Soon the media will start to obsess with the Iowa caucuses. They will repeatedly tell us two things:
1. The Iowa Caucuses are a squirrelly little affair that predict nothing.
2. The Iowa Caucuses are important national news.
Iowa presents an interesting strategic decision for Trump. On one hand, he can let someone else win Iowa and it probably won’t have much impact on the final result. Trump could let Iowa go and concentrate on the primary states ahead.
But Trump is playing a different game. He is not addressing your sense of reason. He is talking to your energy, your emotions, and even your biases. By that filter (the Master Persuader filter), Iowa might be important as an energy booster for the campaign.
Trump likes energy. And as he has said, winning Iowa might set him up to run the table. So he probably wants to win Iowa, just to keep dominating headlines. Plus, it could be an early kill shot for the primary season if it causes Republican voters to capitulate – assuming many don’t know Iowa is electorally unimportant – and accept Trump as the eventual nominee.
My prediction under the Master Persuader filter is that Trump will try to win Iowa with a linguistic kill shot that is being engineered as I write this. But I won’t go so far as to predict he wins Iowa. I’d give that a 50% chance.
But I do predict Trump will A-B test a new line of attack on Clinton. If it works, he wins Iowa. If not, all he loses is Iowa. So this situation is when a person with a business background would test a new approach.
You’ll recognize Trump’s test balloon against Clinton when you see it. It will be the one that speaks to Iowa’s socially conservative base.
Bonus Thought 1: One of the skills a hypnotist has to master is reading people’s inner thoughts based on their body language. That’s a common skill for people in the business world too, but hypnotists go deeper than looking at crossed arms and furrowed brows. We learn to look for subtle changes in breathing patterns, tiny changes in muscle tone, variations in skin color (blushing or not), word choice, pupil dilation, and more. I assume law enforcement people look for similar tells when doing interrogations.
As regular readers know, I’m a trained hypnotist. And to me, Hillary Clinton looks as if she is hiding a major health issue. If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, you know that so-called “experts” can sometimes instantly make decisions before they know why. In my case, I am going to make an “expert” hypnotist prediction about Hillary Clinton without knowing exactly which clues I am picking up, or whether I am hallucinating them.
Prediction: I’ll put the odds at 75% that we learn of an important Clinton health issue before the general election. That estimate is based on my own track record of guessing things about people without the benefit of knowing why. I think Trump is picking up the same vibe. He has already questioned Clinton’s “stamina.”
Bonus Thought 2: The biggest criticism of Trump is that his immigration plans remind people of Hitler. But what happens when you think of Trump and Putin getting together to fight ISIS? The last time Russia and the U.S. teamed up for major military action they were trying to defeat Hitler. On the 2D level of analysis, Trump’s chummy comments about Putin are a red flag. But on the 3D playing field, where Trump does best, it flips the Hitler meme into something more like getting the band back together to fight Hitler. Your brain probably won’t let you imagine Trump as fighting Hitler (along with Russia) and yet being Hitler at the same time. So while no one was watching, Trump probably solved for the Hitler meme. Watch the Trump-Hitler theme on social media start to diminish.
The more general rule of persuasion here is that you can’t stop a Hitler accusation by arguing all the reasons you are NOT Hitler. No one cares about the details because we are dealing with emotion, not reason. But you can find a bigger Hitler, and that accomplishes the same thing because the brain doesn’t allow for two simultaneous Hitlers.
I pause to inform new readers – and remind the regulars – that I do not endorse Trump or anyone else for president. All of the candidates look qualified to me. I am interested in Trump’s persuasion methods. I have never seen better.