I’m tired of Donald Trump.
I was tired a year ago when I decided following his every narcissist tendency, clueless bloviating, and Nazi sympathizing was unhealthy. But you can’t really get away, can you? It’s like some horrible reality show that you can’t turn off. As soon as the 24-hour news channels saw the potential in riffing off of what ESPN started doing with their sports shows (1 host, four talking heads with various POV all talking) it was all over.
Trump is extremely good at two things and two things only: the ability to feel zero shame and the ability to command attention.
No one can make him feel empathy. He does not have any. None. With him, you are either a con man or being conned. The hustler or the sucker. His followers are the same. They take their cues from him and you can see them congregate into a bubble of willful ignorance and justification. He tells them what they want to hear. Nothing will change their minds. They are sheep being led to a slaughter.
However, for many of them, they just want to root for a winning team. They go to his rallies because it’s like watching professional wrestling. They need a “heel” to boo and a “face” to cheer. They don’t care about policy or taxes or international trade law. Healthcare is probably important to them, but they don’t understand it and will never take the time to learn. If it isn’t spoon-fed to them in easy to digest soundbites, it is irrelevant.
They are scared of brown and black people because their world is tiny. Many have never ventured past a 100-mile radius of their hometown. They have likely never been surrounded by diversity. If they are college-educated, then they kept to their tiny little world hissing at the very idea of learning about different cultures or exploring different beliefs.
When there’s an honest-to-goodness Democrat candidate running for President, the first thing he or she will have to do is try extremely hard not to bait Trump with talk of shame. It is fuel to someone who feels none of it. Shame to Donald Trump is weakness and he can’t feel any weakness.
You cannot shame his followers either. Trying to shame them into realizing they voted against their own interests is impossible. They have already dismissed your argument. You can’t change their minds because making that kind of change completely warps their worldview and so it can’t be done by external forces. In their view, changing your mind is a sign of weakness. His followers do not want to feel weakness so they justify their racism, their indifference, their smallness by calling people animals, rapists, and invaders.
Trying to impart shame is a losing strategy.
Trump is not to be underestimated. That’s what defeated the Clinton campaign, among other things. He is relentless, cruel and petty. He is morally bankrupt. He will mock his opponents. In no uncertain terms, he is a bully.
Consequently, it is imperative to remember the only way to beat a bully is to punch him in the goddamn nose. Every. Single. Day.
Unfortunately, I can think of no Democrat willing to go out and do this.
I’m also tired of Trump maximizing The Kardashian Rule. If you are unfamiliar with this rule it goes like this: he/she who commands the most attention will be the most rewarded.
The only way to win against him is to command more attention by punching him in the nose. Repeatedly.
How do you do this?
You have to be smart and you have to be entertaining. You have to earn votes by earning attention.
I have no idea who will be the Democrat’s nominee for president, but if they are not more entertaining and smart on television and social media than Trump they are going to lose.
Policies and programs are important, but if they are not more entertaining and smart on television and social media than Trump they are going to lose.
Having money to spend is important, but if they are not more entertaining and smart on television and social media than Trump, they are going to lose.
Having backing by the party is important, but if they are not more entertaining and smart on television and social media than Trump they are going to lose.
Someone will be the breakout star in the presidential primaries. I have no idea who it will be, but once the nominee is set and the convention is over. Something fundamentally new has to happen to keep punching Trump in the nose. Once the candidate becomes the nominee, everything should be about punching Trump in the nose. Repeatedly.
The only way to do that is by being more entertaining and smart on television and social media than Trump.
Are you sensing a theme?
The nominee has to attack Trump every damn day. Why? Because Fox News will attack the nominee every day. You can’t rely on the media to care about anything substantial other than the “horse race” aspects of a presidential race. The Democrat nominee for president has to become the media. The only way to do that is through a video show played every day for the next 110 days starting on July 17, 2020, and ending on Election Day November 2, 2020. Not once a week. Not Monday through Friday. Every damn day.
It doesn’t need to be longer than twenty minutes, but it has to be a completely entertaining twenty minutes. Imagine the nominee attacking Trump and Republicans for a 10-minute segment with a 10-minute segment outlining policies, programs, and other information. And ending every show by asking for their vote. Every damn day.
People would watch because it was new and different, but they’d stay tuned if it was more entertaining and smarter than Trump.
This nominee would maximize television and social media. You don’t need to be a guest on talk shows or variety shows when they will talk about your videos and play your videos every day or week anyway. They’d be the first real 21st-century politician.
Maximizing video is relatively easy. You hire the top writers and producers from the top late night talk shows and talking head shows, big-time Hollywood effect houses, and big-time Hollywood production and direction. That means poaching the best from Colbert, Maddow, Meyers, employing a full production crew for five months, and set up a mobile studio so the nominee can do it every night wherever they may be. It has to be the same production value as, say, A Closer Look on Seth Meyers’ show or a longer segment on Rachel Maddow. You need to tell not only the nominee’s story, but the story of what the nominee can and will do. Craft the right narratives. Inspire voters. And punch Trump in the nose. Turn each show into a podcast, so listeners can subscribe and listen. Do live audience shows, but never emphasize anyone other than the nominee.
Maximizing social media is even easier. You simply hire the kids from Stoneman Douglas. You create weekly hashtags and talk about them on the show and on Twitter. You cross promote the video with social media. Turn segments of the video into Instagram stories or film new ones. Post everything to Facebook, Snapchat, and more.
And always, always, always punch Trump in the nose. Because he’s a bully and the only way to stop a bully is by punching him in the nose.