Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump Fundraising: A close look at the daily email

Fundraising appeals are very useful documents.  Readers can learn what actually works and motivates because the campaigns get daily feedback on what words cause clicks onto the red "Contribute" button.

Political Metaphor
Implicit in the appeals is an understanding of the nature of the political battlefield.   It is in fact a battlefield.  

Trump understands that Americans voted for a warrior, not a diplomat.

What is important is not whether ones leader plays by the rules but rather whose side he or she is on.

Identify the enemy:   

Coastal Elites
Celebrity Donors
Liberals and their crony agenda
Fake News
Radical Islamic Terrorists
Corrupt globalist deals
Washington status quo that enriched itself
Obstructionist liberal senators
Hateful bullies

Identify the Trump team.  "We" are:

Trump voters and supporters
The American people
People who ignore "fake news"

The fundraising does not take place over issues.  Instead, they describe a war zone, us against them, with "us" representing advocates for a broad but undefined Trump movement, against rich, powerful, dishonest, obstructionists.  Politics is a tug of war between two giant groups and Trump is calling on people to join in on his side.

Notice what is not present: a sense of self awareness.  Trump's brand includes pride in a family business and his alpha male dominance, yet he condemns self-enriching cronyism and bullying.  How can he do that?   Has he no sense of irony? 

The answer is that he is proudly and un-selfconsciously a political warrior.  He isn't in a debate, with rules. He does not look inward.   He does not weigh the value of multiple points of view.  He is not an attorney evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a case.  He is a warrior, so he happily accepts deception and hypocrisy as positive values, if he helps him win.

One way to win in this polarized and media environment: accuse the opposition of exactly what you proudly do.  Don't apologize or explain  Accuse.

Isn't it hypocritical?   It does not matter.   Don't acknowledge hypocrisy.  Don't blink. Don't hesitate.  Don't look down.  Don't give an inch.  

For example, Melania Trump chose a First Lady theme, and what was it?  Of all the possible themes she chose social media bullying.  She was against it.  It would be morally wrong to use social media to bully or intimidate or disparage others, she said earnestly.  

She admitted no hint of irony or hypocrisy, no hint that her husband was a prolific and very successful master of exactly what she condemned, and under heavy criticism for his doing it, which criticism he flagrantly ignored.   She handled this brilliantly.  She never blinked.

Trump's success comes in part by understanding that he is a warrior.  The Trump formula is to avoid a "fair fight" or to be self reflective or philosophical.   He does not acknowledge hypocrisy.  Trump was a reaction to Obama, the constitutional law professor, who acknowledged the interests of others.  He was a reasonable man--which made him vulnerable to the charge of weakness and "global thinking" as contrasted with thinking on behalf of our side, period.

AsTrump noted proudly, he represents Pittsburgh, not Paris.

Trump excites people and commands respect within his base of voters because he projects none of that Obama philosophical self reflection.  As a warrior he sees only his side, which he says is actually our side.  His supporters understand he says and does inexcusable things sometimes but they interpret his excesses and mistakes as those of a charged up and incautious warrior. He is a hepped-up athlete on the home team, sometimes trying too hard, but trying.  He is leading the gang in pulling the rope toward some vague direction, but unquestionably our direction.   What is important is not the exact direction of the pull nor whether Trump cheats, with Russia or with his taxes or with his businesses or with disloyalty to former allies like Jeff Sessions.  If he cheats, so what?  He is cheating for our side. 

Voters saw that Trump knew how to fight and win. We didn't elect a pious and cautious minister.  We elected a Commander in Chief.

Readers will get a sense of the tone of these fundraising appeals by looking at three examples of them below:

Daily Fundraising appeal: "coastal elites and celebrity donors."

Daily Fundraising appeal: Corrupt Globalists and Fake News

Daily fundraising appeal:  "obstructionist liberals"

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