Dylan Ratigan is a former CNBC and MSNBC host who is the founder and CEO of Helical Holdings, a company that is creating agricultural innovations to improve the lives of poor people around the world. Ratigan walked away from his MSNBC show several years ago to found the company.
On December 15, Ratigan dropped by the MSNBC studios to chat with Ari Melber about his company and its main creation, the “Helical Outpost.” That is an integrated hydroponic greenhouse and power station that can create “up to 2,000 gallons of clean water per day, 10.8 kilowatt hours of commercial grade solar power and 2,300 crop units per week.”
Of course, the conversation eventually turned to Donald Trump. Ratigan edged into talk about the president-elect by saying the thing that frustrated him the most about working in the media was the “movement away from facts.” That leads to a discussion of Ratigan’s rants about politics, and what he calls the “rigged system.”
Melber turns the conversation directly to Trump. “What does it say to you,” he asks, “that a guy who ran on a rigged system is putting in Goldman and Exxon in charge of things.”
Ratigan responds with one of the best descriptions of Donald Trump the politician you will ever hear:
Donald Trump knows that words are simply useful to create feelings. So the mistake that people make is that they hear Donald Trump use words, and they think that those words are supposed to be assigned to facts, or outcomes, or intentions. Donald Trump doesn’t speak because he’s trying to address a fact or an intention.
Donald Trump uses words to generate feelings. And he’s really, really good at doing that…
Then comes Ratigan’s explanation of why Trump is loading up his administration with the exact types of people he seemed to campaign against:
Donald Trump’s actions have nothing to do with his words. Donald Trump’s actions are to empower those who have been the closest to him and those who have given him the most…
At the end of the day, the mistake people make in general — not just journalists but everybody — is to look at Donald Trump’s words as if they have any meaning beyond the generation of feelings.
Put another way, Trump’s words inspired a lot of working-class Americans to vote for him. But, just like the carnival barker he has been compared to, what he promises and what you get are going to be two different things.
Watch the interview below. The discussion of politics and Trump begins at about 5:40: