Go to contents

Trump’s excessive bluffs

Posted October. 15, 2018 07:33,   

Updated October. 15, 2018 07:33


Sixty-five years have passed since the Korea War was suspended in a ceasefire. In U.S. President Donald Trump’s "history book in his brain," the number is effectively different every time. In his Minnesota speech for the mid-term elections on October 4, President Trump said that (conflict between the U.S. and North Korea) has continued for 75 years and only three months have passed (since the end of the Singapore summit).

President Trump also does not hesitate to change, as he deems necessary, the order of provisions in key agreements from summits. On the same date, President Trump told reporters at the Oval Office that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed "denuclearization" as Point No. 1, adding the media missed it. However, what the two sides actually picked as "Point No. 1" in the Washington-Pyongyang summit in Singapore was that they agreed to build new relations. The provision on denuclearization was the third bullet point.

In his book "The Art of the Deal," which was published 31 years ago, President Trump said that he uses bluffs for promotion and people want to believe something is the biggest, greatest and most wonderful, adding that some bluffs will never do harm.

As if to demonstrate that "his sincere bluffing" apparently enabled him to become the president, he has continued to communicate with the public this way even after his inauguration. President Trump said the size of audience at his inauguration ceremony was the biggest ever. He claimed that the reason he was lagging behind Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in total poplar votes even if he won the election was due to "illegal votes." All of that proved to be untrue, but President Trump himself could not care at all. It is because what matters to him is enthusiastic support by his supporters, rather than whether his claims are true or not.

However, there are looming signs that even his strong supporters have started to feel fatigue about his way of communications. Politico reported on Thursday that the viewership of President Trump’s election speeches for Republican candidates airing in Fox News widely watched by his supporters has declined. According to the politics magazine, which analyzed data from the market research firm Nielsen, live broadcast of President Trump’s election speeches would attract as many as 4 million viewers nationwide last year, but have only managed to attract 2.5 million to 3.5 million viewers this year. The main reason would be that his more frequent election speeches have led to a decline in supporters’ attention, but Politico suggests that some of his supporters now no longer get impressed by his exaggerated expressions including whatever his administration does is "great" as much as they would.

His "sincere bluffing" has given President Trump many successes. However, this magic cane has started to encounter the rather strong foe of familiarity among the voters. The result of the first round duel between the two will be revealed as the outcome of the midterm elections in November. After the elections, the Trump administration will immediately start the second part of his term in office. President Trump will face increasingly mounting political burden, as he must display fresh achievements to American voters, who have now familiarized themselves with his excessive bluffs.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com