Posted by: George | August 15, 2016

Trump’s Nose

This is about Trump’s nose.

But before I make a point about Trump’s nose, I need to set some groundwork.

In August 1976, early in his presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter told a crowd of American Legion members, that he would, as president, pardon drafts dodgers. Feelings about the Vietnam War were still raw. Not surprisingly, the crowd of veterans booed Carter. He knew they would boo him. I am sure that he did not convince one person in that crowd of a few hundred veterans to vote for him, but millions of Americans watched coverage of the speech on the nightly news. Many of them thought, that was gutsy. That was honest. He won the election.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was delivering his acceptance speech before the Republican National Convention, he said, “And, the time is now to redeem promises once made to the American people by another candidate, in another time and another place.” He then read a long quote about reducing the size of the Federal government and ended by saying, “So said Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention in July 1932.” The hall was silent. I am sure all of the Republicans in the hall were thinking, “Did he just quote FDR?” He did, and he created an entirely new wing of the Republican party called Reagan Democrats. He won the election.

FDR understood the power of national newspapers, which began to emerge in the late nineteenth-century. Kennedy understood the power of television, which began to emerge in the 1950s. Obama understood the power of the Internet and social media, which began to emerge in the late 1990s.

Both Carter and Reagan understood that, in the era of television, you are never speaking only to the people in the hall. Now, we are in the area of the Internet. Everything is recorded. Every word, every gesture, every grunt is replayed over and over again, each time in a different context to a different audience. Politicians should realize that they are always speaking to a complex audience, a broad audience, an audience of “another time and another place.” When you think about it, what Reagan was doing in 1980 was basically retweeting FDR, and then this portion of his speech was retweeted on national news shows. The audience in the hall is never the entire audience. Well, at least, not since the early nineteenth-century or so.

Now, in August 2016, Donald Trump is tanking in the polls, and he is saying that the polls are wrong. He is saying that, if he loses, the election will have been rigged. Why? Because is speaking to large crowds of 10,000 to 20,000, and they love him. How could the polls be right? How could he possibly lose this election, if the election is fair?

So what does all this have to do with Trump’s nose?

Simply this, he doesn’t understand anything that is not right under it.

He thinks that the crowd in the hall is his entire audience.

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