TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL 12 MONTH FORECAST BRIEF
On November eighth 2016 Donald Trump was named President-Elect of the United States of America.
Due to the inflammatory nature of the candidate’s campaign, there is a high probability of protests in reaction, though this was the case with either outcome. It is highly probable these will dissipate if left to burn themselves out, without a heavy handed intervention.
It is probable similar protests will return at various policy points over at least the next 12months.
It is very likely a call to come together in unity will be well received, as to not accept such an olive branch would act as an “identity threat” to the majority left leaning protesters.
It is of high probability there will be a pacification possible over the next 12months, by targeting key issues for symbolic compromise.
Alternatively, removing equality executive orders, especially those relating to equal marriage, and re-framing them as state law issues, to again be up for debate, will disperse concentration from the Presidency to individual legislatures. Refocusing attention more evenly across all 50 states by focusing on state law issues is a tactic that there is benefit in keeping close to hand.
This will also provide some opportunities for state level victories, serving to remove animosity and motivation from protesters.
For larger issues, let “this government has a mandate from the people” be the mantra. Focus on the refusal of the left to accept a fair election as being intrinsically unjust. Offer as a compromise the re-examination of the electoral college – evidence of how reasonable the office of the President is trying to be for all Americans – but enforce that the Presidency was won fair and square as the dominant narrative.
All projects of a party ideological nature best be quickly enacted, certainly to be law before the midterm elections. Appointment of the Supreme Court Justice is an immediate priority. Once done this can not be undone, and must be acted on without delay, merely as a precaution. No conflict worthy of note is anticipated.
SYMBOLIC COMPROMISE – ELECTORAL COLLEGE
The electoral college is an outmoded system that sees the voting of citizens relegated to an irrelevant mere “suggestion” for a delegated elite to consider. This elite can either abstain altogether, vote with the the election results, or vote their own opinion and have it count for tens of millions.
This is absurd and can be done away with without re-election consequences. Politically, the representative and senator numbers keep the non-coastal states represented.
Under the current system, the actual vote for President of the United States is held in December.
SYMBOLIC COMPROMISE – IMMIGRATION AND HEALTHCARE
Pacification through symbolic compromise will very probably have the most potent mitigating force if the offers are more numerous, or with a larger novel item requiring continual dialogue – rather than by any actual grand or binding policy gestures.
The best benefit will be in targeting “dual play” items. For example, not removing aspects of universal healthcare that the Right base rely on, but calling this “compromise” with “Obamacare”. Identify such moves clearly as evidence of trying to be reasonable and meet the other side in the middle.
There is high likelihood of benefit in Identifying that Obama deported more immigrants than any other President “blindly”, where as this Presidency utilises a more intelligent “better vetting” system, to let the “deserving” migrants stay.
Make “willingness to integrate: to become Americans” the talking point in immigration. Repeat “Integration”. Play up the fact that “the First Lady is a migrant”.
One item that can almost certainly serve as a successful legacy item, and one to use across party lines for a second term, is a “path to citizenship” program that has been rebranded as an “Advanced National Security Vetting Program” for working, tax paying, undocumented persons and families already in the USA.
Focus on “keeping families together” as a tagline where possible. Identify the President’s own family includes a migrant in the First Lady where ever possible on immigration issues.
Emphasize “new American families”, “working, paying their taxes” and “Advanced National Security Vetting” as joined concepts.
Claim net immigration from Mexico “actually” reaching zero, from “latest estimates”, thanks to “Advanced National Security Vetting”.
MILITARY & JUSTICE
There is a high probability of advancing the narrative that replacing Justice Antonin Scalia with an equally conservative Justice is merely “restoring balance” to the court. Do this via media delegates and op eds, rather than advancing this line directly. Let the people “conclude it”.
Compare any military interventions as “no more egregious than the Obama ‘Tuesday Morning kill-list'”. Claim greater transparency.
Identify that Obama prosecuted press more than “all other Presidents combined”. It is likely better not to mention whistleblowers. Make “improved internal reporting, free of reprisals” the talking point if Assange, Snowden or the Wikileaks media organization are raised. Best not to raise them directly at this time, in case there is another leak. Keep this as a ready “interventional remedy”.
Be quick to point out that “national security failures” which happened in the past were “not on this President’s watch”.
The interesting items for analysis are those which made no appreciable difference, in the face of prior dogma.
The amount of money made no difference. Years of political connections made little difference.
Powerful political enemies made little difference, on either side. (!Though there is a caveat to be explored here by a collection team see A01-3IB).
And there are certainly the obvious notable exceptions to this statement (eg third party candidates, Bernie Sanders). However, in the final race, such finger prints did not seem to move the needle as in previous years, where merely tracking money alone was reliable enough to call a winner.
The items which remained constant included: covert influence of salient emotional targets self propagation effects (amplified by new media); emotional resonance pairing does not extinct with factual inoculation or later exposure – even in extreme and blatant cases (though dose balance has to be achieved); and artificial in-group marking, when coupled with a directed othering, can be effectively channeled over a long enough election cycle.
Looking forward, it will be critical to point out how “everything said by naysayers turned out to be wrong”, when addressing any uncompleted projects. Also, “cleaning up the last guys’ mess” is of course going to cover any market weather in this term.
It is of high benefit to identify how quickly the stock-market rebounded once the President took office.
