Is Trump a Genius?

What a marvellous show!

We don’t know what’s funnier: watching ‘The Donald’…or watching the media try to make sense of him.

On this occasion, the media is right. Challenging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ contest is likely to be embarrassing for both of them.

One-man circus

We doubt Mr Trump is a genius. We doubt he is a moron, either.

Or an idiot. Or an imbecile.

But as Uncle Remus says, ‘Dere’s dem dat’s smart…and dere’s dem dat’s good.’

Perhaps Mr Trump is both. More likely, he is neither.

Most public figures are, at least in part, scoundrels. It would be an amazing thing — especially in America — if Mr Trump were an exception.

But who knows… The man is far more entertaining than any president in history. He’s a one-man circus: impresario, freak, and clown all in one.

He’s part of what makes it such a pleasure to be an American. The show never ends…

…trash tweeting his fellow Republicans (most recently, Senator Bob Corker)…contradicting and humiliating his cabinet appointees…threatening to punish the NFL if its athletes don’t assume the posture he feels is most correct…

Earnest commentators in the mainstream media regard every move the president makes as a ‘mistake’…or as ‘shooting himself in the foot’…’or as ‘undermining his agenda’.

They completely miss the point: The president has no interest in serious legislation. And no real agenda.

He has only one measure of success — ratings.

And at that, he’s the best. He’s a showbiz guy, after all, the PT Barnum of the reality TV era.

More of the same

As we suspected, the president is moving toward putting his brand on a new political party. The Wall Street Journal is on the case:

Mr Trump would like to lead, and Mr. Bannon would like to create, a Republican Party different from the one that exists. It would be a party molded in the Trump image: nationalist, skeptical of immigration and trade agreements, dubious about the virtues of diplomacy and international negotiations, with economic strategies skewed to help workers in traditional American industries.

The moves revealed thus far won’t help the traditional industries…or any industries other than those favoured by the Deep State.

That is what you’d expect. The fool can be wise, but he can’t threaten the ruling class. The village idiot can be elected mayor, but don’t expect people to stop laughing at him.

Mr Trump’s brand depends on appearing to do battle with the powers that be. But his career (and perhaps his survival) depends on not actually challenging them.

What we end up with is more of the same. More slapstick. More zombies. More cronies. More debt. More funny money. And more laughs.

And we will keep getting more…until it becomes too much. But when that will happen is anyone’s guess.

So, let us change our focus to what is happening in the here and now. 

Originarios strike back

Our visit to the ranch here in Argentina began with an update from our agent, a local lawyer who administers the property when we’re not there.

Oh, Bill…last month was a disaster.

The originarios [locals claiming native rights to our land] won the local election. Fortunately, it was just the primary. They won’t win in the general election.

And the national government extended for more years a law that allows self-proclaimed originarios to stay on your land without paying rent.

I don’t know where this is going…but it will be a long time before it gets there. Your grandchildren will probably still be fighting this battle.

And then, at the new ranch, we had a little disaster. But it turned out well in the end. The gauchos were burning off a little bit of underbrush and the fire got away from them. You know how the wind can come up here suddenly.

Well, no one was hurt…and no houses got burnt. And it ended up burning off 150 acres. We were going to clear that land anyway. And this was a lot cheaper than clearing the land with a bulldozer.

But we have a sad report, too…

Questions to answer

Up in the mountains, there is a young man, Juan, and his wife, whom we see from time to time. He seems like a good guy. We hired him to watch the sheep in the high valley.

But last month, the government sent a nurse up to the valley. She checks in with the local people to see how they’re doing. When she went to visit Juan’s house, she found that Juan’s wife had just had a baby.

But the baby was dead.

Then she noticed a bruise on the baby’s head. Apparently, the mother could give no satisfactory explanation. So, the nurse called the police. They came, arrested the couple, and put them in jail.

I got them out of jail,’ our lawyer reported yesterday. ‘But they’ve got some questions to answer. We don’t know what really happened.

More to come…


Bill Bonner,
For Markets & Money

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.

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