I’m going to ask anyone on the right or left to give this article a fair chance. This is not “ra-ra” politics. I am not trying to convince you of one platform or the other. Rather, I’d like to show you what is going on, which you might not have realized. I have felt from early on, he was playing high level chess, while others were playing checkers.
Recently, I read a blog post sent to me by a friend that has echoed what I’ve been telling people from the start.
Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Therefore, if you are on the right, maybe you should see what the Donald is doing. If you are on the left, you should also know what he’s doing so you can counter it. Therefore, this blog post is dedicated towards the mechanisms at play here…in a game that few understand, and less have mastered. The concept here is looking many moves ahead. Doing things, expecting a response, then hitting back with a pre-planned attack.
On a side note, my USCF rating is 1651 I believe. This is mostly from when I was in my early to mid teens. At one point a few years ago, I looked up my rating for my age (then) and put it in where it would have been today – and I believe I was like 37th in the country under the age of 15 or something like that. So, I have a pretty strong appreciation for strategy and a deep understanding of what’s going on from an aerial view at 50,ooo ft.
Those of you on the left, you wish to disparage him – your goal right now is to make him look foolish, incompetent. While that’s one way of attacking him, I want you to picture for a moment that I am right, and if so, you need to understand what he’s doing in order to actually defeat him. I would also posit that your current strategy is not effective and will be defeated. You are expounding a TON of energy on….doing nothing…and not really standing for anything in the process. I know congress came to a halt under Obama. The simple term was “racism”, but the real grind to a halt happened after Obama clowned the republican congress over a shut down. Obama was acting as a really strong Senator in that respect, and won the battle. But they didn’t forget. And he lost the war because he was focused on short term tactics to win a battle and not a long term strategy to win the war. I was a democrat. I know how I felt when he won that…it was “posterizing”, like the poster of a guy dunking over someone. I also remember feeling a sick feeling in my stomach…that these guys just got clowned, and they aren’t forgetting. Well…the left then called the obstructionism racism, but it wasn’t that..it was retribution in politics. Today, the left is trying to obstruct…but it’s kind of retribution…for retribution…for something they did. Meaning, this shit needs to end soon because it’s silly.
The blog written in the link above essentially states that a grandmaster’s coach taught him to play chess in an aggressive manner because he didn’t have time to teach him “correctly”. However, I learned the “right way” when very young and can add some color and depth to his writings.
First of all, chess has a rating system. I mentioned mine above. One of my arch rivals when I was younger continued on his path with chess where I had to stop when I was 16 and get a job, then went off to college. Between my keggers and skirt chasing, I had no time for chess. However, I defeated my roommate as a freshman in 14 moves without looking at the board – and to this day it freaks him out. My arch rival has gone on to have a rating somewhere around 2350 and get into the “chess master” types of levels….without going into mind-numbing details, had I kept up with chess perhaps I’d be over 2000-2200 these days. Grandmasters start usually around 2400 and the best world class players of all times are at the 2700-2800 level. Maybe I would have topped out at 1900.
My current rating might have me somewhere around 5,000th-10,000th in the country or so, out of 330 million people. Within the elite chess community, my rating is nothing. I can hold my own against some really good talent, but somewhere over a rating of 2000 or so I stand less of a chance. To the casual person on the street, none of them could take one out of 1,000 games from me. Within the chess community, when you have a rating of 400 points higher than someone, they can expect to get 1 out of 100 games from them. This then goes to show how strong grandmasters are with their play, and how the casual person literally cannot comprehend how some of these people think. Maybe if I’m drunk, being a cocky ass, etc, maybe someone could sneak my queen from me. Then you’d catch my attention and I’d spend the next twenty minutes humiliating you and getting 6 queens with my pawns and embarrass you in such a way you never want to play the game again.
