10 December 2015

Be Afraid. Be Very, Very Afraid

Over at the Washington Post, Paul Schwartzman and Jenna Johnson look at the Trump Campaign, and they discover that there is actually a very sophisticated and measured messaging process, not the shoot from the lip perception of "The Donald":
He referred to Mexicans as “rapists,” questioned Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero, ridiculed the physical appearance of his opponents, falsely claimed that “thousands” in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center fell and, this week, called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Despite predictions that such searing, divisive rhetoric and the resulting outcry would cripple his campaign, Donald Trump’s insults and controversial proposals have propelled him to the forefront of the 2016 presidential race — and kept him there.

And while it may seem like a lurching, chaotic campaign, Trump is, for the most part, a disciplined and methodical candidate, according to a Washington Post review of the businessman’s speeches, interviews and thousands of tweets and retweets over the past six months.

Trump delivers scores of promises, diatribes and insults at breakneck speed. He attacks a regular cast of villains including undocumented immigrants, Muslims, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, his GOP rivals and the media. He keeps the narrative arc of each controversy alive with an endless stream of statements, an unwillingness to back down even when he has misstated the facts — and a string of attacks against those who criticize him.

All the while, his supporters see a truth-talking problem solver unlike the traditional politicians who have let them down. Spending remarkably little, he dominates yet another news cycle, and his Republican rivals languish in his shadow.


The Post’s analysis found several qualities to Trump’s approach. First is a pattern of experimentation that suggests that he is testing his insults and attacks as he goes along. Like a team of corporate marketers, Trump understands the value of message-testing — but he appears to do it spontaneously, behind the lectern and on live television.
It appears that there is a method to this madness.

To me this is a hell of a lot scarier than him being some loud mouth who accidentally captured the Zeitgeist of the Republican Party, because it means that the next time, it could be worse.


Post a Comment