Here in the U.S., the Republican Party is in shock, unable to grasp the reality that Donald Trump is going to get their nomination for president. But no student of history should be surprised in the least by this. The entire Trump campaign is almost an exact blueprint of the strategies revealed in The True Believer by Eric Hoffer, which was written back in 1951.
Some relevant text from the book: “For the hopeful can draw strength from the most ridiculous sources of power—a slogan, a word, a button.” And nothing coalesces a movement faster than hatred of another group. More from the book: “Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and fortune, frees him of jealousness and self-seeking.”
One of the fascinating examples Hoffer uses is the religious movements of the Reformation (which became Nationalistic ones). Listen to the language Luther exhorted to the faithful: “In the eyes of the Italians we Germans are merely low Teutonic swine. They exploit us like charlatans and suck the country to the marrow. Wake up Germany!”
When Trump rails that the Mexicans and Chinese are ripping us off and taking our jobs, we’re being played for suckers by NATO, America is no longer great and needs to wake up – he’s simply following the formula. Of course formulas like this work because they’re based on simplistic slogans, fear mongering, and marginalizing “other” people. Demagogues who practice this type of mass manipulation do so for their own power and aggrandizement, absent of any principles.
Hate-based movements can only be prevented when there are institutional safeguards in place. Institutions that are based upon principles. Hard to believe now, but there actually was a time when the GOP stood for the principles of fiscal restraint, less government, and personal liberty.
The Republican Party lost its way when it stopped being driven by principles. (And no, “Beating Hillary” is not a principle.) Give kudos to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham, for putting principles before party. But look at the scores of other Republicans, who will blindly support a misogynistic, xenophobic, chauvinist, fascist, bully – because he’s running under the logo of their party.
Trump disparages women, Mexicans and Muslims, mocks people with disabilities, and his Twitter feed contains a level of juvenile insults and name calling that you would expect from a post-pubescent teenager. By the third debate the GOP should have simply thrown Trump out of the primary, for the simple reason he wasn’t congruent with the principles of the party. (Along with the principles of respect for others, and the office of the presidency.)
But of course the GOP didn’t throw Trump out, because they feared he would run as an independent; almost certainly guaranteeing a Democratic win. That’s probably true. But where is the party now? They have a candidate who will destroy whatever is left of the ideology. They would have been better to run someone who actually ran on Republican principles. Even if they lost, as would be likely, the party would have something left to build on.
This issue of operating by congruent principles is also manifesting itself in the debate as states try to enact legislation that marginalizes, penalizes, or even discriminates against LGBT people.
There are principled companies taking a stand, obviously a dangerous position economically. Lots of talk and hash tags about boycotts on social media. And some of these companies willing to take a stand for human dignity may lose some customers because of their willingness to speak out. But to the people running those companies – principles matter.
Proponents of these anti-LGBT policies suggest they are simply protecting religious rights. But these claims are no more absurd than the ones the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or ISIS make in order to justify enslaving women, or killing Christians, non-heterosexuals and apostates. In an enlightened society, no one’s religious beliefs gives them the power to enslave, attack, or kill others.
There is no such thing as “women’s rights,” “gay rights” or “transgender rights.” There are only human rights. Every human being on earth is entitled to dignity and basic human rights. Why? Because that is a principle that enlightened societies must live by.
Principles matter. Even when they hurt. Especially when they hurt...
My phone and email blew up the other day because a company I used to be associated with is bringing back the founder they fired five years ago. They’re spinning it as a replay of Steve Jobs returning to Apple. (Which is really quite rich, since a more fitting analogy might be that of a serial killer, returning to the scene of the murder.)
The Board of Directors of this company didn’t terminate this CEO because he missed a quarterly earnings forecast. It was for character issues. In the lawsuit the company filed at the time of the termination, the reasons included manipulating commissions payments to give friends and family financial benefits, making unauthorized market licensee proposals and product royalty commitments, unauthorized use of company funds, and being in discussion with employees and distributors to create a competing company.
The people writing me are incredulous, asking me how this man could be brought back. The answer is easy enough. Some companies and people believe that principles don’t matter. In this case, there are new owners in the company, their stock has cratered and it desperately needs to be propped up to prevent getting de-listed from the exchange. Maybe they think the "Steve Jobs back to Apple" meme is the answer.
