Trump has locked in the Republican nomination, Hilary Clinton campaign seems set to self-destruct. Only Bernie can save America now.
So Ted Cruz has pulled out of the Republican race, leaving no one but Trump. He’s got so much momentum on his side that the even the establishment’s dirtiest tricks won’t stop him now.
It is tempting for me to gloat. I called it early and people laughed at me. But I’m not here to do that. I’ll have my Sportsbet payout to comfort me through the night.
And I know Trump is a polarising figure. But I don’t want that to distract you from the real juice of what’s going on. So let’s agree that Trump is a manical blow-hard, who probably hates babies and kicks little dogs when nobody’s looking.
But can we at least agree that Trump has some real skills. The Bush dynasty – destroyed. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz – destroyed. The entire Republican establishment – destroyed.
If you can’t see that there’s some sort of skill set involved here, then you can probably stop reading now. I’ve got nothing for you today.
There is a powerful skill set involved here. As I’ve said, Trump is a master negotiator. He literally wrote the book on it. I’ve learned more than a trick or two from him myself.
Sometimes you’re negotiating with one person. Sometimes with a handful. But the techniques stay the same… even if you’re negotiating with an entire country.
And the key here is framing. People rarely use facts alone to make a decision (I’d actually say people rarely use facts).
So if you’re trying to convince someone of something, there’s no point trying to argue the facts, unless you’ve sold them on the frame.
And that’s true whether you’re asking your builder for a discount, trying to convince your partner to go on a cruise, or get elected for office.
So look at the Trump game through this lens. He doesn’t know who the President of Azerbaijan is. That’s a fact and facts don’t matter. Right now, the Trump campaign is all about frame.
We might complain about that. We might like to think politics should be a robust evidence-based discussion of the issues, but we all know it’s not.
It’s about a public with a 2-minute noodle attention span trying to get a ‘feel’ for who they like more, by looking at small snippets of politicians through a biased media.
And we get the outcomes we’d expect.
Trump sees the game for what it is, and he’s working it.
You know who’s not working it? Hilary Clinton.
I’m looking at Clinton’s campaign, and thinking, “is she actually trying to lose?”
Take her new campaign slogan.
“LOVE TRUMPS HATE”
It’s a little confusing, right? You kind of have to read it twice to figure out what she means. And then you go, oh, that’s kinda clever. Kinda.
But anyone in marketing would see this for the disaster it is. First up, it increases Trump’s exposure, and you’re paying for it. It’s also reminding people that the word trump actually means ‘win’.
And then people tend to emphasise the start of a sentence. Love, Trump, something something.
And then Clinton hardly embodies love. If you’re encouraging people to vote purely on their hearts, then they’ll vote for Bernie Sanders. He’s so darn cute.
So it’s a fail all round there.
And then there’s the “woman card” issue that blew up this week. Trump made the call that without the “woman card” Clinton would be polling 5%. He was saying that she was riding a public hunger for a woman president, but had little merit on her own.
It was a little risky, but perhaps he thought he’d have to deal with the gender issue (not his strongest area) at some point, so may as well get it out early.
In response, Clinton pulled a classic “double-down, reframe.”
She said that at if fighting to make the world better for women is playing the “woman card” then you can “Deal me in!”
The double-down reframe is usually a solid play if it’s open to you. A few months ago someone labelled Trump a “whiner”, and he said yes, he was the strongest voice for change.
Agree, magnify, frame it as a good thing.
So it seemed like a good idea. Trump is definitely weak on his perceived relationship to women.
But then things got a little weird. Clinton’s campaign actually came out an issued an actual gender card.
I think this was an incredibly dumb idea, but talk about a design disaster. First up they’ve taken the logo off a female toilet, so the first thing you think is that it is a passcard for a pay-per-use toilet.
Secondly, why is there a magnetic strip? What can you buy with a woman card? It’s like someone is trying to make a bad sexist joke about how women go crazy with credit cards.
They could have used playing cards, which is what I would have first thought of, but then Hilary would have been Queen, which means someone has to be King…
(Yes, it is a sexist world.)
Kings Trump Queens.
But it all just kind of agrees with what Trump is saying. There’s a hunger to right the wrongs of gender-inequality (fantastic time to be alive), and Clinton is using that as cover for her personal and political failings.
And so Clinton goes and gives that idea physical form… in an actual card.
I think what Clinton should have done is gone after Trump and said, this is typical Trump. He’s taken a problem with my strength and my courage, and made it about gender. He’s a douchebag.
I once new the head of a government department who would tear anyone to shreds if they suggested that she had got her job ‘because she was a woman’.
So perhaps the women can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this connects with anyone, and isolates a tonne of people.
So I’m writing Clinton off. If it’s Trump vs Clinton, it’s Trump in a landslide.
And so to me it looks like the only thing that can save us from a Trump future is Bernie Sanders. Bernie has real momentum, but it looks like the Democratic establishment is trying to lock him out too.
Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for a Trump vs Sanders match up. Two big hitters throwing punches from outside the system. We’re talking about the potential for real change then. Like “flower-power revolution” grade social change then.
It could be amazing.
And if American citizens wake-up and realise that their democracy has been sold out from under them, what’s to stop it happening here? How much love do Turnbull, Shorten and the major parties actually have?
I reckon most people would throw them under a bus if real change was an option.
A boy can dream.
Was Clinton’s move with the woman card a ‘fail’? Are we on the brink of revolution?