Saturday, November 26, 2016

How Not to Run a Political Campaign... and to Win

Last night Chris Matthews devoted his television show to one question: How did Donald Trump win the presidency while breaking all the rules of political campaigning?

Yes, I recognize that many of you would rather be waterboarded than to watch Chris Matthews. If that is your case, you can tell yourself that I watched it so that you don’t have to. Thank me.

Nevertheless, Matthews asked a legitimate question. He pointed out that Trump broke all of the rules of political decorum. He offended and insulted just about everyone he could offend and insult. He was boorish and obnoxious. When called out on his bad behavior he doubled down on it. He did not just get away with it. He won.

Matthews was intrigued, and so should we all be.

One panelist suggested that Trump (and Hillary) were so repugnant that they persuaded large numbers of people not to go to the polls. This increased the importance of Trump’s supporters, who turned out in droves. They had no problem with the bad behavior. They took sustenance from the locker room humor.

Had I been called on to offer an opinion on the subject, I would have said something like this. In a time of political correctness, in a time when the dogmas of multiculturalism are being proselytized and enforced throughout the academy and the media, anyone who continues to observe the rules of propriety looks like he has been cowed into submission.

Trump’s antics worked because we are being oppressed by a cultural tyranny. In such an atmosphere, where people are being lectured and hectored by the great minds of the media, where college students are forced to accept the dogmas of political correctness lest they fail their courses, courtesy and civility start looking like subservience.

Normally, you would want to combat the ambient tyranny by setting an example of good behavior. When good behavior looks like submission someone has to go on the attack. That someone must be immune to the contempt of the cognoscenti and illiterati. He must not show the least sign of remorse or shame.

In a time when people are being publicly humiliated for saying the wrong thing about any protected group (or is it, faction) so you have to show yourself as impervious to humiliation.

The Age of Obama has given us an unprecedented level of mind control. The idolaters who have invested in the president believe that they can make his presidency a rousing success by forcing everyone to say that it was a rousing success. If you do not say so, you are a bigot.

Moe and more, we are being told what to think and how to think it. Newspapers no longer report the news. They tell us what to think. Because there is only one correct way to think. If you think anything else you will never again be invited to a Manhattan dinner party. Sit-coms no longer present vaguely humorous dramas. They preach the gospel of diversity.

Many people have suffered for as much. If your child was not accepted into his preferred college because he was a white male, you might feel that you have been subjected to reverse discrimination. If you say so, you are a racist.

If you and a woman you met at a party are both so drunk that you do not know what you are doing, and have carnal relations, you are a rapist. Whatever she said or did not say; whatever she did or did not do. It doesn't matter. She did not know what she was doing, and so, you are a rapist.

Thanks to a bureaucratic edict from the Obama justice department, you have no right to due process in the administrative proceedings that might expel you from college and brand you a sexual predator.

If the woman wrote you a text the next day telling you that she had the time of her life, it does not count. She was hung over. You are a rapist.

If you look at a woman at work the wrong way or make a vulgar remark about her, you can get sued, get fired and see your life destroyed. Normally, you  would never do such a thing. You were brought up to be a gentleman and to respect women. You do so automatically. Unfortunately, the codes of courteous behavior have already been denounced as sexist oppression, so... what do you do?

You also know that you are risking your life and your livelihood if you step across a line that might only have appeared because something you said made someone feel bad. In the new world of political correctness we no longer have objective standards for behavior. We have a tyranny of hurt feelings.

But, if you behave with the utmost of decorum, but live in an environment where every man is a potential sexual harasser or rapist, your good behavior will be seen as submission to the matriarchy.

You might not say it out loud, but when Donald Trump goes beyond the pale with a vulgar remark, you think that it’s about time that someone stood up to the feminist matriarchy. It is not because you are especially vulgar, or because you think it acceptable to speak of anyone is such terms. You have effectively had it up to here by the thought police and are happy that someone is trashing them.

Obviously, it mattered that the vulgarian Trump was running against Hillary Clinton. Everyone knew that when Hillary’s husband was accused of sexual harassment and rape, she stood up for him. She defended him to the death. Everyone knew that feminist hypocrites had given Bill Clinton a pass.

