If the message is simple, easily digested and speaks to the heart, the most unlikely of candidates can assume power in the most unlikely places.
There is much speculation about the appeal of Donald Trump south of the 49th parallel. He shoots from the lip, apparently filter-less, much to the chagrin of political pundits but much to the delight of supporters.
And to those who think the concept of a Trump Presidency preposterous, cast a historical eye north of the border to the largest city in Canada.
Back in 2010, Rob Ford was running for Mayor. Yes, that Rob Ford, before the well covered addiction and personal issues came to the fore.
Just before Election Day, The Toronto Star, the largest daily newspaper in the metropolitan area called him “a one trick pony with a line he repeats at every opportunity: “It’s time to stop the gravy train.” That may sound good but Ford is consumed with the picayune, not the big picture.”
“Not the big picture.” Sound familiar? How many media reports on Trump speeches make reference to the fact that he is light on specifics?
The Toronto Sun is the city’s equivalent to the New York tabloids featuring photos of scantily clad females and its readership fills the “everyman” demographic. Needless to say they endorsed the outsider for Mayor.
“The current political regime in charge of City Hall needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into a new era where taxpayers come first……Property taxpayers are fed up with a council that serves Toronto's elites and fawns over special interest groups, while putting their concerns last.”
Substitute Washington for City Hall and Council, and you get a sense of the familiarity of Trump’s message.
Although Ford was not a political neophyte, he was viewed as the outsider since his two main opponents were a 30 year council veteran who had served as a Deputy Mayor and a former Provincial Cabinet Minister with a government that was not overly popular at the time.
His two opponents reflected everything that was wrong with politics in the eyes of the beholder. The council had been controlled by the city’s left wing, and some of their spending habits were met with more than derision, in most cases with downright anger and hostility.
Ford could be a buffoon, speaking off the cuff not caring a whit about people’s feelings and political correctness. The lack of regard for the latter resonated with the electorate.
He could say all sorts of offensive things, but one of those offensive things would strike a chord with a voter. Nothing else was of any importance because this elector and Rob Ford agreed on something which made Ford the voter’s guy.
The same seems to be holding true with Trump supporters. When someone firmly and resolutely believes in something with all their heart, logic and fact will not sway them. In fact it has been said that you can prove absolutely a person’s position is wrong and all it will do is further entrench their belief. It can take on an ideological zeal of epic proportions.
Hillary Clinton is viewed by many as the ultimate Washington insider. The whole email server thing will not have political legs because it is beyond the comprehension of much of the electorate. She in the minds of many voters is part of the group of “special interests and elites.” She is the government in the eyes of many. Got a rough reception from someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles….bad government…Hillary’s fault. Federal, state or municipal, bad government is rampant and it is Hillary’s fault because she is one of the connected. People do not understand the minutiae of Clinton’s charity, but for many it is distilled as a way for someone who “has” to get even more.
The other group that, behind closed doors, is probably concerned about a Trump presidency is the Republican Party. Could the specter of the Donald at the top adversely affect congressional and senatorial elections this time out. Or could it have a larger impact on mid-term elections that could cause the Republicans to lose both houses. It is an unspoken public concern.
The framework of having corporate media organizations and billionaires mounting an offensive attack on Trump may not work. The reason why is because the political marketplace has changed. When Trump orchestrates rallies, they do not view the voters as a product or service. Using social media, they are repositioning their ideas and constantly changing their market conditions, especially Trump.
For Trump, social media reigns supreme over the televised marketing tool. The critical success of his campaign is based on him standing on the podium like a bull and telling voters that mass amounts of money is flowing to attack him, yet not even a dollar has reached the hands of veterans and families that need the money. He berates the media as power brokers because of the fact that the power-structure no longer represents the voters. The media executives are shifting their strategic framework from the voters who have education to the ones that are less-educated; talk about segregation as the new strategy for media development.
Harry Reid, a Democrat and United States Senator, stated, “Why are they waiting to withdraw their support, what more do they need to see?” Again he is wrong because he can not see the convictions, whether wrong or right, the American people have to prove it. In geopolitics there’s a tendency to see things differently than the conventional political scientist. Even though Donald Trump boasts about his business successes, it really means nothing to this wasteland.
What America sees is a common man that chooses to put his trust on common sense. If a President takes the oath to defend the Constitution of America, he is undertaking the supreme law of the land. Again, Reid does not provide a thesis of why the Republican Party will implode. Perhaps the real trend in what middle-America wants is based on common thinking rather than superficial thought.
If the common man believes that it’s acceptable to bail out the banks, then it is acceptable to bail out the families from losing their homes. If it’s acceptable for other countries to take away American jobs, then it is acceptable to get those jobs back to America.
The common theme works and works well. Have a simple message, easily repeated, easily remembered. As far as the outrageous goes, that is the new normal in this political value. To retreat from the outrageous would give rise to the fear the rebel candidate had been co-opted and was actually selling out. Before he became unable to continue the race, the silent support for Rob Ford had grown, thanks to attacks in the media. He was now being picked on by the elites, the media barons and the voting public was being given an opportunity to raise the single finger salute, not only in the direction of the establishment but in the direction of a media that seemed to be on a witch hunt.
The words that should cause the most concern to the Democrats come from noted political commentator, or as I would reverently put it political ideology vivisectionist, James Carville Jr.. He once noted that the head had never beat the heart in a political discussion and it never will. Trump and Clinton are in a war for the nation’s hearts. Whoever touches it closest to Election Day will win. But touching it may not be enough. Touching the heart and getting it to the ballot box is.
With geopolitical intelligence, these punters decided to go for the long shot even with the deck heavily stacked against them. The problem with many economists is that they can’t put their theories into practice. Geopolitical thinkers are more in-tune with the sequences shaping our global world. One card left: we’re going after the ace.
And no matter how this most divisive campaign ends up. Look north my friends. WE are open for business.