I got to play my arch rival a few years ago. I played in a Friday night event, 20 years after my last tournament. I was nervous against some 10 years olds with 1100-1200 ratings. Why? I had been out of the game for so long. My strategy was almost exactly as the blog had put it – I had to be overly aggressive and allow my tactics to dictate my strategy. While the casual observer might have seen some of my positions as losing, I rolled 3 or 4 of these types of players before then sitting across from my 2350 arch rival. I had a 1650. I lasted 41 moves against him, and I had no right to last 15 given the rating differences. I did it by being asymmetrical and not using classic lines which he has been preparing for the last 20 years. I had to use tactics he would not expect, because he (and the 1100s) were far better prepared for me with traditional defenses. I had to blitzkrieg them. Shock and awe. Asymmetry.
Which leads me to Trump. Some of you see a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, womanizing, narcissistic asshole. Or, add whatever label you choose to make yourself minimize him. This label now explains every counter argument you could have to his positions. And, you might be right….but, you might be wrong – and if you are wrong, then 2020 is going to be a difficult year for you.
However, I would posit that he has beaten the left to core positions, made sense to some in the middle ground, and spiked the football – all while you were in the first quarter on your first sippy cup break on the sidelines looking for a safe space because someone in the crowd was a meanie to you. Let me review some core elements of the game of chess, and how this relates to The Donald. And how you need to seriously appreciate this if you want to win in 2020.
Concept one: Tempo
In the above blog link, he uses the word “Time”. I was at a chess camp at Bentley College when I was 15-16 and learned a bit from a GM (grandmaster) there. Tempo is a key element of tactics – you want to make a punch, if you will, and direct where the enemy has to defend. When you pause..or make a passive move, you then give up tempo to the enemy who can then strike back. Consider that white has the first move in chess – they dictate where the attack is. Pawn to King 4…or Pawn to E4 or rather “e4” as it is used in our system, is a standard opening move that puts pressure on the center of the board and attacks the d5 and f5 squares. e4 openings tend to be more open and dynamic with tactics and d4 openings are more closed and strategic. Black must then counter with a defense like the Sicilian or French again e4….
However, what Trump has done was listen to conservative radio for years and found positions that millions of people get behind, and many of these positions that have appeal to the center. So, his “opening move” was low hanging fruit in going after illegal immigrants.
The left has continuously tried to counter with him being “anti-immigrant”, racist, and xenophobic. Nevermind the GAO studies that we were then pointed to that showed 25,000 illegal immigrants (over a 7 year period) were arrested for MURDER…another 69,000 over that same period arrested for sexual assault.
When the left answered back with a label, Trump shoved information at them from the GAO. To this day, they have no real answer other than labels. And this was the hook to a lot of moderates…START with an opening, dynamic move that captures attention.
What you can take away from this? Trump is exposing weak arguments and being called a “racist” or “xenophobe” is actually bolstering his argument because this is not a counter point.
What should the left have done? Said, “yes, illegals that have committed crimes should have been deported. We have tried to pass immigration reform to deal with the millions of illegals here now, and the right has been blocking any meaningful legislation.
By calling Trump names and making him be a big meanie…you are not counter-attacking, you are having him gain space on the board…which leads me to my next point.
Concept two: Space
When you play e4, d4, and c4 in successive moves to open a game (perhaps against a King’s Indian Defense) you are seizing the center of the board. You can then perhaps expand your control of the board.
