Donald Trump and the Holy Trinity

 

One of President Trump’s biggest selling points during the primary was that “he fights.” A number of Trump skeptics, on the other hand, were concerned that he wasn’t necessarily fighting for the right things, nor did he seem willing to fight within the rules. This was often defended by Trump supporters as “playing multidimensional chess,” but it has recently occurred to me that his fighting — particularly during the general election and since as the President — is something far more familiar to millions of people. Trump is a tank.

I don’t mean in the physical sense, but rather in the online gaming sense. Many multiplayer online games divide the players into a so-called “Holy Trinity” (no relation to Christianity): tanks who hold the enemy’s attention, healers who keep the tank going, and DPS (damage per second) who kill the enemy. This gives players easily grasped specialized roles and allows them to come together into groups where each member is vital to the success of the team.

The job of the DPS is simplest — kill the enemy. Depending on the game, this may be done with melee attacks in the back or ranged attacks from yards away, physical objects like swords, axes, knives, or arrows, or magical attacks with fire, ice, or shaman spells. Some games have DPS classes with pets or special abilities to incapacitate enemies to keep them out of the fight.

The biggest rule is simple: “don’t get aggro.” In non-gamer terms, that means that a DPS player should never get the attention of the enemy, because doing so risks getting killed and putting the team at risk. Depending on the game, a major secondary consideration is to avoid “standing in fire.” Said fire need not actually be fire, but any place where standing still will result in one’s eventual death.

Healers (aka Heals or Heelz) have an equally straightforward task — keep everyone alive. They have many different methods of restoring health to their team members, so their challenge is to restore health while not depleting their resources to heal (e.g. mana, skill points). Competent DPS avoid the aforementioned enemy aggro and bad stuff on the floor, leaving the healer free to focus on just one person — the tank.

The tank has the hardest job in game. They must know the enemy and fight intimately — not only where to fight and the enemy’s weak spots and repeated movements, but also how to keep their teammates safe from the enemy. They set the pace but can quickly find themselves dead if they pick more fights than their healer can deal with.

And this is where we get back to Trump. His tactics are classic tank tactics — rush into a situation, grab all the attention, taunting enemies when need be, and doing superficial damage that keeps all the attention on him. He has his “healers” — Fox News and his friends in the right-wing news and blogosphere who keep him feeling energetic for the fight. And following him quietly, hardly noticed by the mainstream press, are the DPS — millions of everyday Americans who are neither going to the movies nor watching the NFL. Mitch McConnell is quietly stacking the judiciary with conservatives, while Betsy Devos is undermining the liberal hold on education. Administrative rules are being simplified, and immigration laws are being enforced. The DPS are doing what they do best, unmolested because there’s a strong tank holding all the aggro.

I can’t say a “President as MMORPG tank” is the paradigm the founders intended or the best for our nation. But it does appear to be the one we have; so long as Trump has the aggro, let’s do some DPS.

There are 41 comments.

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  1. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    That’s a really interesting way of looking at it!

    • #1
  2. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    I’m not sure if I agree with this more because I already thought of it, or because you put it in terms that are agreeable (and amusing) to me.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Who plays more MMORPG? Progressives or conservatives?

    • #3
  4. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Well that was fast…. From a light dinner jibber jabber conversation with Amy to a post in less than 30 minutes. I am going to have to watch my out loud thoughts  around this newly activated and operational Death Star Moderator.

    • #4
  5. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Who plays more MMORPG? Progressives or conservatives?

    The player base is more evenly split that you’d think from the game press and internet community, but the conservatives tend to keep their mouths shut. I’d probably put the ratio at 60% left leaning to 40% right leaning.

    • #5
  6. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    To quote myself from many a fight, those are not healing flames on the floor.

    • #6
  7. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    So who’s LeeRoy Jeeeeeenkins?

    • #7
  8. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Is he tanking in cloth?

    • #8
  9. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    DocJay (View Comment):

    So who’s LeeRoy Jeeeeeenkins?

    How about Joe the Plumber? Tried to take on the enemy, didn’t have sufficient armor or healers to back him up, and wound up getting destroyed.

    • #9
  10. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    I’m not sure if I agree with this more because I already thought of it, or because you put it in terms that are agreeable (and amusing) to me.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.  Nice explanation, Amy!

    • #10
  11. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    I love it, and I even understand it, even though I’ve never played a MMORPG.  But I’ve watched my youngest play and I recognize the tactics.

    • #11
  12. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    What a fascinating concept.  Totally original.  Wow.

    • #12
  13. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    So is it the tank’s fault for pulling too many mobs, or the DPS’s fault for showing up in greens and putting out lousy damage? And why are half the healers AFK?