It is important to adopt the high levels of employment from the Obama legacy in the first 12 months, as a reflection of the current government’s policy.
It is of likely benefit to begin a visible infrastructure project, in each battleground state, that will be nearing completion by the election midterms.
ELECTION – IMAGE CONTROL & LEARNING FROM HILARY CLINTON
On Image control, one additional item stands out: character over-identification and the “comicon effect”.
Character over-identification assisted the President’s campaign. In this case, there was a blurring of the real life brand of the President-Elect, with the character of the powerful business person from the “celebrity apprentice” program, who fires people from his “self made” gold Tower. This was held stable as real life candidate trait evidence.
This is despite the truth of inherited great wealth, unearned; this being often squandered on unsuccessful ventures; being the first candidate to not release tax returns; evidence of unpaid debts; evidence of unpaid taxes; public evidence of bankruptcy (of even casino projects – a comparison with additional challenging optics); evidence of poor labor conditions of employees; evidence of unpaid employees – among other examples.
The author has written on this “comicon effect” before (A01-3-CC013): whereby actors, and the traits of the characters they play, along with the feeling audience members experience when watching the associated programs, become difficult for agents to separate cleanly. This is the first time it has been examined in combination with politics so directly, but it appears to be the case. Something beyond mere “image control optics”. There is likely an additional effect in this case.
It is highly probable the sentiment against establishment money in politics, health care, private prisons and media – the same concerns that raised Bernie Sanders to be a genuine presidential contender – also increased the incredulity of the public when engaging the news programming.
It is probable the more entertainment focused the news programs became in the minds of viewers (eg from graphics, music, covering empty podiums for hours, rerunning low impact pseudo controversy on a loop ect), the less potent factual data could hope to be. This resulted in an inability for correcting narrative via fact checking, or inoculating with evidence prior to a candidates actions.
The Hilary email scandal, on the other hand, is not impacted by this effect. Although, of all possible candidates, Clinton was certainly a type of celebrity: she was not impacted by the same effects for a different reason. Namely, Clinton’s scandals revolved entirely around distrust, ironically the only thing that the people felt sure they could trust in. The Benghazi affair, being covert by its very nature, also falls into this category. As does the accusation of the donation of money for “secret favors” to the foundation.
When all that is trusted is distrust, only accusations of distrust can be trusted.
ELECTION – THREAT AWARENESS
It is highly probable that the new campaign would find benefit in immediately working to discredit Sen Elizabeth Warren.
Using a “1000 cut” strategy, to associate her with scandal at a low, but continuous level. Association with banking interests is not required, but is desirable. Hypocrisy in applied ethical practice is the key target. The ideal would be not to remove her by 2018, but ultimately make her run in 2020 nonviable.
It is of a high probability that Sen Warren will be removed from the public eye if there is a known intent to run in 2020. This is in an attempt to remove her from political tarnish in what will be “recent memory”, to distance a voting record under time to have “formed new opinions”, and to remove the publication of material regarding her from daily media interest.
For this reason, a focus on those around her, for a blemish by association, has a higher probability of success. Everyone has a cousin somewhere who did something. What is of even greater advantage, regarding genuine discoveries of this kind, is that they usually can not help but do whatever “it” was again. Even unprompted.
ELECTION 2020 – CANDIDATE SELECTION
A longer election cycle has proven of most benefit for energizing, hijacking and redirecting a base. Talk of 2020 is of best benefit beginning as soon as is practicable.
It is highly probable that the establishing of a center right, business Republican, female candidate is required.
The business of the candidate best independently both:
1. Make money in the tens of millions or higher,
2. But must also be a humanitarian cause.
This will serve to keep the female vote divided.
A further division within the democratic party, and third parties, will likely present itself with little encouragement. A reborn, stable Republican unified front best be presented – all behind a stage of no more than 5 candidates, reduced to 3, then behind one. There are evolutionary psychology reasons for these selections (Annex 3).
There is a high probability that the legalization of recreational marijuana will be a welcome voter suppression ally. It will also be defended, with a high probability, if threatened. As will “marriage equality”. These items will almost certainly allow for other measures, more significant to governance, to move unchecked when placed adjacent in those election arenas.
Redistricting measures best be moved when threat is angled at these items. A divided protest message will never be heard. Promotion of the selected protest items by proxy delegates is another tool which can be leveraged.
Promotion of these items will never be ignored or shouted down; again, they must be welcomed by the Left under identity threat principles.
Trading small pseudo victories for larger, more influential victories is the key.
ELECTION RESULTS FORECAST
There is an even chance the seats in the midterm elections will be held at majority.
It is highly probable there will be another supreme court appointment required if two terms are served. It is likely a second appointment will be required within one full term. It is possible that a second appointment will be required before the midterms.
It is probable that a second term can be gained under a larger “compromise” measure – such as taking the electoral college to a full constitutional amendment, and making this the focus of the first term.
It is probable a female republican candidate can be developed in 4 years.
It is highly unlikely a second term can be easily won against a viable female candidate of the opposition party. Controlling the senate is the best course of action under such a scenario, until the opposition female candidate has served at least one term.
There is an even chance that a second term can be won against a non female candidate of the opposition party.
JJR (2016) When All That is Trusted is Distrust, Only Accusations of Distrust Can Be Trusted. JChronLettSc, 01611(13), Ed5.
*JJR is the behavioral psychiatry and research science investigator for the Chronicle LS.
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