How Trump thinks

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg: “The reporting is pretty clear: Trump doesn’t read briefings, on politics or anything else. He doesn’t appear to have absorbed the basics of public policy, whether on health care or national security or even issues, like trade, that he cares about. Instead, he seems to pick up fragments of information in conversation or, more often, from cable television. Often, it’s partisan talking points, which isn’t surprising since much of what airs on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC consists of partisan talking points.

“Trump then extracts some fact or detail he finds useful from that input, and comes up with his own way of expressing it. Usually, he pretties it up, smooths out any nuances and exaggerates significantly. Then he tests it out, on Twitter and especially at his rallies, working for the wording that gets the biggest reaction. And then? As far as I can tell, Trump winds up believing the final version of whatever it is he has produced.”

One thought on “How Trump thinks

  1. It’s one of the fascinating things about Trump. He only operates in symbols. Even in the first two years, when the Republicans controlled Congress, he put through essentially no legislation. (The tax bill, while he liked it, was a traditional Republican policy.) Trump didn’t even put through any modifications to immigration law, despite that it would be easy enough to propose some changes in immigration law that would move it in directions he favors.

    In this, he seems to be the ultimate salesman. Words only have meaning to the degree they generate emotions in others. There is no “reality” independent of the mind of the audience that words should correlate with.

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