    This… this could get ugly real quick.

    • #13
  14. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    So what if you apply the analogy to the left? Are the media the tank, the healer or the DPS? I could see arguments for all three. But if they are tanking, who are they tanking for? The colleges?

    • #14
  15. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    I love the concept, and there is much truth in it.

    • #15
  16. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Hank Rhody (View Comment):
    So what if you apply the analogy to the left? Are the media the tank, the healer or the DPS? I could see arguments for all three. But if they are tanking, who are they tanking for? The colleges?

    No, the colleges are the healers, the media are the tank, and whoever’s technically the leader of the party is DPS. The problem is that without Obama, the people at the top are caught in AoE attacks.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    All I have to say is:

    More DOTs 

    And

    Many welps! Now handle it!

     

     

    • #17
  18. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp
    @JulieSnapp

    Mattis is basically Thrall the Warchief.

    • #18
  19. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Oh my goodness, the memories.

    I love this analogy.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    This is DPS?

    • #20
  21. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Percival (View Comment):

    This is DPS?

    You go on a raid with the DPS you have, not the DPS you want.

    • #21
  22. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

     

    NSFW, yelling and screaming an f-bombs, but funny.

    • #22
  23. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    This analogy… kinda works. The healer part of the analogy is where it breaks down for me, but the more I consider it the tank part is spot on. (I’ve played all three roles, and tank is by far the most fun.) The thing is this game allows for damage from friendly fire, and the tank and DPS can’t keep straight where the target zone  is. And if we could just keep our tank from wasting aggro on the NPCs it’d help a lot.

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I’m not a participant nor familiar with these games or concepts. But if I were writing this fictional novel of political intrigue I would have Comey in my confidence as an ally to set up the Special Counsel investigation which would then uncover the fact that all the real action with the Russians was with the Obama Democrats, the Podestas and the Clintons and their Foundation aided by Manafort. If I’m the Tank, Trump, I stay active with a multitude of distractions but avoid much in the way of comment or actions that deal with the main issue. This is about the only scenario that allows these lawyers involved to come out looking honorable at all. This, of course, recognizes that the legal team could not have addressed these matters head on during the Obama Administration for lack of a power base to follow through.

    • #24
  25. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I had the same thought a little bit ago.

    My WoW character was a Warrior Tank.

    He has been tanking the boss and kiting the trash all over the place.  All congress had to do was not stand in the fire, hit their rotations, and win.

    • #25
  26. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Others have made the explicit comparison to a more regular tank -he’s a big target with heavy armor making a hole in their lines.  Again, it requires Congress (the infantry in this metaphor) to actually exploit the breach.

    They should just start referring to him as the War Pig.  “Look, the War Pig is making an opening for us on tax reform, so we’re going to do it…”

    • #26
  27. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    DocJay (View Comment):

    So who’s LeeRoy Jeeeeeenkins?

    It could be Trump. Wasn’t Jenkins a Paladin and aren’t they Tanks? He rushes in, agros all the monsters the others follow in and they all get slaughtered. Sounds about right… I guess in November 2018 we will start to know.

    While Amy’s take is novel. I just don’t think Trump and the Republicans have any real DPS, and what they do have is mostly focused on taking down each other or pointless things like the NFL.

    • #27
  28. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Amy,

    Trump is a racist, Trump is a sexist, Trump is a homophobe, Trump is a xenophobe, Trump is Hitler. The funniest one is Trump has a thin skin! Trump has the thickest skin and can take more punishment and still keep delivering fire back than any politician I’ve ever seen. Even Jimmy Carter recently admitted that Trump is getting gratuitously attacked by the press worse than any other President.

    I am not a gamer but you’ve got a point.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
  29. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):

    So who’s LeeRoy Jeeeeeenkins?

    It could be Trump. Wasn’t Jenkins a Paladin and aren’t they Tanks? He rushes in, agros all the monsters the others follow in and they all get slaughtered. Sounds about right… I guess in November 2018 we will start to know.

    While Amy’s take is novel. I just don’t think Trump and the Republicans have any real DPS, and what they do have is mostly focused on taking down each other or pointless things like the NFL.

    Leroy Jenkins, I believe, was a healing pally.

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    My WoW character was a Warrior Tank.

    As was mine ? I loved it.

    • #29
  30. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp
    @JulieSnapp

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    I had the same thought a little bit ago.

    My WoW character was a Warrior Tank.

    He has been tanking the boss and kiting the trash all over the place. All congress had to do was not stand in the fire, hit their rotations, and win.

    I was a warlock, but I officially stopped playing during MoP.

    • #30

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