Last week was generally a good one for Donald Trump, starting off particularly strong. There was a curveball at the end that he’ll have to deal with, however.
Firing Corey Lewandowski
Prior to the beginning of last week, I was, for the first time, having doubts about Donald Trump in the general election. I knew that his ability to influence people was far higher than Hillary Clinton’s, there was never any doubt about that. My doubts instead came from the fact that Donald Trump wasn’t pivoting to a general electorate quite as fully as I expected him to in Stumped, and that instead, the “niche brand scenario” was in danger of playing itself out:
There is also the danger of Trump being a niche brand that benefits from repetitive advertising amongst some, but not most of the market. In this scenario, Trump would be a popular commodity amongst a plurality of the GOP base and some working class independents that lean Republican anyway, but not with a broad enough swathe of the electorate to win the White House. Amongst the rest, his repetitive advertising won’t work, because other voters don’t and never will fall into Trump’s niche. This is not an insignificant danger, and if this turns out to be true, it will lead to his loss on Election Day. The niche brand scenario, along with the fear factor, are the biggest dangers to the Trump campaign, and worse, the niche brand will be very hard indeed, if not impossible, to overcome.
Donald Trump has gone on tangents in the past few weeks, failing to hone his general election message in a way as refined as it needed to be. He also didn’t have the organization he needed to be as fully competitive as possible. In short, he was still in the previous phase of the campaign, in what turned out to be defying my original posts in this series. His persuasion was at work, but not necessarily completely and fully in the way he needed it to be.
Though it flies in the face of everything we know about him, I was beginning to think, just for a moment, that Donald Trump didn’t really want to win.
He answered my doubts at the start of last week.
Corey Lewandowski’s management style was obviously ill-suited to winning a general election. Donald Trump’s propensity for improvisation and his offer to the market he needed to move worked well in the primary, but Trump’s own children believed that Lewandowski’s “let Trump be Trump” philosophy was also abetting their father’s worst instincts, which isn’t what you want for the general election, which presents a different market you need to move.
In response, Lewandowski was sacked at the start of last week, and the more calculated and organizationally astute Paul Manafort was given full powers over the campaign.
This was a positive sign and a much-needed change in direction. It was also a subtle persuasion cue, as it shows that Donald Trump can take the right advice and surrounds himself with astute, knowledgeable people, making him less scary. We’ve still yet to see how this plays out in the long term, but it can only be a net positive.
The Crooked Hillary Speech
After Lewandowski was sacked, Donald Trump delivered his planned speech on Hillary Clinton’s history and politics, and it was the best of the campaign so far. Scott Adams called it the best persuasion he’s ever seen and that Trump was now running unopposed. It hit all the right notes, didn’t digress into tangents or nonsense, and was filled with double-layered bombs against Hillary Clinton. I did a much-longer analysis of it elsewhere, so I’ll just let you look at it there.
If this is what we can expect from the new Manafort touch, Donald Trump should have a good time going forward.
The biggest news of the week by far was of course the stunning result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on its membership in the European Union. A narrow majority, 52 to 48%, voted to leave the EU.
Not one to miss out on the event or let anything upstage him, Donald Trump conveniently timed a trip to mark the completion of his new golf course at Turnberry, Scotland, to coincide with the vote. As a result, Donald Trump was part of the conversation and Hillary Clinton wasn’t. Who existed in relation to Brexit on the day it happened? Who didn’t exist?
Donald Trump also put in a jab when he pointed out that he predicted Brexit while Hillary Clinton didn’t.
Yet, Brexit was more important than these simple tactical exchanges. Though the results it will have on the election in November are still very much uncertain, a few things are worth some consideration.
Firstly, it was clear that globalism was on the decline. The pendulum is swinging back from globalism and political correctness to some level of nationalism. Overall, Brexit was more favorable to Donald Trump’s than Hillary Clinton’s narrative. He immediately capitalized on this as the British people “taking their country back,” which he was glad to see. Hillary was left in the lurch at first, but responded well with her reframe that with the uncertainty that Brexit brings, the country and world need a steady hand in the Oval Office.
Perhaps more importantly, the demographics of Brexit basically played out along the lines I wrote about this year in general – it was a popular revolt. In the vote, we saw elements of left and right join together to oust the establishment Optimate class and their favor for remaining in the European Union. It was an alliance of strange bedfellows – Old Labour types and nationalistic, socially conservative Tories versus the Blairites in Labour and neoliberal Tories. The Populares beat the Optimates, displaying something Mike Cernovich wrote – the globalists are outnumbered, even with their zombie class of SJW stormtroopers.
This could have potentially huge (YUGE?) implications for the general election in the United States if the same trends hold true. There have been multiple implications suggesting such a thing here. Last year, one poll by Mercury Analytics found that 20% of Democrats might join Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. In Ohio as well as Pennsylvania (a state which hasn’t voted Republican since 1988), Donald Trump is still tied with Hillary Clinton, despite the errors and the bad press over the past few weeks. Another poll shows him ahead by a comfortable margin in bellwether counties in critical states like Pennsylvania (though behind in Virginia, as I have expected for a long time – I predict Trump will lose Virginia in November). We also shouldn’t forget that tens of thousands of Democrats in Pennsylvania and even Massachusetts left their party last year so they could vote in this year’s Republican primary.
Then there was one other key factor this week that could well further evidence for the “popular revolt” scenario…
The Popular Revolt Brews?
Bloomberg came out with a poll mentioning that 40% of Bernie Sanders’ supporters won’t support Hillary Clinton. It probably won’t stay that high. It doesn’t need to. If anywhere even near half that number jumps ship to Trump or stays home, Hillary Clinton is in deep, deep trouble.
Result: Victory (potentially decisive)
The Trump Girls
At the end of the week, #TrumpGirlsBrokeTheInternet was a major trend. It was helped in large part by frothing social justice warriors, who once again couldn’t stop themselves from acting as cat’s-paws for their enemies, in this case the Trump camp.
I suppose there was a reason why Lenin popularized the term “useful idiots.”
#TrumpGirlsBrokeTheInternet also showed the rebellious side of Donald Trump’s female supporters (further enhancing his cool, “rebel” cred) and enhanced his image.
I haven’t seen SJW’s this upset on social media since GamerGate.
A few new polls were released last week. Although these were national polls and thus less important, they showed Trump sliding to Hillary Clinton. One poll showed him down by ten points, though it skewed toward Democrats. These were obviously unwelcome signs, especially since they were taken after the Orlando shooting. They could indicate that the media filtered out Trump’s message and/or that he mishandled it (especially by tweeting “appreciate the congrats”). We should know for sure by the conventions.
There was one final humorous moment from Donald Trump’s trip to Scotland in the wake of Brexit. He remarked, casually in an interview, “I’m not the president yet.”
Notice that key word. Read the sentence again.
Hilariously, Hillary Clinton said the same thing a couple of weeks ago about him. “He’s not even president yet.”
These statements take advantage of the power of presuppositions. They linguistically force the brain to assume that something is true. “I’m not the president yet” forces the mind to assume that Donald Trump will be president.
This was not an accident. It’s a relatively advanced sales tactic.
Stumped goes into detail about Donald Trump’s use of presuppositions and will show you how you can use them to influence people, too. How fast do you want to claim that power?