December 8, 2016

Brilliant campaign email from Trump

I tend to submit my name to various political campaigns, both Republican and Democrat, so that I can see their emails. Most of the emails are open begs for money, and they are predicated on fear — the other side is winning, we’re cornered, we need your help. As Scott Adams points out, fear is a very good motivator and Hillary, especially, likes to use it. The problem with fear is that one eventually gets inured to it.  For example, if you read diaries from people who experienced the bombing campaigns in either London or Berlin, what you see is a gradual transition from blind panic to something akin to zen resignation. Eventually racing to bomb shelters just doesn’t seem worth it. All you can do is hope that the next bomb isn’t meant for you.

In terms of Hillary’s fear campaign, I don’t think that her most devout, ideological followers are going get inured to her warnings that Trump is a mad man. I do think, though, that they’ll cease to remain enthused for her. At a certain point, they’ll say in a robotic monotone, “Yeah, he’s crazy and I’m going to vote for Hillary, but I really don’t like Hillary very much. . . .”  That is, fearing Trump doesn’t transform into liking Hillary and, to the extent voter enthusiasm matters, this isn’t a good thing.

Going back to the Scott Adams link above, Adams says that Trump had a very good week. He did three smart things:  He gave calm, normal speeches; the calm, normal speeches contained core truths that most Americans (even loosey-goosey Lefties, if they’re honest with themselves) recognize as true; and he hired very media savvy campaign advisors — and this is true even if Ben Shapiro is correct in his claim that Stephen Bannon is the demonic Mephistopheles to Trump’s Faust.

Apropos Shapiro’s J’Accuse! to Bannon, I admit to being troubled. I admire greatly Shapiro’s wicked good intelligence, strong moral core, ideological courage, and great communication skills, so I’m most certainly not going to dismiss what he says. Having said that, his accusations against Bannon are so strong that, to me, they’re a bit self-defeating.  Despite believing that there are evil people out there, it’s difficult for me to believe that Bannon is that evil. And if he’s not that evil, how evil is he? Also, to the extent Shapiro is a NeverTrumper, and I’ve concluded that Hillary will be so dreadful that it’s worth taking the risk that Trump will be less dreadful, I have to factor Shapiro’s anti-Trump bias into the equation. But I digress….

My point is that fear is a useful weapon up to a point. It excites strong emotions, but those emotions cannot stay excited. Also, while it most certainly drags the opposition down, it’s not a great tool to build yourself up. That is, I don’t think Hillary makes herself look any better by saying that Trump is scary, especially when he’s not behaving in scary ways.

So if the fear-based campaign email is a little bit of a dead-end, what else can a candidate do?  Well, I just received a very different email from the Trump campaign and, frankly, I thought it was brilliant.

Before I get to that email, let me back up a minute and talk about campaign slogans and rhetoric. Hillary’s slogan is “I’m With Her,” which is just a meaningless statement of allegiance. Paul McCartney twisted to “She’s With Me,” which should certainly get out the aging British rocker vote, but isn’t much of a get-out-the-vote slogan either.  (And honestly, I really wish he’d kept his mouth shut because I love the Beatles’ music but now, every time I hear a song, I think to myself “It’s such a shame that McCartney matured into being an idiot” — which kind of spoils the music.)

Trump did a beautiful bit of rhetorical jujitsu and, instead of insisting that voters line up behind him, sheep-like, announced to the voters “I’m With You.”  There’s a world of meaning in that. I’m supporting your values, I’m your man in the fight, I care about the things you care about, I am your servant, not your master.

Taking that powerful statement one step further, Trump’s campaign sent out a wonderful campaign email, which I’ll quote in full here:

 

Trump Pence Logo
In less than three months, you get to vote for the next president of the United States.

But in order to make sure Trump wins, we need YOUR immediate input on his critical general election strategy moving forward.

Take the Trump Campaign Strategy Survey now. >>

Without you, this campaign would be NOTHING.

Our landslide victories, our momentum, and our massive rallies are all thanks to supporters like you who were ready to Make America Great Again!

But now we face the fight of our lifetime. We The People are going up against Hillary Clinton’s monstrous machine of elites, lobbyists, and special interests who have sent our country down a very dark road.

To win this fight, Trump is turning to his most trusted advisers: the American People.

That means you.

Please – consider it your duty to take the Trump Campaign Strategy Survey now. >>

Thank you,

Team TRUMP

TAKE THE SURVEY

This was good for my lizard brain. He’s not telling me what he thinks I need to know. He’s asking me what I think he needs to know. Okay — I’ll bite. I followed the “survey” link and, rather than being told to give money first, actually got a real survey asking for my opinions about things important to conservatives. The survey ticks off most of the true conservative boxes, which should help allay suspicion amongst those who think he has no idea what conservative voters care about. As you look at the questions, which are a laundry list of the desires of frustrated conservatives, you will see that the Trump campaign has engaged us in his platform. We now have ownership.

1. Which issues are most important to you?

  • Securing the border
  • Stopping radical Islamic terrorism
  • Economy/jobs
  • Fair trade
  • American energy independence
  • Protecting the life of the unborn
  • Religious liberties
  • Upholding the Constitution
  • Preserving a conservative Supreme Court

2. Should Trump spend more of his time going after Hillary’s record and her positions on the issues?

  • Yes
  • No
  • No Opinion

3. Should Trump invest more time and resources in YOUR state?

  • Yes
  • No
  • No Opinion

4. Should Trump focus more on positive or negative advertising?

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Both equally

5. Our tax system must be simplified to help working families and reduce IRS corruption.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

6. America must become energy independent to strengthen our economy and end dependence on our enemies for oil.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

7. Term limits should be imposed on congressmen and senators.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

8. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

9. A wall must be built along the southern border of the United States to stop the flow of illegal immigration.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

10. Trade deals must be renegotiated into terms that put America first.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

11. Hillary Clinton’s plan to increase the number of refugees America takes in by 550% would be disastrous.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

12. Taking proper care of our veterans must be a cornerstone of the Trump administration.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

13. The Second Amendment must be protected

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

14. Republicans are correct to wait until Trump becomes president to confirm Justice Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

15. The federal government should return much of its power to state and local governments.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

16. Businesses have been crushed by burdensome regulations that stunt growth.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

17. We cannot tax our way out of debt. Instead, we must stop wasteful spending to reduce our $19 trillion debt.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

18. Our next president must roll back regulations that have forced companies to relocate overseas.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

19. Repealing and replacing ObamaCare should remain a top priority.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

20. A Republican House and Senate will best empower Trump to pass necessary reforms for our country.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

21. Political correctness has gone too far. It now threatens our national security.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

22. School choice policies are critical to empowering American families.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

23. We must end government regulations that have cost Americans jobs in states like Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

24. Obama’s executive orders must be rolled back on Trump’s first day in office.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

25. Trump must put an end to Obama’s military spending cuts.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

26. Veterans should be able to choose their own health care providers.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

27. Under Obama, the powers of the presidency have been abused.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

28. Our country has strayed too much from what our founders outlined in the Constitution.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

29. Law and order should remain a centerpiece of Trump’s platform.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

30. Which of the following are your biggest concerns personally? (Select as many that apply)

  • Job security
  • Mortgage payments
  • Social security
  • Saving for children’s education
  • Saving for retirement
  • Social issues
  • Terrorist threats
  • Cost of living
  • Increased crime
  • Veteran aid
  • Other

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

About Bookworm 163 Articles
Bookworm came late to conservativism but embraced it with passion. She's been blogging since 2004 about anything that captures her fancy -- and that's usually politics. Her blog's motto is "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."