July 24, 2015 by Liberty
Donald Trump is not a traditional politician. He speaks in ways that politicians are trained not to speak. He certainly isn’t miserable at talking but his own ignorance of political rightness and wrongness could just as easily be attracting the vast majority of the population that’s sick of traditional politicians.
Politics is an unbelievably difficult competition that will likely lead to Trump’s campaign falling out but in the short term, no one should be surprised by the power of good marketing. He has a brand that should be capable of doing big things politically. He has attacked the same enemies of his potential supporters. He is an entertainment goldmine. He is the kind of man that can win elections.Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign has been enveloped in so much controversy that it can be difficult to believe that he’s still there and polling ahead of virtually every other Republican candidate (as of the time of writing this. This is after the media has painted him as a racist military hater.) This is in the same country that had a candidate ridiculed out of a presidential race for making an amusing squeal during a campaign speech (Howard Dean.)
Trump has gotten away from constant political “missteps” (depending on who you’re asking) unscathed by the media’s insane attacks. If anything, each time the media has attacked him, he ended up a little better off for it. This is a situation that doesn’t show up very often for the traditional politician but Trump has certainly found a way to exploit his negative publicity affirming the old line, “No publicity is bad publicity.”
I don’t particularly like Trump beyond a solely entertainment level. I certainly don’t lend my support to his campaign. (I prefer to stay as apolitical as possible.) That being said, I find the Trump campaign to be a fascinating illustration of the point in history that America has reached.
The Trump brand is impressive. Sure, most people understand how silly someone turning their name into a brand is but it’s hard not to be a little impressed when you see Trump’s name on a tower or similar structure. Trump is more of a brand name than a political candidate.The brand name has wines, buildings, and television shows. Trump may be the leader of that brand (to some extent) but no matter how hard logic tries to separate Donald Trump from the Trump brand, it will never work. People hear Trump and think big things.
This is similar to having a name like “Kennedy” in politics. The family name alone will give you a significant amount of support. Kennedy is a name that is instantly respected by a good percentage of the population. This name has been branded over decades in politics. Trump branded his name (and invested in his campaign) for most of his business career.
Trump has a brand that will be very difficult to dismantle from a few political missteps of its founder. Even if people think that Donald Trump is a bit of a joke, he still has the buildings saying otherwise. Unconsciously, this branding give him an instant safety net.
The Right Enemies
Most of Trump’s controversies were painted to be huge political missteps. Trump insults Romney and the media paints that as a negative thing for his campaign. The media tries to make it sound like some kind of a mistake but if you look closely at the campaign, it’s highly doubtful that it wasn’t planned.
Trump has been making enemies but he’s been making very specific enemies. His enemies aren’t random potential supporters of his campaign. His enemies are the same enemies of his potential supporters.
To start, he has repeatedly attacked the Republican establishment (Romney, McCain, etc.) This is the same Republican establishment that received a kick in the ass from the Tea Party only a few years ago. Not even Republicans like the Republican establishment these days. Trump is making himself out to be the alternative to the Republican establishment. The Republican establishment not liking him will just help his campaign (and likely increase his media coverage.)
Next he’s attacked the media. Again, a huge percentage of the population already hates the mainstream media. People trust the media only little more than they trust the average politician. Trump has attacked NBC, The Huffington Post, and more. Keep in mind, these are all news organizations that Republicans paint as biased against Republicans. Republicans already do not like them. While many Republican politicians tend to keep their media attacks soft, Trump is outright attacking them (and, again, likely increasing his media coverage.)
Of course, he also “attacks on racial lines.” I don’t believe it’s as simple as the quoted lines but even assuming it is true. Certain minorities vote democrat disproportionately. Insulting illegal immigrants and Al Sharpton will make hardly any difference until the actual election. Those minorities don’t have a fraction as much representation in the Republican party. So, in the short term, of course he’d be polling fine. Assuming some people have the good sense to see through the out of context statements and bs accusations, it will likely just help Trump gain more supporters.
Donald Trump is an entertainer. Sure, he is a businessperson but in recent years his focus has been on entertaining people. He’s been the star of his own reality show for years. He’s worked in Casino entertainment for years. He’s even had a brand of comedy with his silly haircut for decades. He knows how to keep people entertained. That is a skill he’s using well in his campaign.
He is the most interesting candidate in the campaign to the average voter. He says things that would get most politicians killed but his brand protects him from the backlash. That means the media’s hatred of him doesn’t deal quite as much damage as they’d like. In fact, many of their attacks just help build his brand as the anti-establishment candidate.
(If I were more conspiratorial I might think he’s just there to make Rand Paul look uninteresting to Republicans. Trump is a great distraction for people disillusioned with politics. That distraction ensures they never learn about Rand Paul.)
No… no one thinks he’s the smartest guy. No… no one thinks he’s particularly empathetic. No… no one thinks he’s the best leader. People do, on the other hand, know that he is big, he is powerful, and he gathers attention. Like I said, he is the kind of man that can win elections. Winning elections is only sometimes about not offending people. Other times, it’s much more important to offend people, increase divisiveness, and encourage your own supporters neuroses.
No… This isn’t an attack on Republicans or Democrats. All political parties are guilty of it. It’s an attack on politics.
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