Understanding Trump: impulse buyers with short memories?

Selwyn Duke offers The Voters’ Trump Love Affair Explained in Terms Even Beltway Pundits Can Understand. It’s the kind of stuff you see over and over again in marketing courses and seminars but seldom see in actual practice (which is likely why the courses and seminars are so popular).

as Ben Franklin observed, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into.” Note that while this relates the futility of trying to shake a person from passionately embraced error, people can also have an emotional attachment to correct beliefs, for the right or wrong reasons and with or without an intellectual understanding (e.g., Plato spoke of inculcating children, who are too young to grasp abstract moral principles, with an “erotic [emotional] attachment” to virtue).

And this is what Trump does so masterfully. When he repeats his slogan “Make America Great Again,” says we’re going to “win” under his administration or speaks of building a border wall and getting “Mexico to pay for it,” it’s silly to wonder why it resonates despite the lack of detail. He’s marketing, not doing R&D; he’s not trying to appeal mainly to the intellect, but the emotions. And you do this with the slogan, not by reciting the list of ingredients. Again, this isn’t a commentary on the validity of his recipe, only on the principles of effective campaigning.

Of course, stating the obvious, to connect with people emotionally you must capitalize on something appealing to them emotionally. Trump’s bold nationalism does this. What do the others offer?

It’s as if Trump is courting Lady America with wine, roses and his alpha-male persona, while the Establishment candidates are lead-tongued nerds promising a tent with NSA surveillance, a bowl of soup and squatters on a burnt-out lawn.

These ideas show not only in the campaign but in other areas as well. Consider climate alarmism and its Malthusian roots. It isn’t reason that leads people to doom and gloom and, as Franklin observed, it isn’t going to be reason to lead them away from it. The tenacity by which people hold on to their fantasies is incredible. That is something to fear when those fantasies stray a bit too far from reality. For political candidates, there is good reason for concern and Trump is not the only, or even the primary example. Consider the Sanders add featuring 60’s folk music ….

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