But of course, this is why network marketing gets such a horrible reputation. There are earnings forecasts to meet, stock benchmarks to hit, and competitors snapping at your heels. This pressure leads some to think principles don’t matter and ethics are situational. But actions have consequences.
Some of the people writing me think I must be delighted to see such a dumpster fire taking place at a company that is now a competitor to me. But it only makes me sad. I have close friends that work in that company. And when bad things happen to any company, it reflects on everyone in the profession.
If network marketing wants to make that last, final leap into mainstream acceptance as a viable business model, people in the profession have to stand up and speak out. They have to believe in and practice principles of integrity, honesty, and decency.
This is true for the people who make our laws and the ones who want to govern us. Whether you're in business, raising your kids, or working at a minimum wage job, there are no "hacks" for doing the right thing.
The Republican Party was founded to oppose slavery and stand against tyranny...and it has now become the party bigotry. When the party welcomed Trumps unfounded rants about President Obama's birth certificate they opened the door to him and said welcome. Nothing in his life suggest his character is anything other than what the accumulation of his words and self proclamations declare. But, Randy, you are right the party leaders and frankly, all Republicans, including myself bear responsibility. I am glad that I have left the party and am hopeful that a more libertarian coalition will emerge for those of us who believe in the concepts of limited government, complete liberty and personal responsibility.
Excellent post! Although I detest Trump and do my best not to view his mug - your headline #PrinciplesMatter drew me to read. Trump has no principles, can only hope Americans with principles vote him out.
RG... very valid points all though I would add that my minimal experience with MLM companies found them all to lack integrity and leveraged heavily in favor of the principles rather than the worker bees. I also found that most of the products were simply repackaged and identical to countless others with over zealous pricing which was done for the purpose of multi-level commission payments. Sorry I know you're an MLM guru but since you brought it into this blog I felt it important to share my opinions as well. And yes there are exceptions to any rule. That said 99.9% of the multivitamins being hawked by MLM are all faulty due to being manufactured from isolated toxic nutrients. Human cells are food and only absorb food, not isolated versions of it. And don't get me started on the whole anti-aging thing which MLM jumped on and developed thousands of products that don't work. Where's the integrity there?
Eight of years of Obama has led us to this point where Donald Trump speaks for many of us who feel disenfranchised by our government. Ask me if I feel I'm better off than I was 8 years ago and I will say no. I've listened to Obama and the Democrats rail against financial institutions and the Republicans as the source of a lack of real economic growth. He energized a minority vote to propel him into office twice. Ask many of those same people if they feel he delivered all he promised. Where are the jobs? Where is the wage growth? What is the plan going forward to pay off the debt we've incurred over the last eight years? We've lost standing in the world as a result of his failed foreign policies. I'm proud to be an American despite him. I am so sick of listening to his tired rhetoric and inability to LEAD this country. A REAL leader leads. They don't point fingers as an excuse for their failures. I have not heard him once take responsibility for his lack of leadership. That said, I'm willing to take a chance on Donald Trump and see if he can shake things up. Especially if the alternative is Hillary Clinton.
Randy, I appreciate Your position and that of many others on going with Principles. However, in the upcoming election, it seems we are faced with selecting from 2 Very Flawed and Imperfect individuals. Sometimes, we need to choose sides with the best option or risk greater loss. Short story. when i was in college, the state alcohol control board wanted to put a state Alcohol beverage store inside the city limits of our town. The city fathers stood on principle and said No. The state moved the store less than a hundred yards into the adjoining city limits. the college town has lost hundreds of thousands of tax revenue dollars, perhaps millions, for the city in the last 45 years. It is possible to win the battle and loose the war, so I have heard. Lots of choices in MLM. Two choices in this Presidential WAR ! There has Never been but One Perfect Choice !
Much of what you say I agree with. The GOP has been losing elections they should have won for 40 years due to arrogance and ineptitude. And when they did win they often pursued foreign policies that were not in the interest of America's benefit. Intervention in the Middle East was a losing proposition from the beginning. What do we need now? A reverse swing to the pendulum in many areas.As for the fabled 5, "misogynistic, xenophobic, chauvinist, fascist, bully,"I have heard the same speeches you have and I have also studied how he runs his businesses with competent people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. All of which leads me to conclude that he is talking of illegal immigration, threats to our national security, incompetency, and weakness in getting the job done as well as wanting to escape the issues of gender orientation judgement (that is not an issue with which the Federal Government has any right in being involved.). Did he accomplish the clear expression of his true intent? Arguably not, but I expect a more coherent series of positions that will be unifying. Let's see.