While the right and the left has been roughly 50/50 for many years (a draw), Trump has carved some of the middle out that has voted for him. He has mostly stayed away from ALL social politics while campaigning, and actually has had several conflicting statements. By staying away from any social right agenda, mostly, he has been able to appeal to fiscally conservative democrats and pull them across the isle (something like 70,000 in PA). When you start talking about all of the manufacturing jobs he wants to bring back, tax cuts for the middle class, coal, forcing auto manufacturers to build plants in the US….he has actually appealed to the rust belt of this country – which used to be called the Blue Wall – and adopted traditionally democratic positions. He flipped so many states that were a given for Blue. In fact, you can say he won the electoral college specifically because of his messaging to these folks. Therefore, he found a position that the left usually championed and somehow made it his own. He created space then to maneuver by not hard lining to the right. This is the mistake Romney did which cost him the election. Previous politicians had to go far to the right to win primaries. Trump stayed relatively moderate and increased his primary base by getting thousands of people that were democrats to register as republicans. This broadened his appeal. By securing Pence, he also appealed to the hard right. This also ensured that the democrats would not try to impeach/remove him, because they know Pence is far worse on social politics. Despite their dislike of the Donald, many have labeled him as a “populist pragmatist” – meaning he’s not a hard liner on pretty much anything with social politics, but can represent the vast majority of the peoples’ opinions.
What can you take away from this? In politics, you no longer have to play to the far poles for a republican or democratic primary. Instead, you can be more moderate, and attack minor character flaws of a candidate rather than talking about their record or going deep into marital issues. While I did not “approve” of where he went a lot in the primaries, calling Jeb Bush “low energy” was extremely effective, and ended his candidacy for president, despite having a $125 million war chest.
What else? If you have someone who is a rock star within your party and can effectively communicate, flaws can be overlooked. Donald cheated on wives, divorced, no one who voted for him cared. If someone on the right had doubts, they simply looked at his list of people to put on the supreme court.
What should the left have done? First, Biden should have run. Clinton suffered from what I consider bland chicken syndrome. While plain chicken you make in the oven is good for you and nutritious, it has no flavor and is boring – and does not have great mass appeal. When you’re running against a dynamic person, you need someone who is a little off the reservation who can match the dynamic persona. Biden could have matched the charm and counter punches effectively – and is quite respected on the right. Clinton would have been a steward for 4 more years of the same…as in I could never clearly understand her overall message. “Keep America the same again?” At this point, the next to lowest poor people and the middle class were getting killed with Obamacare premiums with no real rescue plan in sight from Clinton. With the right simply hammering the flaws of Obamacare, Clinton really could not defend it well. If Biden had run with a concrete plan to expand the pools out of the states to nationally and promised premium decreases, he would have won. He also had the confidence to take his own direction with certain things whilst not tarnishing his boss’s legacy.
Concept three: movement of pieces
If you can imagine a board where white has his first three pawns out, you are then looking to develop knights, bishops, then castle for safety. As of right now, he’s having a slow go of getting some people in place, but once his pieces are developed, he will be able to get things done at whiplash speeds. But, what’s interesting was he was kind of working behind the scenes prior to taking office getting business in place.
Love him or hate him, this dude is getting shit done….and he’s doing what he said he would do, which is hard for today’s politicians to do. Additionally, he has taken his messages to twitter and bypassed the filter of a mostly left-leaning media. It’s just amazing to actually see a politician do what he said he would do…just kind of fun to watch.
What can we take away from this? He has assembled what seems to be a billionaire class to put down their existing jobs and take to public service. While many of you on the left think this is crony capitalism (and the jury is still out, to be honest), many folks are seeing some of the most brilliant leaders in this country now being recruited to make government run leaner and more effectively (giving the benefit of the doubt). Government has grown out of control. Imagine you are a chairman of a board for a large non-profit company, and Exxon’s CEO who makes $35 million a year likes your company and volunteers do it for free. You run a non-profit and could only pay your last CEO $150,000 and his many years of experience can help you reduce excess staff, cut costs, and modernize your processes and culture to make you operate twice as efficiently for one fourth the cost. Many of you want to see the worst in this. It’s your right to – and you could absolutely be right. But you don’t get a position that pays $30 million a year without being quite an outstanding person in your field. I’m thinking some of these people are good leaders, smart people, and are going to try and reduce government costs while providing better services.
