Why Trump’s Message Works, And What We Learn From It.
Trump has won in South Carolina, too; and he has won big. So big, in fact, that he has swept the entirety of the northern counties voting for Huckabee in 2008, and which I for once would have considered legitimate Cruz-land in 2016.
Trump is now more than a media phenomenon: it is, as he says, a true revolution. If you ask me, this revolution is working because of the following ingredients.
- Great political incorrectness. Refusal to play the game of apologies and assorted niceties. Where others think a floret works, Trump uses the Gatling gun. Turns out the Gatling gun works better than the floret.
- Refusal to think in term of Washington politicking. Say: it is possible to build a wall. The Romans did it. The Chinese did it. The Israelis did it in a matter of few weeks. It is most certainly feasible, and feasible at a reasonable cost. But what is reasonable and sensible isn’t contemplated anymore among mainstream politicians, if it sounds unkind. Trump is done with the fear of being unkind. Hats off.
- Concern for the fears of those without a college degree; those who lose their jobs because of Mexican or Chinese competition; those most professional politicians in Washington would be afraid of even mentioning among their voters; those most professional politicians consider so much below their intellectual level, as they see their very concrete fears as irrelevant.
- Ability to throw back all the balls thrown at him, and with interests. Completely unknown behaviour in the last 30 years.
- Ability to be a cunning bastard, hit below the belt line, and get away with it with sheer chuzpa. Not saying that I approve. Just saying that I am seeing it work.
- Manliness. The man is manly. How refreshing. You look at Jeb Bush and think he has just come out of a finishing school for girls (when he doesn’t call Trump a “jerk”, of course; but then he sounds whiny, not manly). You see Trump, you wonder if in the morning he eats bread and spreadable testosterone.
Last night I stayed up following the SC results. Jeb Bush announces his withdrawal (and good riddance) and does not congratulate the big winner of the evening, Trump. Everyone says how noble he is. Trump goes on the podium for his own speech and does not mention Jeb Bush. Everyone says what a boor Trump is. Jeb Bush goes on TV saying “Trump is a jerk”, and this is very fine. Unless Trump uses the same (or such like) expressions, then the world is about to end. Methinks, someone must readjust his perception of reality. The fact is, Jeb was a failure even at being a Trump.
Why do I tell you this? To make one point: mass brutal communication works very well, and in order to work very well mass communication must be brutal.
Look at how competently Trump raises an issue to national attention. He does not say that he will “dedicate himself with great energy to the tackling of the grave phenomenon of illegal immigration”. No. He gives you a physical thing, a fact to which anyone can relate, and at the same time a political bomb: a huge wall. Shocking. Solid. True. This, my friends, is how you do it.
In the art of communication, Ted Cruz (in my eyes head and shoulder superior to any other candidate as far as the content is concerned) could learn a lot from Trump. We Catholic bloggers (and readers) should learn a lot from Trump, too. Most blogs I read are of the Jeb Bush sort: polite disagreement with Francis, veiled disapprobation, at the most you find light sarcasm. To use a now famous expression: “low energy” defence of Truth. It is just a handful of blogs and Catholic sites who shoot with the Gatling gun, either using strong verbal expressions or even calling for the Pope’s resignation openly and publicly.
The Gatling gun works. Jeb Bush doesn’t.
When you are confronted with a serious issue like, say, immigration, the strong imagery and even stronger defence of that strong imagery used by Trump will always work better than the subtles distinguos of the people who are afraid others might see them as not sufficiently polite, or not sufficiently educated.
When you are confronted with the infinitely more important issue of a wayward Pope making the work of the devil every day, the use of the Gatling gun is one thousand times more justified, and one thousand times more imperative.
You know it works. You know Francis deserves it. It’s just that you don’t want to be seen as the one who uses it.
I invite everyone of you who cares for Truth more than politeness to embrace the Gatling gun, and to make good use of it in his own private life. “What do you think of Pope Francis?” must be answered in the proper, truthful way: “he’s an idiot; he’s an heretic; he is a clown; he makes the work of the devil; he is an unspeakable ass”, and the like. Everyone who knows you as sincere Catholic will immediately stop and register this; and if you double down, “Trump style”, when he perhaps tries to counter that you are being unkind to a Pope, your decided, renewed, doubly as determined defence of Truth will be immediately, and forever, etched in his consciousness. Never again will the man hear of Francis without thinking of you. The aura is gone. Francis’ ability to influence him will be greatly reduced. “This” – will the chap think – “is the man deeply despised by his own devout Catholics”.
I dare to think this is the impression this little effort makes on many readers. If not, it’s not for want of trying. If Francis confuses you and you visit this blog, you will be cured very fast, and there will be no apologies for strong words that have to be said.
This, I think, is the way. Brutal truth, brutally told. Nothing less will cause the scale to fall from the eyes of too many people, and a polite message will not impress itself in the reader’s consciousness nearly as efficiently as the strong one.
Learn from Trump.
Say hello to the Gatling gun.