President Trump may be facing one of the most unusual re-election campaigns in the history of the country. Unlike most incumbents, his own party will be working hard to elect his opponent. The fact is, America is a one-party country. The two parties are just the two faces of the same crowd. Both faces hate Trump. The voters for his party, on the other hand, largely get this. Despite their best efforts, the Republican party is the home of populist white people.
The other problem for Trump is he can’t actually campaign. Both parties have conspired to lock most of the country down to the point where it is impossible to hold rallies, meet and greet voters and whip up support in person. The uniparty candidate is a drooling vegetable locked in his basement, so the uniparty is fine with it. The less people see of Dementia Joe the better. Trump on the other hand really needs the social proof that comes from holding rallies and campaign events.
Political campaigns are like a sales campaign, in that the goal is to both gain attention from the target audience and win over those willing to listen. Instead of selling a product or service, you’re selling a person. All the civic nationalist blather about the issues or the candidate’s positions is self-serving nonsense. The real goal of a every campaign is to sell the person to the majority. Men follow men and voters pick the person they like the best on a personal level, outside of partisan considerations.
In the case of an incumbent, the challenge for the people running the campaign is their guy is a known quantity. He has been in office and almost all of the people who voted for him the last time will be voting again. Maybe some of the opposing votes can be brought around, but the pool of potential voters is largely fixed. In most cases, re-election campaigns are run as base elections. The idea is to remind the supporters to get out there and support their guy on election day.
For President Trump, one possible way around this is to do what he did the last time and operate outside the normal confines. In 2016, he used his own plane to fly around to rallies staged at airports. This both prevented the uniparty rent-a-mobs from attacking his voters and made it easier for him to fly in, do his thing, and then head to the next stop. They also made great television. People were fascinated by what he was doing, so he got attention even from the people who are paid to hate him.
This time he can’t do that, but he still needs to find a way to offer that social proof those rallies provided people. One way to do that would be video chats. In the depression, FDR used fire side chats, broadcast over radio, to build support for his program. People listened and then talked about it the next day. This built support because people saw that their friends and neighbors were also tuning into these shows. Trump could do the same thing on-line with weekly videos.
The thing is, a crisis is good for the incumbent if he can be seen as the source of stability and safety. If from now until election day Trump is doing weekly half hour updates on the Covid issues, the economy and other issues that turn up, he can establish himself as the rock of stability. It would also force the media and Dementia Joe to respond to what Trump is saying and doing. It would both reassure his supporters and potential supporters, plus drive his opponents insane.
The other thing Trump will need to do is re-establish himself as both the tribune of the people and the hero taking on the dragon known as Washington. For his first term he has tried to cajole and convince the dragon to play nice. All he has got for his trouble is lawsuits, impeachment and a special counsel investigation. That has put off a lot of his supporters, who correctly wonder if all the tough talk was just that. Trump needs to pick some fights with the uniparty, especially the GOP side.
Trump has plenty of opportunities in this regard. The executive orders continuing unemployment insurance and small business aid was a master stroke, as it puts Trump on the side of the people, versus the petty ruling class. Trump needs to run against Washington in the same way Truman did in 1948. He has nothing to lose by irritating the Republicans. They already hate him. Even if the GOP loses the Senate, nothing would change all that much for Trump.
The other aspect of this, however, is Trump needs to be more than just a chaos agent, throwing sand in the gears of the establishment. Trump has been handed a unique opportunity in having an opponent who is clinically dead. Now one really knows what would happen if Biden wins. He will probably die in office. He has said as much during his campaign and made it a feature of his VP choice. Trump needs to exploit this and make himself the predictable outcome of the election.
There’s also the FBI matter that may be coming to a head. The temptation for Trump will be to personalize it, make it about these people hating him. Instead, he needs to use this in the larger narrative of Trump the tribune of the people fighting the corrupt dragon that is the ruling class. People like this plot, which is why so many movies are based on it. That and making Biden defend this corruption as the man of the establishment would be comedy gold.
Another thing Trump needs to do in this election is own his failures. Incumbents have a record and they need to own them, warts and all. In the case of Trump, he has the opportunity to turn many of his failures into positive qualities. He can talk about his naivete about the corruption in Washington. He can talk about how he was not prepared for his own party to undermine his efforts. He can talk about his trouble staffing his administration and having to rely on finks.
Another avenue unique to Trump is that his opponents are making it easy to turn their weapons against them. For example, what many of the local tyrants are doing in response to the virus could easily be compared to Nazi Germany. That would make his opponents insane with rage. He can also call them science deniers. Imagine a flippant comment about how people who cannot tell the difference between boys and girls want us to trust them on the complex science of a pandemic.
This is also a chance to force them to defend their pogroms against people excising their right to speak freely. Trump should do something bold like move to Gab or hire guys like Darren Beatty and Blake Neff as speech writers. The Left will squeal about hanging out with Nazis, but he can respond with how he is taking a stand in defence of our rights as Americans. In other words, it is about making a point and striking a blow against the scolds of cancel culture.
The thing with the Left is they always tell you where the holes in their lines are, by screaming bloody murder about them. They are not demanding everyone be banned from the internet because they feel this is their strength. The theatrics are a bluff, because they know as soon as someone with real power pushes back, the game is over and this stuff comes to a halt. Trump has real power. He can punch these cry-bullies in the nose and make them pay for their antics.
Finally, people vote for something, not against something. Trump needs to offer a positive agenda for his second term. Nationalist trade policies, responsible immigration policies, pro-American foreign policy. With Trump you get peace, stability and the opportunity to make a better life for your children and grandchildren. Contrasted to the vision of unrestrained hatred and anger on offer by the Left, a vote for Trump is a vote for tomorrow, while a vote for Biden is a vote for yesterday.
Note: The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is like a tea, but it has a milder flavor. It’s hot here in Lagos, so I’ve been drinking it cold. It is a great summer beverage.
For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!