What should the left have done? Right now, they are trying to slow and block everything. It’s a wasteful move that has little chance of doing anything other than pissing off what moderates are still out there. The left is trying to demonize every single one of these picks. What they should have done was focus all of their energy on one or two of the picks…for instance, Devos might have stood the best chance of being defeated with a concerted effort. By crying foul at every pick, your message became diluted and you didn’t win a single one. Had all efforts gone into blocking one only, you might have been successful. On a side note, Devos is not qualified to run the existing department of education. She was brought in there, my guess, to dismantle it as you know it and add a section to it which deals with vouchers. Look, I don’t get vouchers. But I can tell you, there are lots of people in this country that send their kids to catholic school or the like, perhaps a country day school or private school – they pay for these schools….and in Pennsylvania, they are also taxed on top of that based on their home value for the public schools. For them, vouchers can be used for their (pick your religion here) schools. You could have charter schools in a city that are specialized schools, for example, a performing arts school or magnet school that kids could attend with vouchers as opposed to their existing school. Look…I don’t know how this shit works, but the concept is to add alternative schooling while driving down the costs of public schools.
Also, teachers that have been bitching about Devos from the start will pretty much worship her when common core is gotten rid of (and name your enemy federal program here). Additionally, my guess is Devos will shrink the size and mission of the Dept of Education and re-define its mission. She also is a billionaire, and while she doesn’t have experience with public education, she has long been a proponent of mechanisms that can improve the quality of education whilst driving down the cost of education. While her success may yet to be seen, she stands for reducing federalism in education and allowing the states to control it. This is my wildcard of all of his picks, and the dems could have defeated here had they focused all of their energy on her.
Concept: Tactics and strategy
Tactics are movements in battle used to win. Whereas strategy may be an overarching thing across many battles using multiple tactics and be the macro,tactics are shorter on time and are the micro.
In chess, you might have a knight move to fork a king and a queen. This forces the opponent to choose one over the other. Perhaps a bishop is placed to check a king and if you move the king, the queen is revealed vulnerable 3 spots away (pin). Trump has taken many positions that have forced the democrats into uneasy positions.
I can tell you this, from what I’ve seen with his tactics/strategy:
- If someone hits him, he hits harder. This painted him has a counter-puncher and not as someone who was out to get people. He started out with being nice to others, until they hit him. Then he knocked them the fuck out. This sort of gave him a badass persona. Like, “if you mess with the Donald, you will be dealt with”.
- Talk like you’re at the water cooler. “A friend of mine told me” during an informal speech is more inviting and credible than “Gallup polls said x”. He is sitting at a virtual bar with you and bullshitting – and it feels like he’s charming you. I know he’s doing it, yet I’m powerless to resist. While the left calls foul on him, and in proper times they would be right to do so, this method of engaging people is more effective…but obviously not as accurate and loose with the facts. This allowed him to “play with the truth” and maybe walk things back a little when a guy at the end of the bar called bullshit and asked for a picture of the 26″ inch catfish. This strategy of communication was more effective than Clinton’s robot talk with teleprompters and appealed more to people.
- Place a label on someone that sticks, so anything they say, forever, is undermined by the label placed on them. “Low energy” and “little marco” were crude, but effective. This proactively killed off any possible attacks anyone would have on him cheating on his wives or the like. This was an asymmetric attack, and once a label got on someone, that was it.
- Boast about wealth as credibility. Look, it mostly works. You have the left asking about tax returns, and no one on the right cares. You want to know if he’s worth $2 billion or $10 billion. You want to see what banks his company has loans with. He is simply pointing towards giant buildings with his name on it, telling you he started this dynasty with $1 million, and used his growth of wealth show smarts. It’s effective, whether or not he is a conman, no one gives a shit. We want someone who can take $1 million and turn it into several billion working for us. He knows that. If you looked at other candidates, you saw a lot of their apparent wealth was….from politics.
