It is Independent, partly owned by one of Putin’s oligarchs only that still publishes him.

What a paradox!


Not at all. At least not for me. What I predicted in 2016 comes true even for a celebrity like Slavoj Žižek. The contemporary intellectual elite that emerged in Berkeley with the flower power movement and held all important positions from primary education to the Nobel Prize committee cannot accept anyone who challenges progressivist standpoints. To use Slavoj’s own statement, communists (represented by the contemporary intellectual elite nowadays) prosecute their members with even greater fierceness than those who are outsiders from the very beginning.

Final remark

Please note that one position, Donald’s preference over Hillary, does not make Slavoj anti-authoritarian as much as the Nobel Prize to Peter Handke does not make the Nobel Prize committee liberal-conservative (yet).


The upgrade  (2024)

There are now more than ten posts on this blog that I do not rewrite but add a new perspective on the topic four years or so later. It is such fun. I hope not only for myself but also for my readers. 

Such a succession hopefully shows that one can change an attitude toward something if values are kept unchanged. People change, relations change, and matters change; values should not change if one stands morally upright.

It is even more fun to write posts about Trump in 2016, before he won for the first time, in 2019, before he lost against Biden, and in 2024, before he will defeat Biden. 

It is also lovely to find my esteemed co-patriot, Slavoj Žižek, with whom I disagree more often than Piece Morgan (check this interview), to be consistent about Donald Trump over time. Then and now, he understands Trump’s success as the symptom of the decline of Western capitalism. What I do not agree with is to blame capitalism but crony “capitalism” that has nothing to do with capitalism. The USA and Europe are even closer to feudalism, with a state as the regulator that allows civil society to live and work as long as it pays taxes. The only difference between contemporary feudalism and the one 400 or more years ago is that taxes were 10% then, while they are three or even five times higher today. 

Back to Donald. What he failed in his first presidency was being inconsistent in his “America First” philosophy. He probably downplayed the strength of the corporate establishment, which was so heavily dependent on state regulations and resources, the army industry being the most important but not the only one. He changed his policy into the “middle of the road one,” which was obviously not enough for his victory against Biden; pardon me, his victory against the corporate and intellectual elite, both being nursed by the state and hated by Trump. 

He has most probably learned the lesson in the last four years. However, it is not the learning curve that will bring him victory; it is the total collapse of Biden and Democrats. He will win for the wrong reasons.

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