Following President Trump’s State of the Union speech last week, “Elaine” (@elbh) wrote a series of tweets that include some extremely valuable messaging lessons every candidate can learn from…
“(Y)ou don’t have to like the President’s crassness and tone to understand why Nancy (Pelosi)’s speech-ripping is perceived as different than his twitter baiting. It’s also an absolute pillar of communication. Let me explain.
“President Trump, like it or not, has communicated one thing clearly and unequivocally. It started in the last election. Hillary was going around asking people to use the slogan ‘I’m with her.’ Candidate Trump saw that, instinctively knew it was against the American grain and took the opposite position.
“His message was ‘I’m with YOU!’ He will attack other politicians, the press, entertainers. Bureaucrats. But he seems to be careful to never attack Americans themselves. Voters of any stripe are not called dumb or deplorable. Or racist or sexist.
“He does call out bad behavior like he did regarding gangs. If you go back and actually listen to his words in most cases IN CONTEXT you will see it’s very careful to not to insult average PEOPLE, although in most situations he will call out bad behavior.
“What he’s done is be inclusive, just as Van Jones alluded to last night. His basic premise is this: ‘You want me to stand up for you against the machine? OK, I’ll do that to. I’ll take the pain. Don’t care who you are. Come on.’ This positions him as the stand in for CITIZENS.
“Because of this, when Nancy rips up a speech & says there is no truth in it; or AOC doesn’t attend or listen; or the Democrats sit on their hands and don’t applaud good things…they don’t realize how many more Americans are starting to see that as an attack on them.
“The Democrats see it as an attack on the President. They are ‘resisting.’ But the frame of reference for that resistance is not the man, but those he had agreed to stand up for. The regular folks. Any color, any sexuality, any religion, urban or rural. Trump doesn’t care.
“Because it’s not about Him. It’s about those he represents. He knows how to bring people into the tent, not push them out. You may not be a fan of his style, but he’s incredibly effective. And it’s possible that this style is the only grenade that could have made it happen.
“He’s not afraid to take on his own party when they want to be in control just like the left. Trump also knows you can be the greatest peace-maker in the world but if you don’t get attention, it won’t matter.
“Now. His policy effectiveness is, like ALL politicians a mixed bag. But if you can’t admit that things are going very well for many, and many who have been forgotten, you are blind.
“Can Trump lose? Yes. An election can never be taken for granted. But from where I sit right now, this bullying people into being able to control them isn’t working well for the Democrats. And they continue to double down.
“Trump is a trash-talking, crass, character-challenged man. But he does one thing extremely well and that is to communicate directly to the truly disenfranchised in our country. We’d be well served to appreciate him for that.”
It’s the message, not necessarily the messenger.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*