- Boast about being a cheat. Rather than someone trying to point out where he ducked this or that, he simply owned it upfront. This might have been one of his most brilliant moves…own that shit, then spin it like I’m going to fight for YOU. Whether or not you believe him, it was effective tactics. This disarmed his opponents, who probably had 85 different attacks he would have simply shrugged off and said, “yeah, but I know the rules and I’m fighting for you”.
- Self-funding. While you do have matching funds with the RNC, he collected more small donation from this country by NOT ASKING for it. It was brilliant. Yes, there was a place on his page to donate. But the “self funding” thing was a stroke of genius. It showed people he couldn’t be bought by PACs. Clintons had about $150 million or so in the bank. By doing this himself at a cost just over $100 million, he then painted Clinton as in the pockets of the big banks. How the F did he out-maneuver her on this? This had appeal to SO MANY people who dislike politics and think everyone is a cheat anyway. This FORCED Clinton into a position of being in the pockets of PACs.
- Boogeyman. Like Bush and Obama had Osama Bin Laden, Trump was able to point to radical Islamic terrorism and the effect in Europe with refugees and immigration as an effective boogeyman. Clinton’s only effective position then was to defend 100,000 Syrian refugees coming into this country. She had no real Boogeyman except Putin. And here’s the problem with that – she was in charge of the “reset”. It almost came across like she failed to win over Russia, so because she failed, now the American people must trust her that he’s evil. Forget for one second that it’s possible the Russian people do not respond to her tactics, and did not respect her. Other country’s cultures are not like our own, and it’s possible the reset failed because of her inability to learn how to play in the global sandbox. We did the cold war with Russia once before, and Trump was able to take her boogeyman away by simply stating he wanted to work with Russia and trying another reset. Because Clinton failed, her only response is – “because I tried it and failed, you will too”. Part of me was like, Trump has made billions by schmoozing people and making shrewd deals. Let the grown ups sit at the table now. Perhaps it is jaded to think like that, but it was in the back of my head that she failed with the reset and her boogeyman was in her head.
- Exploit jobs going overseas and taking a hard line to reduce foreign powers to take our jobs. Clinton had an ad promising to “fine companies” who leave. Right. Her big idea is to somehow tax companies after they left. Trump promised the lunch pail crowd that they could put down their Walmart badges and put a hard had back on. She had no real effective way to address this.
- Flurry of punches…duck and weave. Trump has dominated the news, every day for almost two years. Every day he is doing something newsworthy, and on slow days maybe he said something outrageous about Ted Cruz to own another news cycle. He was a master manipulator of the media, and showed how you can use the news for free rather than paying for ads. He constantly punched his way around, and occasionally, he’d slightly back off of something then punch again so people forgot about the last issue. At one point, there were so many problems he had, but each day he’d come out swinging again. Here’s the deal. Because he was self funding, he could literally do anything because he was not in the pockets of PACs. This led to the branding of “not being politically correct” as a catch all for his fuck up. This then exposed the left for being overly politically correct, a complaint of the right for years. He would expend a little political capital by being outrageous, the left bit on it, would then come out firing on all cylinders with political correctness…which would enrage the right. They did not agree with his statements, but the army of PC came out and the right banded together against them. It’s weird, because the right became the party for fighting for “free speech”, in essence, flipping the script on liberals who have been a champion of free speech for over 100 years. Donald being Donald somehow banded together the right against the left.
- Take the Blue Wall. Trump from the start was planning to get 270 electoral votes. He found exactly where he needed to campaign, picked people like Pence to bolster his credibility in the rust belt and hard right conservatives, and formed a campaign strategy that was furiously intense and focused heavily on bringing manufacturing to Blue Wall states. Clinton went with….Tim Kaine…which might have been the death knell for her. He was not a strong pick, and showed that she might not have the best judgment for who to put in senior positions. Additionally, while she won by 3 million popular votes, our electoral system never has cared about this, ever, in the history of this country. If you took away California and New York, Trump won by 3 million votes. Meaning, extremely heavy concentrations in highly liberal states with high populations of illegal immigrants produced a swing of 6 million votes. This essentially mean Clinton had her ass kicked in the other 48 states.