Brian O And that Brian is the point. Where go we next?
Good thoughts Jonathan. I'm also bothered by a lot of what goes on in some MLM companies. Look for integrity from the top, and the rest will be ok.
I think people should look back in Trump's history and life to form a true opinion of this fanatical lunatic who will tear America apart, and create problems unsurpassed in the future.
Randy_Gage Yes! He should have the same principles as Obama,Clinton,Reid,pelosi and all those other upstanding politicians
The title says it all, "Principals Matter!" But apparently many in upper echelons of society could care less about principals, and more about convincing the wider public to jump on board their deranged ideologies that serve to benefit no one but themselves. The reality for which Trump lives is far from the reality that everyday Americans live. Welcome to a world where ethics and morality don't matter, as they merely take a back seat to wealth and privilege. If you're wealthy, you can run America and be heard by the public. If you're poor, you're simply ignored and punished by society for it.
Randy, you mentioned in the lawsuit against the CEO for the company you worked for, and mentioned some reasons for the lawsuit, but my understanding is that the charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence. Why are you trying to smear this man's image? Do you have evidence to accuse him and if not, why mention it? And didn't the stock tank why you were their top distributor?
Randy it is an honor to work with you and to watch you live your principles.
Great post. Thank you so much for this important reminder, Randy. Indeed, principles matter, indeed... People often ignore it because they're being ruled by fear and greed. Having the short-term results, but hurt them for a long-term.
I totally agree, and thanks Randy for pointing this out... and asking for the commitement of other leaders and citizens to speak out as well.... as a network marketing leader in Mexico, Trumps nomination is so disapointing to say the least, and I praise you for sharing your opinion. We all must also be united, as you so clearly explain, in building our industry with honesty, values, and as you say, PRINCIPLES DO MATTER, with out them we cannot evolve and trascend.
Randy, you are absolutely correct. Trumps ethics are about the level of Hannibal Lector.
Principals prevent self destruction . Human being can get so lost when they enslave themselves to just money.
As an old friend of mine once said in an impromptu discussion: "if we don't have ethics, we don't have anything"..
as I study and align more and more with the "principles of consciousness", which I had no clue of back then, I see the solid truth in his assertion back then. Ethics are principles, or at least are based ON principles. it's the prosperous way.
Great post RG. We need to make principles transparent.
Great post Randy, thanks! 🙂
I'd be interested to hear more about your perspectives on Networking Marketing becoming a viable business model in the mainstream. I was 'burnt' by that industry and i'm sad to say I've become very cynical about it. What's worse, is my friends saw me go through that, and are now equally anti, slating it all as a scam etc.
Do you think network marketing will make the transition you allude to?
With all due respect to you and your Mexican compatriots I feel compelled to at least respond to your opinion about Donald Trump's stance/views on immigration. We all acknowledge the need for a comprehensive immigration policy. Glossing over this subject by singling out Trump allows all former sitting Presidents and Congressmen/women, including Obama, a free pass for failing to find a solution that meets the interests of all concerned. Depending on which source you reference, illegal immigration to this country costs the American taxpayer many hundreds of millions per year. Money which could be directed to care properly for those most in need, our elderly and children, our infrastructure, and monetization of other projects which can bear out long term needs. These costs are spread over a wide array of components. Ironically, including lost wage tax revenues. The point of my reply is not to disrespect you or any other person who would like to immigrate to this country legally but to have the voice of the taxpayer heard. The reason Donald Trump is the 'presumptive' Republican nominee is because his frank remarks about illegal immigration are closely aligned with those of us who are tired of our tax dollars being spent unwisely on, among other things, flawed social welfare policies. I've never asked for a reduction in what I pay for taxes (although I'd welcome it) but only that my/our money be spent responsibly and with transparency. This is one of the reasons I shudder when I hear the Liberals talk about the 'Fat Cats on Wall Street', high net worth individuals or corporations paying their 'fair share' of taxes. If my facts are true, or at least close, these entities already pay more than 50% of the tax revenue in this country. Shame on anyone who would insult their constituents by perpetuating this garbage. It simply passes the blame. I apologize for the rant Mariela on you. From your perspective, I'm sure you're only voicing your concern for those in your circle. But Randy opened this Pandora's Box.
