How will the US survive Trump

Analysis - Why Trump Survived Everything: The US President's Ingenious Scandal Strategy

Why Trump Survived Everything: The US President's Ingenious Scandal Strategy

In order to keep track of the turbulent American politics, it is worthwhile to watch the big TV political shows “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation” on Sunday (also possible on YouTube). These broadcasts - quasi a «SonnTalk» in world format - have been in a state of emergency and have had high ratings since Donald Trump became president.

There was a symptomatic scene on the most recent broadcast. The moderator said: "Last week was the most dramatic so far in Donald Trump's presidency!" To which a journalist interrupted: "That's right - see you next week!" This objection sums up the secret of Trump's survival strategy pretty well. Whenever the media or his political opponents believe that Trump has now made a fatal mistake and is done with, he kindles the next storm. This blows away the headlines from the previous day.

“Whenever the media or his political opponents believe that Trump is done for now, he kindles the next storm. This communication strategy works. "

Patrik Müller

“War with Iran?” - headline pushes Putin out of the media

How this mechanism works was seen after the Helsinki Summit. For his flattery towards Putin, Trump was also criticized by party friends in the USA. He was submissive to the autocrat, in fact he committed “treason” when he emphasized how clearly Putin denied having interfered in the US elections in 2016 (Trump's own secret services consider interference to be proven). From the “Washington Post” to the “Basler Zeitung”, whose editor-in-chief Trump likes to defend, everyone agreed: The Helsinki appearance was a debacle. How did Trump react to the catastrophic echo? He fired a two-stage communications missile:

Step 1: Create confusion and counterattack. First Trump irritated friends and foes with confused corrections to his own secret service statement, then he posted videos and earlier Russia-friendly quotes from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Twitter, which were supposed to show them as "true friends" of Putin, and claimed never before A US president was as tough on Russia as he was himself. That convinced many: On Sunday, polls showed that 80 percent of the republican base viewed Trump's summit with Putin as a success.

Level 2: set a new topic. On Monday, Trump pushed Helsinki off the headlines by dropping a Twitter tirade against Iran's President Rouhani. "Never threaten the US again, or you will feel the consequences few have suffered before in history," wrote Trump - in capital letters. Since then, nobody has spoken about whether Trump's Putin meeting could have consequences. Now the big topic is: “Do we now have to expect a war with Iran?” As the New York Times headlines today.

Trump repeats this pattern with every affair, and it works. The latest job approval survey came out on Monday, which measures the satisfaction of Americans with their president. 45 percent are satisfied, more than ever since Trump took office. And that after the «most dramatic week so far». Trump is even more popular with Republican voters than any of his nine predecessors in the presidency of his grassroots ever were.

The phenomenon that Trump seems to get away with everything has a feedback effect on his party: Republican exponents refrain from public criticism of him, even though they find much of what he does terrible. Otherwise they fear being punished by their own grassroots, and there are parliamentary elections in November. That is why the Republicans quieter with every scandal.

A few weeks before the presidential elections in October 2016, that was very different when the "Access Hollywood" tape came out to the public. In it, Trump brags about being able to touch any woman. Prominent Republicans screamed and said that if Trump doesn't take himself out of the race, the biggest Republican defeat of all time is in danger. It turned out differently, and it was a revival for many Republicans. Never want to be so wrong again.