Why Trump’s Supporters Don’t Care What He Says Or Does & Why Clinton’s Negative Campaign Ads Will Mostly Fail
This is just my opinion. You’re perfectly free to think that I’m all wrong.
Clinton’s “Trump Is A Jerk” TV Ads Are Mostly Useless
Hillary’s spending a lot of money running negative ads about Trump’s qualifications, temperament and character with the idea that if the voters just understood what a terrible person The Donald is they wouldn’t vote for him.
Everybody who would have been convinced by the argument that The Donald is totally unqualified to be President turned away from him long ago. That ship has sailed.
DT’s Supporters Aren’t Actually Voting For Him
The majority of the people who are going to put their “X” next to DT’s name don’t care what kind of a person he is. They don’t really care about him as a person at all.
If, in a moment of drug-crazed madness, Donald Trump tweeted a video of himself, stark naked, snorting cocaine while a fifteen year-old, nude, drunk, girl reclined on the king-sized bed behind him they would still vote for him without a second thought.
If the serial killer Ted Bundy was the Republican nominee and he said and did everything Donald Trump has said and done, they would vote for him too.
The thing is, they aren’t voting for Donald Trump, the person They’re voting for the political ideals they hope and pray he will bring to Washington. What Donald Trump the man is, says, or does is irrelevant to them.
DT’s Supporters Are Voting For An Ideology They Think He Will Promote
DT is only a vessel that holds, they think/hope/pray, a political and social ideology that they fanatically believe is right and moral and true. If the vessel is flawed, what it contains, they believe, isn’t.
That means that Hillary’s just wasting her time and money trying to convince people what a horrible a person The Donald is. They already know that he’s terrible and they don’t care.
The Ideas That DT’s Supporters Do Care About
It’s A White Man’s World
One big segment of Trump’s supporters believe that this is a white person’s country. White people founded it. White people have always run it. White people make all the money. But now it looks like that’s being threatened.
All these black and brown people are showing up and voting and demanding all this stuff, free college, medical insurance, higher wages, food stamps, not to be randomly stopped, frisked and shot. How dare they?
In Trump’s supporters’ eyes all these second-class black and brown losers are threatening to take their white country away from them.
Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a major Ohio county recently said that there was no racism before Obama was elected. Meaning, of course, that prior to Obama’s election black people knew their place and didn’t cause any trouble, but then he got them all stirred up thinking they were just good as white people.
When Trump says “Make America Great Again” they know what The Donald’s really talking about.
When those words hit their ears their brain automatically translates them into:
“Make America White Again.”
They’re never, ever going to leave The Donald, leastwise vote for Hillary.
It’s A Rich Man’s World
In their eyes rich people make the world work. If you can’t find a job that means:
- You’re lazy and/or stupid, and
- rich people aren’t rich enough.
Their solution: make the rich, richer.
When rich people and big corporations get even more money, they’re convinced, then life will be great and all the unemployed people will be hired at a generous wage and all will be well. If corporations only made even more money the little people would have more money too. If corporations only paid lower taxes the little people would share in their prosperity.
In their minds it’s taxes, regulations and the government that have strangled good jobs for unskilled workers. Just turn the rich people and the big corporations loose and they will shower the little people with money and good jobs. They think.
Conversely, if the corporations are actually made to pay taxes and if rich people actually have to pay taxes then they will go on strike and stop working and all the little people will starve. Or so they believe.
Big Business Is The Problem AND Big Business Is The Solution
“Cognitive Dissonance” is the condition where one person holds two mutually exclusive ideas at the same time.
At the same time that Trump’s white, lower and middle class supporters believe that making corporations wealthier and rich people richer will make their lives better, they also believe that big corporations have screwed them by sending their jobs overseas and that DT will stand up to those corporations and make them stop shipping jobs to other countries.
Trump’s supporters should know that DT, the billionaire advocate for higher corporate profits, isn’t really going to do anything like that. But they live in hope.
There a terrific line from the movie, A Lovely Way To Die:
“Living on hope is like living on the wind. It’s a great way to get full but a terrible way to get fat.”