JerryLee2 Was the lawsuit "dismissed for lack of evidence"? No, it was not. The stock is a for an umbrella entity that bought the company I was with and grouped it with a hodgepodge of other companies, mostly money-losers and flat liners. Then all those companies pay steep management fees to yet another entity, controlled by the principals. The financials speak for themselves and investors made their own decisions. That's quite a stretch to suggest I had any bearing on it. -RG
Brian O Every body has a right to their opinion Brian....and the origin of my opinion comes from the essence of Randy´s comments that PRINCIPLES DO MATTER...and that of course includes not supporting ANY illegal activity. But the United States was built on the sinergy of immigrants from all over the world, and Mr. Trump has disrespectfully handled LEGAL contributions and collaborations that have made your country so strong and powerfull. To that, is what I refferred my comment.... and to STAND up for pinciples, values, and respect amonst us.
Wow, Randy - tell us how you really feel 🙂 Pretty hard on Donald aren't we.... when one looks at the options out there politically you are giving Hillary and Bernie a free pass - they are the anti-thesis of prosperity - God save us. Principles do matter in life, unfortunately this is politics.
It is unbelievable to me that Trump has gotten this far, and even more unbelievable that he has marketers and scriptwriters that support and encourage his madness. It has been my belief for some time that this was a bid for attention, an ongoing selfie he could monetarily support and post endlessly. But it "took", so he kept going.
There are deaths, abuses and suffering yet to be committed, with his blessing and encouragement, because he has made hate cool again. Great. We Canadians love it when a nice neighbour lets their idiot son live in the basement and make the community miserable for 4 years.
Randy, thanks for you are not indifferent in questions of principles in any sides of life! The Victory depends only on principles everyone.
Randy_Gage thanks RANDY , on point and timely.
Randy_Gage JerryLee2 Was the CEO found guilty of those charges you mentioned? And hodgepodge company stock is one thing, your specific company sales are another. Once that founder was gone and others like Mr. Network Marketing Pro left, sales gradually went from 180M to less than 50M before you made your move. One person doesn't dictate a company's destiny, but you were sure leading the charge there. There are likely two sides/opinions to this and most information is not public, but it seems easy to pass the blame instead of taking some responsibility. We can all do better, I know I can.
Thanks Randy, As usual, I agree with you! Thanks!
Amen to that Randy!
Great article Randy! I wish you would have pointed out that Obama was elected solely on the Democrats hatred of George W., not because he was some great politician. As his administration has shown, he is nothing more than an empty suit full of the same lies and broken promises, back room deals and obscene corruption, complete lack of transparency as of other presidents. Hatred comes in many forms, sometimes subtle, sometimes brash. Look at the liberals on Americas college campuses if you want to see utter hatred and refusal to even acknowledge that people are entitled to have their own opinions, whether they agree with them or not. The party of 'tolerance' has become some of the most intolerant people in our country! I believe that is just as dangerous, if not more, than Trump...
Let me see if I can figure out which Party has created a monster like Donald Trump - in the past 30 years, which Party has been spewing out racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, belief that an invisible deity has been sending catastrophic weather due to his displeasure with the United States, making the rich richer, trying to keep the minimum wage low, rile against free education and giving welfare to the hungry but have no problem with spending trillions of dollars on war and bailing out and giving bonuses to the assholes that caused the collapse of the American economy in 2008? Damn, I'm perplexed. I just can't figure out which Party that could be.
Brave as always! Thanks Randy Gage
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Romney caved in when he was supposedly "trying out" for Secretary of State and Ryan sold his soul pretty early on.
DebbieFalconer The problem with this idiot is that he is playing with fire. He might try to "unite" the USA by launching an all out nuclear war with China. Worst case scenario is World War III.
Months later the debate still rages. We had a choice as to which mafia boss we wanted sending the knee-breakers after us. I chose neither, because my principles matter. I took a lot of verbal abuse over that and it was worth it. The red pill/blue pill memes - I don't need a pill. I was better off when Obama left than I was when he took office. I will be better off when Trump leaves than I was when he took office. I don't wait for the elected officials to make me better off, and in the time I've been voting ( more years than I'll admit to here), I've never heard a candidate promise to defend our individual liberties.