A month ago the media was saying Trump was ahead in polls because he is an outsider. All the evidence pointed that way. For example, more than half of Republicans say they support an outsider in Trump, Carson, and Fiorina. And Bernie Sanders seems sort of outsiderish too.
The big problem with that analysis is that if we try to imagine no Donald Trump in the race, it is also hard to imagine that one of the other outsiders would have taken out Jeb Bush so easily. (Low-energy indeed.) So I see Carson and Fiorina as along for the ride, basking in Trump’s “outsider” halo because no one is quite sure what ELSE could be behind Trump’s success in the polls. The media is telling us that we must like outsiders this year, so we start using that explanation ourselves. It becomes self-fulfilling in surveys because no one really has a better explanation of why they want Trump as president.
But if we are being even a little bit aware of our own actions, no one hires the applicant with the least experience because of having less experience. That isn’t a thing. But the media tells us we are doing just that. As a member of the public, I acknowledge we are dumb sometimes. But we are not so dumb that we think hiring the inexperienced candidate sounds like a good idea unless there are extenuating circumstances. And those circumstances are Trump, specifically.
Or maybe the media is right and we like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina because they are the least experienced. Does that even sound right?
Ask yourself how that explanation will sound when historians write about it. That would look something like this: “In 2015 voters decided that they wanted to trust the most important job in the world to someone with no relevant experience in government.”
I don’t even know how to write that idea without making it look foolish.
As the “outsider” explanation fades under the weight of its own absurdity, I am starting to see the pundit explanations for Trump’s rise morph into some notion of “authenticity” as explained in this article.
Authenticity goes further than simple honesty. Honesty means saying what you think is true. But authenticity means saying what you think is true and STAYING IN CHARACTER. Trump certainly does that. He is always full-Trump, and never anything else.
So… is that why people want him to lead the country? Is it because he is so authentic?
No. Trump’s authenticity helps his likability, I assume. But going back to the job applicant analogy, no one ever hired an employee because he seemed so darned authentic. That’s not a thing. The media is telling you it is a thing. While it is true that people LIKE Trump’s authentic-looking style, no one trusts the nuclear launch code to the guy that has authenticity and not much else.
In August I predicted that Trump’s New York swagger would start to grow on people. Once you get past your first reaction (That arrogant braggart!) you settle in and enjoy the show. Trump is making the world get used to him, and it seems to be working. The stuff you hate about him is mostly a side show, and you come to realize it. The things you might like about Trump (business experience, negotiating skills) don’t change as time goes by. So according to the Master Wizard Hypothesis, simply hanging around should be good for Trump, as people get acclimated to his abrasive style, get past all the distraction, and remember he didn’t get where he is by luck (entirely), or by being an “outsider,” or by being authentic.
The Master Wizard Hypothesis I have been using to describe Trump says he is succeeding because his skills at persuasion are unmatched by anyone in the race. (He did write a best selling book on negotiating.) Under this hypothesis, his fourth-grade level of speaking is part of that persuasion. As a general rule, simpler speech is more persuasive. Trump stays simple. Intentionally.
My fiction book God’s Debris features a character who supposedly knows everything about reality and the universe. Since I do not know those things myself, and I had to write dialog for a character that does, I used a writer’s trick: I made the smart character use the simplest explanations because our brains imagine the simplest explanations to be the most credible. That is a standard method of persuasion.
That’s what Trump is doing. He uses simplicity as a tool of persuasion. The only other explanation is that he built a multi-billion-dollar diversified business empire while having the IQ of a ten-year old. Well, maybe.
The reason I am tracking the media’s evolution in how they explain Trump’s success is that this helps confirm the Master Wizard Hypothesis that Trump’s real secret is invisible from those who are not trained in the same style of persuasion as Trump. I remind you I am a trained hypnotist and a professional persuader of sorts. So to me, the hood is propped open and I see the engine running: Trump succeeds because he uses the most powerful tools of persuasion, intentionally.
I like to make predictions so you can hold me to them. I will double-down on my prediction that Trump will win it all (by a large margin in the general election) and that the media’s explanation for how it all happened will morph from one absurdity to another, because most writers and pundits are not trained to see under the hood.
The explanation for Trump’s success has semi-evolved from “outsider” to “authentic” already. More explanations will follow, assuming Trump continues to poll well. Watch for any new explanations of Trump’s success to be as ridiculous as the ones you have already heard. That’s your tell.