Unlike the “Make America White Again” supporters, some of these populist voters could be stripped away from DT if Clinton made the right moves. She’s had plenty of chances to do so, but she hasn’t made them yet.
Hillary Has Plans And Programs But No Message
A plan is tactics. A Message is strategy. A plan is: “We’re going to move the troops here and the tanks there.” A strategy is: “We’re going to kick the Nazis out of Italy.”
A plan is: “I will change the income tax rates according to the schedule I’ve published on my website.”
A Message is: “Corporations and the top one-percenters are using tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. I’m going to change that.”
A plan is: “I will use these taxes and this budget to pay these kinds of job training costs for unemployed workers.”
A Message is: “Corporations shouldn’t have been allowed to ship American jobs overseas. I’m going to stop that.”
This difference between a plan and a Message applies to issues like prosecuting executives in corporations that break the law; stopping drug companies from making exorbitant profits on generic drugs; forcing corporations to bring home and pay taxes on the money they’ve squirreled away in foreign banks. Etc, etc. etc.
All of these are populist Messages and are ideas Clinton has or easily could embrace. They are also policies that are near and dear to the hearts of a large segment of Trump’s supporters. If there’s any place where Clinton could take away some of DT’s voters it’s right there.
But she hasn’t done it. She’s constantly talking about “HOW” instead of talking about “WHAT.” She’s mired herself in plans, policies and proposals instead of sending simple aspirational Messages with a capital “M.”
If Clinton has any hope of breaking away any of DT’s working-class supporters she needs to fix the following three failures right now:
She’s Failed To Articulate A Clear Message On Populist Economic Issues
Tell the DT voters who feel that they’ve been economically screwed that the Republican party’s in the pocket of Big Money; that the Republicans are the people who screwed them in the first place; that Trump’s lying to them when he says he’ll fight for them; that DT claiming that he’ll fight the corporate Fat Cats is like Al Capone running for Mayor on the platform that he’ll rid Chicago of bootleggers.
She’s Failed To Allow People To See Her As A Human Being
All the slick ads in the world won’t accomplish this. In fact, they’ll make the problem worse.
She needs to stand up in front of a camera and personally deliver her Message and her Story to the voters.
She needs to make 15, 20, 40, different thirty-second and one-minute commercials where it’s just her, where she speaks one-on-one directly to the American people on many topics.
No Madison Avenue ads. No sound bites. Just her.
The Human Element
My guess is that at least part of the reason HC used a private email server is that she’s been under attack for decades. Everywhere she went, everything she did, people were watching her, looking for some opening that they could use to pounce on her. I can understand why she’s gun shy, why she would want to keep her emails away from prying eyes. A terrible mistake, of course, but understandable in a human sense.
If that’s actually part of the reason behind her use of a private email server, that’s what she should tell people, flat out. She should look directly into the camera and just tell people that she’d been under attack for so long by so many that she just wanted to keep some semblance of privacy in her life, but that it was a mistake to try to do it that way and she’s sorry.
Whatever her Message is, either about herself as a human being, who she is, how she thinks, her view of where the country has gone wrong and where it should go in the future, what the Big Picture that she’s going to work toward looks like (stopping: job flight; overpaid, misbehaving executives; price-gouging pharma companies, etc.) she needs to deliver that vision herself, directly, one-on-one to the voters.
I doubt that will happen.
But I live in hope.
Lastly, Show People What’s In Your Heart
In her song Beautiful, Carole King wrote:
You’ve got to get up every morning
with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart.
Then people gonna treat you better,
You’re gonna find, yes, you will,
That you’re as beautiful as you feel.
Strange as it may sound, I think that’s what HC needs to do in a very public way. But can she show them what’s in her heart? Is she too secretive? Is she too scarred?
We’ve all seen what’s in DT’s heart — greed, ego, arrogance, petty, grasping meanness.
What’s in hers?
The people who are close to her say that the Hillary they know is very different from the face she shows to the world.
The Avett’s Brothers’ song Will You Return contains these lines
I wish you’d see yourself as beautiful as I see you.
Why can’t you see yourself as beautiful as I see you?
For Hillary, that’s kind of the question, isn’t it?
–David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)