- Kelly Anne Conway as campaign manager. While she is now known for “alternative facts”, Trump adjusted his campaign along the way to put in the right person, at the right time. His first pick of Corey Lewandowski was there to help him get noticed and win a lot of primaries. He then brought in Paul Manafort to help him navigate through the end of the primaries and to get the Republican nomination. Lastly, he needed a softer touch to also reach out to women and brought in Kelly Anne Conway – who then happens to be the first woman campaign manager to win an election. Clinton calls Trump sexist, and she has a male campaign manager. Who got spearphished and his password was “password”. Trump showed he can hire/fire the right people, for the right job, at the right time.
- Multiple stances on abortion. At this moment, many of you recall the “jailing women” for an abortion comment, but it was one of many different conflicting comments, walk backs, clarifications, and changes in positions over a 20 year period. From this, if you were a Republican, you heard what you wanted to hear…whether you were a social or a conservative liberal. By design, he talked out of many faces here, then changed the topic when reporters would press him for a hard line. From this, he has been labeled a pragmatist and not an ideologue.
- Self fund, but spend the least amount. Dude was on the news every day for 18 months. He used the media like a puppet master. The media loved it because of ratings, since Trump knows how TV works these days. He spent $625 million to win the presidency. Because of matching funds with the RNC and the like, it probably cost him a little over $100 million to win the presidency. This is when the last presidency cost over $1 billion to win. So, he won the presidency by spending 1/10th the last person.
What can we take away from this? Look, one of these things he can get by luck. When you start to look at the entire picture, it is pretty clear that in totality, this guy had a strategy comprised of a lot of different tactics from the start. He had to have identified a lot of problems up front and walked through a deliberate strategy to do this, there’s no other way to describe what you see above…..when taken as a whole. The left just shrugged and said the racists in this country voted him in. No. No. No. You haven’t been paying attention. We just had a black president for 8 years. And many of the people who voted for Obama (twice) went in support of Trump (myself being one of them). When you just call racism…or sexism…or any -ism, it is an attempt by you to rationalize it rather than accepting a position may have been more effective. The point here is that if you look at the items above…give me a list of Clinton’s tactics and strategies?
What should the left have done differently?
- Clinton needed to be out there hustling more, and speaking more freely. Her most endearing moments were her concession speech…at THIS MOMENT was the first time I saw real emotion and passion from her. It’s sad, because she had all of the talents and skills to be something great, but she didn’t execute effectively.
- Clinton’s health was a real issue. I’m sorry if this offends people, but “no she’s not sick” wasn’t really an effective defense. Like, I was really concerned for her. You don’t disappear for 2 weeks in the middle of a presidential race. You don’t skip news conferences for nearly 2 years. My guess is Biden should have been out there with her and the DNC found a way to get Biden to run with the Baton. Biden could have crushed Trump. Trump knows it.
- Play to win the game. The electoral college is how you win elections. I cannot believe for the weeks/months afterwards the election is up to debate because she won the popular vote. “It’s just like Gore all over again!” No…my friend. Gore lost Florida by 800 votes and because of this, lost the electoral college. The debate with Gore was the dimpled chads and improper voting. Never was the popular vote a strong argument for Gore at the time. The main focus was on Katherine Harris (appointed by Jeb Bush) certifying votes for her boss’s brother. That was a big fucking deal. I’m 41. I was old enough to remember this just fine.
