Can “Trump” Season 2 outdo “Trump” Season 1 the way the second season of “The Crown” is said to have topped the first?
Trump One certainly had a boffo finale with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Tax rates were lowered for the middle class, corporate rates made competitive with other industrialized nations, ANWR opened after forty years of trying for energy independence, and Obamacare eviscerated by ending the individual mandate — all in one fell swoop. Too bad they couldn’t add tanking the Iran Deal into it somehow.
How will Season 2 end? Middle East peace? Not likely. That would strain credibility. (Maybe Season 5 or 6.) But the show biz analogy still holds because Trump is clearly our most show biz president, even more than Reagan. He entertains as none before. Everyone — right and left — binge-watches Trump.
Can you imagine what it will be like when he’s no longer president? CNN better start planning now for that cable news Armageddon, whether it’s 2020 or 2024. Like it or not, their misreporting of everything Donald keeps them alive.
But like any good series, “Trump” must reinvent itself every year to keep us watching. Question is — how?
His first-year decisions — foreign and domestic — were largely good. America is in better shape economically with unemployment down and the stock market and GNP up. It’s also in a better position globally in a surprisingly stable, though still violent, world, well described by Arthur Herman in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.
But pace all the winning, Trump is his own worst enemy, or so it’s said. He remains unpopular, according to the polls. It’s time for him to get popular, push up those numbers, accurate or not (okay, not very). Can he do it?
This is great drama for Season 2.
Although he is winning almost everything else, the major area Trump is losing, for now, is the propaganda war with the Democrats, liberals, progressives and their sycophantic army of media legionnaires — this despite the even more extreme unpopularity of the press. The Republican Party’s ineptitude at messaging is legendary — and that’s one legend that has proven true, even with its biggest celebrity ever as president.
Trump should seize the moment of his most significant legislative victory to make the proverbial pivot and change that situation for the next season. He should do this by employing his not inconsiderable talents as an actor. He has told us he can act the role of a traditional president, literally at the blink of an eye. Time to do it.
This does not mean that Trump should not be Trump. Besides being impossible, it’s not advisable. Instead, he should be a New Trump — half old Trump, half traditional president. This could lead to a second season even more boffo than the first. He might even need his own Netflix channel.
This New Trump could be the same president with the same ideas, but one who reaches out as never before to the people who reflexively oppose him. The slogan “Make America Great Again” is fine but is seen by too many to apply only to white males. This is absurd, of course. The phrase was never intended for an instant to apply to white males only, but the Democrats and their cohorts positioned it that way, the only thing they have done in recent years that is remotely successful.
Trump must rise above this and go directly to the communities that are are supposed to be most monolithically hostile to him — African-Americans and Hispanics. He should do this in person and often enough to involve them directly in the national boom that is occurring. This will have multiple effects, improving the life of those communities and simultaneously breaking them up, i.e. smashing the nauseating identity politics that is a national disgrace.
Acting the president, however, means restricting Twitter, alas. Most of the time anyway. No more paying attention to ankle-biters like the tedious Mika and Joe — that is unless they pay for the publicity.
But that just skims the surface. “Trump” Season 2 will feature many a dicey, suspense-filled moment from Kim Jong-un exploding yet more potent weapons of mass destruction and causing a near stock market collapse to social justice warriors staging a national sit-in and closing all our universities just in time to avoid finals. But if you’re interested in the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, that’ll have to wait for Season 7 or 8. (I’ve seen the schedule.)
Nevertheless, whatever happens, our hero will prevail. (This isn’t one of those anti-hero series like Breaking Bad, no matter what Chuck, Nancy and Jim Acosta tell you.)
Still, Season 2 will require its own boffo finale. What could that be? Millions of blacks and Hispanics deserting the Democratic Party in November 2018 and voting their own self-interest (Republican) might be too much to ask, but who knows?
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.