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Emoji of the Masses – The Trump Presidency

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by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

I have had to work with people like Donald Trump before. Not folks as materially successful of course, but just as wily, and with very similar personalities. It was my job to extract accurate information from them to assess whether or not their children were at risk of harm. There was always a lot at stake, so simply taking them at face value was out of the question. These interviews were among the most difficult and exhausting of my career. It was like engaging in an emotional game of three-dimensional chess. Extracting even the most innocuous facts was challenging. The experiences, however, had the effect of inoculating me from the expert emotional manipulations that are their genius.

Donald Trump spoke directly to the emotions of many voters during his campaign. It was a campaign like no other, but I recognized him right away. He constructed an elaborate emotional tableau, devoid of factual distractions, that resonated with a frustrated, angry electorate. People read into him whatever they believed. Other candidates and the beltway press tried but could not penetrate his invisible cloak with facts, logic or reason. His burgeoning movement of follower would not be dissuaded. Eventually, enough people aligned their feelings about him with the well crafted self-portrait he created through his speeches. He got just enough votes in just the right places to win the Presidency.

So here we are, a people habituated to the ubiquitous marketing assaults we succumb to every day. We were unprepared to see through the marketing cloud of Mr. Trump and now we have a new President about who we really know very little.

Donald Trump. The marketer-in-chief. Master illusionist. And because no one could pin anything on him during the campaigned, he is free to define his term in office any way he likes.

But beware! His disdain for the press, verbal assaults on journalists and his thank-you rally’s around the country are not short lived anomalies. They are harbingers of how he will maintain his power. The deflection of facts and the creation of strong, emotionally evocative impressions is how he operates.

Here is one way to help visualize what is happening. People like Donald Trump have the ability to do with language what a scrim does on a theatrical stage. A scrim is a special type of fabric that can be translucent, transparent, or opaque depending on how stage lights are directed. You can project any image you want on the front of it and it will mask everything from view behind it. When you only light the objects behind it, the scrim disappears like a pane of glass.

Donald Trump created a campaign, and is now building a Presidency behind a giant scrim. When he takes office we will only see what he chooses to project or to reveal. He will continue to divide us and play our emotions like the maestro that he is. My fear is that our only hope of revealing what he is up to will be either by taking control of the lighting board or storming the stage.



  1. Rev. Jack Copas says:

    Yes Brian you are quite accurate in your assessment of the pig monster who is now taking over. However you left out some chilling facts that are enough to frighten everyone. This lunatic has no idea what he is doing except how he uses his razzmatazz to fool desperate and angry people. You are correct in your assessment of how he will proceed. But he is lethal and dangerous in his judgment. His conduct is disgraceful. And he has no business being on the world stage. He is pure evil. A fraud. A liar. And he already has hurt so many people it makes you wonder what the future will hold. Beware of fascist dictators who convince the masses to worship them. Do we now teach our young boys to grab girls by their pussies? Who is really going to be in charge as he swaggers around telling everyone how great he is?

    • DataHeart says:

      Merry Christmas Jack. There is much more to be said on the topic of Donald Trump, as you amply demonstrated. I just wanted to focus on an important aspect that receives too little attention. As I watch pendants and news correspondences on TV it seems they still have no clue how to approach coverage of him and his blustering ways. If I’m correct, the disconnect between his outcomes and his rhetoric will require him to make evermore outlandish statements and stilted claims to hold his base. We will reap the whirlwind before this is over.

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