This meant that Hillary and her feminist cohorts had no standing to attack Donald Trump for mistreating women. Yelling sexism seemed more like a way to manipulate the minds of female voters than a way to stand up for women’s dignity.

And let us not forget the obvious. Had they been given a choice most men would largely have preferred to be married to Melania Trump than to Hillary Clinton. The media will tell you that it is sexist abuse for a man to marry a woman many years his junior—even though the laws of human biology tell us otherwise. The same media will cheer on a woman who marries a man who is decades younger than she, biology be damned.

As I have mentioned, many women, more than expected, did not respect Hillary Clinton and would not have wanted her marriage. It may be sexist to want to have a wife or to want to be a wife. In truth, it is no longer permissible to say so in public.

In the Age of Obama the nation’s laws were violated with impunity by the administration. At that point, respect for the law begins to look like a sign of weakness.

If you, through your representatives, reject the idea of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and if the president decides that his own version of the constitution allows him, in the absence of congressional action, to grant them permission to stay in the country, you are not allowed to object, lest you be considered a bigot.

If you say that illegal immigrants are here illegally, you are a bigot. Because, they would all be legal if you, by executive fiat, said that they were legal. If you are in college and you call them illegal aliens you will flunk out.

Of course, you are no longer allowed to go on many college campuses to defend Israel. If you do, you will be shouted down and prevented from speaking. You will—if you are named Caroline Glick—have your invitation withdrawn. If you do not sign on to the Palestinian cause you are a bigot.

The tyranny of political correctness manifests itself in discussions about race. If blacks and other minorities commit a vastly disproportionate number of crimes you are not allowed to say so. You must say that the problem is white police officers.

If certain segments of the black community declare war on white policemen and if more and more of said policemen are gunned down by blacks, you are not allowed to say who committed the crimes.

And then there is sexism and misogyny. If you believe that men and women are different, that they have different capacities for doing different jobs, you are a bigot. If you suggest that gender has a biological basis and is not just a social construct, you are a bigot.

If you do not accept that the most important question for women’s health is how not to procreate you are a bigot. If you have noticed that more women are having more problems getting pregnant when they want to, you are also a bigot.

In a world ruled by ideology, biology, and its handmaiden, reality do not count. You might well believe that the meaning of marriage involves procreation and you might accept that until a dozen years ago all human marriages have been between a man and a woman. You might be open minded about the subject of same-sex marriage and accept that the nation is trying a social experiment, whereby people of the same gender be allowed to marry each other.

It’s not good enough. You are forced to believe that throughout the entirety of human history all human communities have defined marriage as existing between a man and a woman because of their homophobia. If you believe that a human institution is universal because it has something to do with the way babies are made you will be dismissed as a bigot. If you believe that one sexual act is granted greater value because the future of your genes, your family line and your community depends on it, you will be called a homophobic bigot.

And, of course, the final straw, for many citizens came with the issue of transgendered restrooms. The media elites and the great minds of our society declared that Bruce Jenner was no longer Bruce Jenner, that he had magically transformed himself into a 6 foot 2 inch Caitlyn Jenner—with a male anatomy.

If you don’t think that Caitlyn is a woman, you are a bigot. You need some thought reform. To facilitate the process every magazine cover has been throwing the image of Caitlyn in your face. Talking heads on television will declare in all seriousness that they are happy for Caitlyn because she can now be whoever she thinks she is. They will tell you to send her gift certificates for Victoria’s Secret.

Given this saturation coverage of transgenderism, more and more children are deciding that they were born into the wrong body. Did it ever cross your mind that they are suffering the influence of the ambient culture, and that the pervasive media affection for the transgendered is going to convince more children and even adults that they were born into the wrong body? Do you think this is a good thing?

Keep in mind transgenderism has no biological basis. It is merely a belief. And yet, in a cultural soup where people believe that gender is merely a social construct, why not think that you can change your gender by changing your mind?

Now that the media has set itself the task of manufacturing transgendered children, the legal system has in some cases decided that it is acceptable to give these children hormone injections that will stop the normal process of puberty. Anyone who fails to see this as child abuse is morally derelict.

Our enlightened guardians and philosopher kings believe so strongly in the powers of their mind that they find reality to be offensive.

