Monday, October 24, 2016

The last days of the election, and where we go from there.

I have had this sense for some time that Trump understand political emotion and political momentum.  There is little point building up energy early on that later dissipates.  It doesn't matter a bit who is ahead 6 weeks ahead of the election, which is why I don't think he is running many campaign ads.  In any event, it is likely anybody watching enough TV to be influenced by those ads is already indoctrinated by the media.  His campaign depends on talk in coffee shops, around dinner tables and especially on social media.  That is the only way he is staying close (or has taken a slight lead according to the Investors Business Daily poll).

But he has committed to spending $100 million of his own money.  What is the smartest way to do that?  Given his unorthodox approaches to public relations, why not spend the whole wad in the last week before the election?  A blitz like nobody has done before?  This might be a good idea, if he mainly runs positive ads, and I think that would play well.  Nobody could take the fingernails on the chalkboard of relentless "my opponent is a big meany head and hates puppies" ads on continual loop, but what about ads focused on what people DO want?

He has signaled, perhaps, a beginning of this approach with this excellent Contract with the American Voter which is any REAL conservatives dream.  If you are a Republican and don't support this, I can only assume you have been bought and paid for by the same special interests he is trying to get rid of.  That, you are are an idiot, or you are an assholes.  And we seem to have plenty of assholes.

But a sample ad might be:

I want to protect American Jobs.

I want to create a lot more.

I want insurance premiums to go down, and healthcare to get better.

I want secure borders and to get criminals here illegally out.

I want to end corruption in Washington.

I want to avoid pointless wars.

I want less taxes, so you hard working Americans keep more of your money, and so employers of all sizes can afford to hire more people.

Etc.  That is off the top of my head.  Maybe:

I want to protect American jobs, my opponent wants to export them with more horrible trade deals.

I want to lower taxes on the middle class and on employers of all sizes, so the people have more money, and employers can afford to hire.  My opponent wants to raise taxes on everyone, and make it much harder to do business.

I want secure borders, so we only let in people who benefit this nation, which very definitely IS a nation of immigrants.  My opponent wants to get rid of borders from Canada to Argentina.

I want you to keep your doctor and your health insurance plan and for both to be affordable.  My opponents wants more of the same failure we have seen with Obamacare.

Etc.

But being a bit of a student of history, I cannot help but draw a parallel with this strategy, if this is what he has in mind, and World War 1.  I remember in one or perhaps multiple battles--likely Somme or Verdun--the British conducted a 24 hour artillery bombardment, then attacked.  It failed.  The Germans had simply hid in their bunkers, then came out.

In 1918 Paul Hindenburg did something like what later became the Blitzkrieg.  They picked a spot on the French lines, and dropped roughly the same number of shells in TWO HOURS that the British had sent desultorily in 24.  They then attacked in a tight concentration with the sole intent to punch through the lines.  They used shock troops with, if memory serves, flame throwers.  They advanced a long way--let's say 10 miles--in a day or two, when they had remained stuck for years in the same place.  As I recall logistics finally came into play--they were not able to effectively supply their troops--so the plan ultimately failed.

But that is where this analogy fails.  What Trump can do is very focused "assaults" on key Swing States, with ads at least roughly 80/20 positive, and he only has to maintain momentum through Election Day.

Possibly, he can even gamble his base is sufficient in most Red States that it will hold.  I am no expert , obviously, but these are some ideas I will put out into the Universe.


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