July 7, 2017

Naomi Klein has made this terrific video on how to counter Donald Trump, the Celebrity Apprentice of Pennsylvania Avenue.

It's so clear that Trump is in the White House to (a) destroy the Obama legacy and (b) to promote the Trump brand, that anything we do to sully that branding effort works in our favor.

Trump is an ineffective puppet except in the ways in which he leverages the Trump image for money. Now that he's in the White House it's time to associate that Trump brand with his terrible presidency. It's not hard to do but there are some specific ways we can target him that are particularly effective. In an interview with AV Club, Klein outlines the path ahead:

The fact that he’s refused to divest from his labyrinth of business holdings, the fact that he’s continuing to profit from his brand and indeed create all kinds of new opportunities to profit off the presidency—including launching a new line of hotels specifically targeted to red states and middle-class voters, this new hotel chain called American Idea that they’re launching in Mississippi for people who can’t afford his luxury brand—it’s outrageous. If he’s doing this, then the flip side is that he’s left out a lot of levers through which to pressure him. You know, the reason you want a president to divest from his business holdings is that foreign governments can try to exert pressure on him by becoming customers of these hotels and inflating the value of how much they’re willing to pay for a Trump brand....

We all know these stories of companies with a commercial model who have not figured out how to commercialize their business model selling themselves for many billions of dollars because of the value of the brand they’ve built up. So the problem with a politician to be in the business of selling this name is that the opportunity for corruption is endless. The opportunity for bribery is endless.

But the opportunity for pressure is also endless. I live in Toronto, and we’ve just gotten news that our Trump Tower is going to de-Trump itself. And I think this is going to start to happen as the brand becomes more toxic and people use this lever.

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