American people are being forced to believe that their common sense, based on an observation of reality, is wrong. Dividing the society into males and females, and making this division depend on biology is bigotry against the four dozen different genders. Do you think that every one of these different genders deserves its own restroom?

Americans are now being told that their teenage daughters have to suffer the presence of biological males in their locker rooms because the great minds of our culture had decided that gender is a state of mind.

In the Age of Obama the hurt feelings of the aggrieved have become the ultimate standard of moral rectitude. The average person’s sense of reality has had to yield to the master minds of political correctness.

People understand that democratic deliberation only works if both participants are willing to accept the verdict of reality, the verdict of what works, the verdict of what the evidence shows. If you tell people that the subjective feelings of certain groups must be the deciding factor you are legislating mind control.

In such an age, being polite and courteous looks to most people like acquiescence. Under the circumstances doubling down on rudeness, giving the thought police your middle finger, seems to many people to be the only way to end the tyranny.

Ergo, behaviors and language that would have doomed any other political candidate worked for Donald Trump.


Sam L. said...

There were a lot of people who did not much like Mr. Trump, but admired what he was saying, and were sufficiently certain that Mrs. Clinton would take the US to a worse place than Obama had made for us than Trump could possibly take us.
I await Ares' disputation of your post.

Anonymous said...

Well, Schneiderman, all your points are valid as far as they go, and I do thank you for watching Tingles Mathews for me. I see he hasn't gained any IQ points.

As the campaigns unfolded, and all the experts on the networks were mocking Trump for failing to run an effective campaign - no "ground game", low spending, network ad buys, etc, etc - I was reminded of the mockery endured by Fred Smith and FedEx, online shopping startups in 1996, Wikipedia, digital photography, online news, etc. Never work. We know how to do this. Fool's errand. Mathews and ilk - including major figures on the right like Karl "Excreable" Rove and Charles Krauthammer - are buggy whip manufacturers. Donald's team transformed the campaign strategy with social media. In fact, the singular thing that shifted my vote from a schadenfreude Clinton vote to Trump was an 8 minute ad that could never have been distributed on network or cable TV.

And we should not forget the disruptive effects of email servers run by technologically feckless, 1992-era Clinton racketeers and the DNC. It was a joy to behold. What we saw was a woman who couldn't tell the difference between a classified email and wedding plans arguing that her experience and wisdom qualified her to be POTUS. I guess it takes a village to produce a village idiot. The Trump campaign played social media like a violin, while the Clinton campaign fought the last war with a Dresdenesque carpetbombing of money.

And then there's the supposed moral dimension... It's hard to argue that using the word "pussy" is unacceptable when one of your celebrity supporters call themselves Pussy Riot, one has a popular rap "song" titled "Pussy", and another writes of sexually abusing, - sorry "exploring" - her little sister by poking around in her pussy. Yes, it was Double Happy Extra-Spicy Noodles to watch the most vulgar celebrities in American media castigate Donald Trump for being a vulgar celebrity.


Trigger Warning said...

Sorry. Fat finger. Above comment is mine.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

He won.

Anonymous said...

The beat of a different drum.
Steve Bertoni's interview with Jared Kushner in Forbes:

Anonymous said...

Stuart -

These two observations were stand-outs,IMO:

" In a time of political correctness, in a time when the dogmas of multiculturalism are being proselytized and enforced throughout the academy and the media, anyone who continues to observe the rules of propriety looks like he has been cowed into submission."

"In such an atmosphere, where people are being lectured and hectored by the great minds of the media...courtesy and civility start looking like subservience."

Courtesy and civility arent really the goals, are they.

One gets the impression that to many people, "Justice" looks extraordinarily like "Revenge".

The blueprints for the attacks on US culture have their origins in the Frankfurt School, and Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"...corrupt, humiliate, demoralize...with the goal to de-civilize (and dominate).

To call the attacks 'projection'
strikes me as very weak sauce
when the hypocracy is concious, deliberate, and sustained over decades.

- shoe

AesopFan said...

Thank you.
Very much.

Fun with cartoons:

Hamilton cast says, "Not my audience."

AND my new favorite:

AesopFan said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The beat of a different drum.
Steve Bertoni's interview with Jared Kushner in Forbes:

November 26, 2016 at 12:45 PM
An excellent rebuttal to everyone who was complaining that Trump had no ground game / data bank / yada yada.
What they mean is "Trump wasn't paying me to run his ground game / data bank / yada yada."

