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January 31, 2017

Double Take on Donald Trump: The Frail Ego & The Negotiator

Extracts from "Black & White and More"  by  Raj Nair, Chairman, Avalon Consulting which discusses the impact in 2017, of the 3 Black Swan events of 2016: Brexit, Trump’s Presidency and Modi’s demonetization (emphasis ours):
There is enough material to understand Trump’s DNA including his own book, “Art of the Deal.” He displays a megalomaniac exterior to cover his insecurities and his very vulnerable ego. He is more a deal maker than a leader.
...He recommends and also uses ‘hope’ and ‘fear’ most of the time to soften his counter party or his own people to accept his proposition and then sells them a grand dream which is beyond their stretch, to win them over. The electorate lapped it up. He gave them some hope and a lot of fear during his campaign. He will continue to do that with counterparties in negotiations. His ego is easily punctured and vengeful acts are par for the course.
...It is therefore safe to conclude that eventually, Trump’s bite as the President will be markedly weaker than his bark during his campaign. After, the initially flurry of decisions in his first few weeks in office, office, to show that he acted as threatened, he will let his chosen team do more reasonable things.
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Raj's take concurs with that of Cartoonist Scott Adams, who seems set to become as famous as the man who could predict Trump's actions (including his election win) correctly as for creating Dilbert. According to Adams, the key to understanding Trump is to understanding his standard negotiating technique: Open with an extreme first offer which provides him (Trump) enough room to "negotiate back to something reasonable". "If you don’t recognize the method, it looks crazy, random, and racist."

Extracts from Adams post on Trump's temporary ban on immigration from select Islamic nations - a move that has evoked wide protests in Silicon Valley as well as the predictable outrage across social media (emphasis ours):

Trump’s temporary immigration ban set a mental anchor in your brain that is frankly shocking. It will make his eventual permanent immigration plan (”extreme vetting”) look tame by comparison....He acts the same way every time. He wrote a book about it. He talks about it publicly. Then he does it right in front of us, over and over. And no matter how many times he does it, half the country still thinks the opening offer is the real one. 
..The system (America) is actively trying to eject Trump like some sort of cancer cell. And the worse it gets, with protests and whatnot, the more leverage Trump has to tell his far right supporters that he has gone as far as the country will let him go. He needed that. The protests are working in his favor. He couldn’t negotiate with the extreme right without them.
...Trump has created a situation – or will soon – in which the peaceful Muslims will either have to do a lot more to help law enforcement find the terrorists in their midst or else live with an increasingly tainted brand. Trump is issuing no free passes for minding your own business. His model makes you part of the solution or part of the problem. No one gets to sit this one out.
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