- Stop pandering to all snow flakes. “When you try to make everyone happy, you make no one happy”. The left sunk under their own umbrella of trying to pander to every single race, religion, credo, hair color, eye color, and thought…while trying to protect all of their feelings at the same time. The world is a tough, cruel place. We have it easy in this country. And we are a land of ideas, thoughts, and debate. And what happened was instead of intellectual debate on real issues, the left started shouting down people who questioned their positions and started labeling everyone as racist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, etc. Instead of respecting a differing position, they tried to paint people with differing views as “evil” in some way, shape, or form. This was a huge tactical mistake, and seemed to pander towards more metropolitan democrats and lost much of the rural blue collar democrats.
- Messaging. Your messaging was not effective, and seemed to be “we’ll keep the lights on for you”…meaning, their strategy was a Tom Bodette commercial for Motel 6. It seemed to be centered around making 11 million illegal immigrants citizens so they can vote, letting people out of jail, raising taxes, ignoring issues in Obamacare premiums, raising minimum wage to $15 per hour, fining corporations as they left, and giving “free” everything out while paying for everything with “loopholes” from rich people. The messaging was horrible, clunky, and not effective. “I’m with her”…was used by Trump later as “I’m with YOU”. Essentially, her central message was taken down by a parody of it which made her look selfish. Later, Tim Kaine came out and got spanked by about the most socially conservative person in the entire country.
- Center on what to do for America. With all of the TPP talk, and how she labeled it as “the gold standard” on top of her husband passing the terrible NAFTA, Clinton was positioned from the start as someone who wished to send all of our jobs elsewhere to make her rich friends more money. I doubt this is true, but this was the optics of everything she could not overcome. She could have completely stayed on a “New Deal” of infrastructure, education, and healthcare and she would have crushed Trump. She was so diluted in so many directions.
Concept: end game (main strategy)
In chess, you have an opening, middle game, and end game. His opening was more or less attacking with illegal immigrants, his middle game was winning the electoral college, and his end game was painting a picture of America to you, that YOU embrace, whatever it is. He is a master salesman, and he sold you on a vision of America….that you interpreted yourself.
“Make America Great Again” was a slogan that was interpreted by people differently. Some people like myself pictured factories coming back to town….cities being cleaned up and people walking the streets…wages going up….taxes going lower….no common core….
But that was my interpretation. And I can bet you this was the interpretation for a lot of Americans. Maybe some thought that meant to have the best and lowest cost healthcare. Maybe others thought it was the best education system. Maybe others thought of it as everyone living the American dream with the white picket fences, 2.5 kids, and a dog.
The left came out and started talking about America in 1950s in the south, where racism was prevalent and women stayed home and cooked and cleaned and even prior to 1920 when they couldn’t vote. Perhaps roll back Roe v Wade and gay rights. They somehow tried to take that phrase and make my interpretation of what a great America is, and make me sound racist for embracing it. It was trickery the left was trying to do to paint anyone who agreed with the positions of the right as racists, xenophobes, etc.
The misstep was this….”Make America Great again” was not articulately defined. And, the left attacked YOUR vision of what America is, to YOU. This highly offended me, and probably 60 other million people who voted and were not racist.
What can we take away from this? Messaging is extremely important, and creating a vision of an ambiguous future that is better than the one we have now was extremely effective. Clinton seemed to fail with messaging, to the point where there were hilarious videos showing that Clinton supporters had no idea what she stood for.
What should the left have done? I would have hammered Trump relentlessly to define exactly what the message was….”tell me, Mr. Trump, exactly what does a Great America look like”? In some interviews, he said a little…but you were never able to hammer it down with him. The ambiguity was ingenious. The left should have also crafted a message that was focused on the country, and not “Her”. They played gender/race politics with this as well, and essentially said that if you were black, Hispanic, or a woman, you should not vote for Trump. It painted people in divided classes and urged them to vote for a particular person because of their genitalia….because your outside was a different color than white. I find this pretty offensive because Mr. Trump’s messaging does resonate with people of all ages, races, and sexes. They even tried to get Trump on the bathroom thing, and jaws across America were left hanging when he said, “I don’t care, I let them use whatever bathroom they are comfortable with.