When 1st term Senator Barack Obama took the lead in 2008 for the Democratic nomination for President, he did so through two intertwined strategies. First, he made campaign promises that were completely untenable but that appealed to the gullible low-information voters. Then, he got them fired up with powerful speeches at rallies while maintaining a strong hold on the attention of the media. They followed him lovingly through the nomination process and practically gushed about him during the general election.
Donald Trump is smart. He’s a problem solver. He figured out how the system worked after years of study and formulated a strategy that mirrors President Obama’s original campaign. The strategy: appeal to the weak-minded. It doesn’t matter if there’s no way to make Mexico build a wall when (a) they don’t want one, (b) they hold debt over us, (c) they couldn’t afford it. The facts aren’t part of Trump’s gameplan. He wants the passion. He wants the sound bites. He wants the retweets. He wants the attention.
In 2008, the impossibility that played well but that Obama knew he could never do was to cut a typical family’s health insurance premiums by up to $2,500.
“I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year,” then-Senator Obama said on the campaign trail.
People loved it but there was absolutely no chance that it could be done. That didn’t prevent him from echoing the sentiment over 50 times. It played. Now that Obamacare has failed to reduce premiums but has actually raised them, even those affected by it aren’t speaking out very much. The reason: they’re weak-minded. They are happy to have health care that they could have had before without the mandate and they don’t realize they’re paying more than they would have without Obamacare.
Every candidate makes unlikely promises. It’s unfortunate that this is how American politics works. If you don’t say something outrageous from time to time, the press won’t cover it. Unfortunately for the Republican party, we have a candidate that lives off of hyperbole. If he believes he can get a relatively secure wall built for less money than projected that wasn’t a total eyesore, he’ll say that he’s going to build a beautiful wall and Mexico is going to pay for it. If he thinks he can work out a peace treaty between Arab nations and Israel in two years, he’ll say that he can solve the problem in two weeks.
He’s a man of extremes because it’s what he knows will work on the weak-minded. Keep in mind that I’m not saying his supporters are stupid. Intelligent people can be weak-minded. However, the gullible types who admire Trump for his successes and flamboyance will believe anything he says regardless of how big or impossible his goals really are. The bigger and more impossible his claims, the more they clamor to support him.
Some might understand this and think that it bodes well for his general election outlook since it worked for Obama. The difference is that the liberal mainstream media fawned over Obama and echoed his hyperbole. With Trump, they will destroy every utterance. They will vet out his tiniest policy claims with more diligence than they vetted out Obamacare. That’s their nature. What worked so well for Obama will be the downfall of Trump if he’s nominated.
What’s worse is that it will snowball. If he can’t handle a very reasonable question by Megyn Kelly and is still whining about it months later, how bad will he look when the liberal mainstream media goes after him for outright lies and impossible policy recommendations? If he thinks Kelly’s one question was unfair, he needs to wear a helmet if he’s nominated because the media will launch missiles at him.
You can’t blame Trump for taking the path of least resistance. He never believed he could win votes from those who vet out his liberal policy proposals. He didn’t have to. He knew he could use hyperbole and salesmanship to make disciples out of the weak-minded.