Monday, May 16, 2016


Trump’s Asymmetric Warfare
Charles M. Blow MAY 16, 2016 NYT
"How do we “beat a bully?” There is no way to sufficiently sully a pig or mock a clown. There is no way to shame a man who lacks conscience or to embarrass an embarrassment.

"He has waffled or equivocated or backtracked on tax plans, releasing his tax returns, his proposed Muslim ban, and any number of issues," such as taxing or not taxing the middle class, the national debt, criminalizing women who have abortions, minimum wage, self-funding his campaign, sending troops in to defeat Isis, etc. .etc.

According to Politifact, Trump “makes things up” and lies most of the time. But Blow doesn’t really offer a solution to the problem. I’ll try.

Social Scientists point out that facts don’t matter as much as emotions. Unfortunately, leaders like Hitler and Trump have high emotional intelligence. University of Cambridge professor, Jochen Menges, identified the “awestruck effect,” in which he describes that Hitler was able to persuade German’s due to “his ability to strategically express emotions, and these emotions affected his followers to the point that they would stop thinking critically and just emote. Sound familiar?

Perhaps the best way Hillary can triumph over Trump is to appeal to emotions and forget statistics and facts. One of the techniques is “storytelling;" it isn’t a waste of time, it’s the way that people connect with their audiences, going back thousands of years. People react not to data, but how you make them feel. The use of anecdotal evidence to draw a conclusion is like using the NBA all-star teams to estimate the average height of Americans. But in the battle between emotion and reason, reason hasn’t a chance.

A classic instance was Ronald Reagan's story of a "welfare queen" who was abusing the system, who Reagan attempted to portray as indicative of the average welfare recipient. It turned out she didn't even exist when some reporters finally decided to look for her. It didn’t matter, it was a story told by a man trusted by millions just as Trump is. Hillary’s trust factor is very low. She has much to overcome. She and her advisors should read Hitler's Mein Kamph and carefully study TV advertising techniques.

Sure these comments are very cynical but Hillary's got to beat this most dangerous, deceptive man, Donald Trump, by hoisting him up on his own petard.