Some in the Alt-Right are despairing over Trump’s interviewing of various candidates for cabinet positions, including beltway insiders, party hacks and financial oligarchy frontmen. It is too early to despair over these moves. In fact, the failure to make these moves would be cause for despair. Let’s apply differential analysis to this situation and see why. The possible variations we will consider is that Trump is real or he is fake, and Trump is naive or he is clever. Then, we will consider how he would be acting now, with respect to cabinet interviews, in each case.
Fake but Naive Trump
This case does not exist. Fake Trump cannot also be naive.
Fake but Clever Trump
This is the case the Alt-Right is concerned about. Fake Trump must also be clever. But, a fake Trump would also resemble a party hack, because he would be one, at least in the Orwellian sense of “The Party”. Fake Trump has no need to mollify the Alt-Right as the counter-revolution has already been won. Fake Trump would then be behaving exactly as he is.
Real but Naive Trump
This is the Trump which would be vulnerable to a “faithless elector” campaign (described in detail here, here, here and here). Oblivious to the Electoral College danger prior to December 19th, a real but naive Trump would be stumbling through a field of daisies imagining the game already won. This Trump would be putting smiles on a lot of Alt-Right faces, but have the potential for losing it all.
Real but Clever Trump
A real but clever Trump would, for now, masquerade as Fake But Clever Trump. Understanding the Electoral College risk, as described previously on this blog, he would be heavily “virtue signalling” to weaken and undermine the faithless elector movement. Recall that this astroturf movement has at least three components. One component targets hardcore electors (who will not flip no matter what) with threats as a public spectacle, another component privately targets party hack electors with bribes and extortion to abstain, while the third component similarly targets the party hacks to inject a third alternative. Whether any countermeasures to any such astroturf movement would actually work, a real but clever Trump would attempt to neutralize the last two (the first is of no threat in any case) by behaving exactly as he is.
Prior to the Electoral College, if Trump’s cabinet interviews were living up to superficial expectations of the Alt-Right, then that would be cause for concern. However, his current behavior, prior to the Elector College, is not in itself justification to be worried about post-Inauguration behavior. Superficially, Fake But Clever Trump and Real But Clever Trump would be indistinguishable at this point, although the involvement of Sessions weighs more heavily toward the latter. Be prepared for the worst, but wait and see.