Ares Olympus said...

I'm convinced there is a truth, that many people voted for Trump because he as vulgar and abusive. My current guess is that Trump benefited by new voters, people who don't vote regularly.

If you look at the total votes it (2008) 131.07M, (2012) 128.6M, and (2016) 134.7M, so there were 3.7 million more voters in 2016 as 2008. Also the number of people who didn't vote Republican or democrat were: (2008) 1.6M, (2012) 1.7M, (2016) 7.6M, so about 6 million people chose NEITHER Trump nor Clinton. I imagine most third party voters were regular voters who couldn't support either of the two.

And Donald Trump also got the most votes every for a Republican: (2004) Bush 62.0M, (2008) McCain 60.0M, (2012) Romney 60.9M, (2016) Trump 62.4M. So Bush's 2004 victory was 50.8% of the vote to Trump's 46.3%, but Trump's vote is all the more impressive for the number of voters who abandoned both major parties.

So for these reasons, I feel confident that the eventual analysis will show Trump's votes came from new voters, people who never saw the point of voting, until Trump came, and Trump proved he could stand up to anyone, and that's what they wanted.

And that's the pre-election position Michael Moore expressed in his movie TrumpLand. People have offered their big FU to the system, and how they get to see if such aggression can change anything. But since Trump is only one man, he has to hire some 4000 people who may be largely standard insiders who are not interested in draining thr swamp any more than than the people Clinton would have hired. We don't know.

And I don't know if the SJW bathroom wars influenced the disaffected voters directly, as I think 99% don't care, but that's part of the problem any way. If people want change, and they see stupid change, they are going to think the leaders are foolish people who are solving the wrong problems.

And maybe some people were voting that "Global warming is a conspiracy started by the Chinese", but imagine most people see that as Trump's "Truthful hyperbole", recognizing that it is national suicide to try to ween ourselves off from fossil fuels unless everyone else does. And so Obama's moving away from Coal, while the U.S. is still one of the biggest holders of coal around the world seems like a poor decision. And while China actually needs more clean air, we've done a lot to remove the visible pollution from coal burning - sulfur and soot particulates and all the nasty stuff that kills people, and its fair judgment that the remaining big two emission are H20 and CO2, water and carbon dioxide, the things that life needs to thrive.

But I can't tell if people really agree that we should tie blindfolds to ourselves, and cancel NASA's earth science departments that study the earth. Yet that's what they seem to have voted for in their big FU in favor for Trump.

Also we learned Presidential candidates shouldn't feel obligated to show their tax returns, and voters don't care if their candidate hasn't paid federal taxes for 20 years. But we're still learning if voters care about conflict of interest, if it is okay for the president to sell Trump Steaks while he decides other issues.

And WSJ Noonan is calling on Trump to go honest with his businesses, like every president before him, but surely Trump has no reason to do so, given he's made it this far by ignoring the rules. Clearly people are comfortable with a billionaire president who keeps his businesses at arm's length (in his family's hands) and nothing beyond that.

People who want change, want to make America Great, they are not interested in punishing billionaires, at least as long as the billionaire can identify proper scapegoats, like illegal immigrants or muslims who might become terrorists, and if he can keep the attention on these issues, no one will notice that America isn't getting any more great in the process.

Sam L. said...

Global warming was not started by the Chinese, unless they've financed Michael Mann and the University of East Anglia. Which, maybe, China could have, though I doubt it. At the rate they are building coal-fired power plants, it seems they don't think so. Of course, the winds blow the pollution our way, and our Greenies abhor the idea of selling cleaner-burning coal to "The Heathen Chinee".

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @November 27, 2016 at 7:03 AM:

"I'm convinced there is a truth, that many people voted for Trump because he as vulgar and abusive. My current guess is that Trump benefited by new voters, people who don't vote regularly."

Foolish analysis.

And guess what? He won the election. Your reasons and analysis have no bearing on the result. Which is why you are a...


Otherwise, your analysis is amateur, reflecting your own biases. As usual.

Fool. And you imagine yourself smart.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Sam L. @November 27, 2016 at 10:28 AM:

Yet "mindfulness" will save us all. Just ask (the other) Representative Ryan.