Don Trump the pussy grabber is President-Elect of the United States. How did this happen, and what do we do now?

My friend Charlie Quirk—an Aussie who works as a brand strategist in San Francisco—made a good post this morning dealing with the “How” question. Here’s an except:

Trump made concrete claims that are easy to understand. Politicians of both sides equivocate and use weasel words way too often. They obscure what needs to be clarified and confuse us needlessly. We can’t besmirch people who support Trump as knuckle draggers. He communicated clearly, dogmatically and very often untruthfully. But his clarity was the secret sauce here. Like Bill Clinton’s ‘it’s the economy stupid’ did so effectively in ’92. He used clarity to cut through and mobilize. He did it in an offensive, appalling, misogynistic way, but he did it. And that’s scary stuff.

Can we admit that Don had a better strategy to win? It was based on utter filth and lies, but he knew that truth didn’t matter to American voters. Being a TV star matters, and to be the star, you play your part. Don played it, and us, perfectly.

On the other side, Hillary’s people were out-of-touch and overconfident. They figured they could “go high when Don went low.” But that only works for the magical Obamas. This election was a knife fight. Sadly, the politically correct, hapless Dems decided to fold their weapons and rise above, instead of cutting him and the GOP on the hour with charges of fraud, rape, and total insanity. They played it safe and they lost.

During the debates, especially the first debate, I lost it because it was obvious to me that Hillary didn’t understand the rules of the new TV game. She thought she was in a debate because that’s the tradition. But it was never a debate in the classic sense.

The Dems didn’t want to admit that few in the viewing audience gave a crap about the right answer. We the people desire a character that makes bold claims and loud advances. Hillary couldn’t see herself as a character. Don lives inside a comic strip. Hillary also has too much intelligence and grace to get down in the slime pit with a mad dog, but there are times when the battle calls for this kind of decisive action. When you’re facing a fascist dictator wannabe for President, it is one of those times.

Moving forward, the Dems will need to rethink everything, including how they “walk their talk.” In today’s media-soaked faux reality, the messaging needs to cut through. When Joe Biden said he’d take Don out back, that’s the folky stuff that connects with people, in this case, men.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.

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Advertising, Politics