Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trump Lemonade Stand

Trump is losing.  And if things continue on the anticipated trajectory, he will lose the 2016 election.  Plain and simple.  The electoral college map is just one of those grim realities.  McCain learned about it "big league" in 2008 and Romney found out the hard way in 2012 --- just because Fox pundits claim that Pennsylvania and Ohio are within your grasp, doesn't make it so.

Unless there's a national security "black swan" event (radical illegal immigrants shoot up a maternity ward, North Korea detonates a nuclear weapon, dominipede, gas hike to $5 per gallon, etc.), Hillary's gonna be the next POTUS. 

Trump needs that singular, defining event in his campaign.  One in which everyone reflexively looks back at the 2016 election and says, "That was the moment when the tide shifted.  That's when he caught fire."

If I were a Trump strategist, I would make a concerted effort to shift the entire narrative.

Here's my idea.

Find an adorable sister/brother duo.  I'd prefer the girl to be racially mixed or maybe Hispanic, but that's not entirely necessary.  Probably ages about 10 and 8.  NOT teenagers who come across as arrogant, awkward and obnoxious.  You want some cute kids that classify as "innocent yet impetuous." The female should be the older one.  She's the one who will take the lead with most communication.  Dress them accordingly in Gap or whatever.  Keep their attire simple and understated.  Nothing flamboyant.  Maybe a hippie necklace for the girl and one of those breast cancer awareness wristbands for the boy.  But don't overreach here.  You want them bourgeoisie.   

Here's the deal.  Have them set up a lemonade stand near the entrance to a Hillary Clinton rally, under mom's supervision of course.  Set up about 2-3 cell phones, discreetly hidden, that record all interaction... including crowd response.

Location?  Go right to the source.  A campaign stop on the I-80 corridor smack dab on the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania.  This is the new ground zero.

Utilize one traditional small yard sign (Make America Great Again).  No mammoth banner or flashing lights.  Another sign, this one handwritten --- "$1.00 small glass.  $2.00 large glass."  When the average adult inquires, let the kids do the talking.  Have them say that all proceeds are going to the Trump campaign.  Again, let the children do all the talking.  Prep them, but don't over-prep them.  Let them be the stars.

The main focus here is to get authentic video footage of these kids being condemned and harassed by adult Hillary supporters.  And the ultimate objective would be to get the whole venture shut down by Clinton staff members... or even praytell, the local police.  Imply that it was necessary because their lemonade stand was deemed a "security risk."

You splice the best blips together and it makes some unforgiving, irrevocable drama.  It's one helluva campaign tv ad or viral internet bit.  Play that crappy Lee Greenwood "God Bless the USA" song in the background.

Nothing spells entrepreneurship, capitalism and stimulating the economy better than the good 'ol fashioned lemonade stand.  It's iconic.  And nothing spells government bureaucracy and intrusive police-state overreach than squashing childhood dreams and inspiration.  Such activity makes ordinary people feel helpless, angry and distraught.  Because they're kids, it's an easily exploitable dynamic.

Because when these kids come under attack, for not having a permit, unlawful solicitation, or whatever, people are naturally going to freak out.  Of course, it's all staged, but not really.  The footage will be authentic.  The only downside --- surely, at some point, the kids will face scrutiny and the parents will be mercilessly crucified by the mainstream media.  But if the children can hold their own and mom and dad are plainspoken and forthright, the press would come off looking like an interrogation squad.  Fits right into the anti-media Trump narrative.

Make sure that mom and dad aren't huge Trump fan trying to incite the crowd.  No silly ball caps or t-shirts.  No antagonistic rhetoric.  Keep it about the kids.  The parents must come across as being supportive of their children, but relatively impartial .  Remember, this new agenda isn't about Trump per se.  Its about supporting freedom of expression, human rights and most importantly, that unabashed hunger for capitalism and pumping up the economy.  Hello!!!  It's called the American Dream. 

Then... in comes the Clinton security team to stomp them into the ground.  The script literally writes itself.

This is a winning marketing concept because it takes all the heat away from Trump.  Footage like this, assuming it's decent, literally begs to be re-posted and re-tweeted ad nauseum.

My point --- for every modern election it's important to find a narrative that TRANSCENDS the political bickering.  Some issue or some individual that epitomizes something bigger.  In 2008, we had Joe the Plumber and his courageous fight on behalf of independent contractors and private business.  2012 even gave us Obamagirl (whatever the hell that was about, I still don't know).

The greatest political ad of all-time was the Lyndon Johnson one in 1964.

The premise was brilliant.  It just needs tweaked and modernized, with some red-state/blue state "country-time swagger."

There's a fundamental sentiment out there which appeals to 90% of all registered voters.  The U.S. government is inherently corrupt.  High ranking politicians are bought and paid for.  Congressional approval is at an all-time low.  More people view "child molesters chewing on tin foil" with a higher favorability rating.  This impression ain't going to magically disappear in the next 2 months. This is the frustration you must seize upon.  Carpe diem.

Trump won the primaries by appealing to the far right's sense of nationalism and bitter populism.  Immigration, jobs, trade, guns, etc.  While this may appeal to the hardcore right, these are mostly loser issues for the general election.  Rather than doubling down, he needs to think beyond his boorish personality.  It's called PIVOTING.

Trump will never win against Hillary unless he equates her with the pitfalls of big government... kickbacks, graft, cronyism and the status quo.  She's smarter, wiser, cagier, more professional, has more experience, is more capable, is a vastly superior debater, even better looking (ouch, that hurts)... the list is endless.  She is a politician.  Trump, while he may be a well-positioned outsider, is an egomaniac, carnival-barking windbag with an absurd lack of intellectual curiosity.  He's just not presidential material.  If his campaign's about him, and it currently is, he loses... HUGE.

Hillary's link to big government is her achilles heel.  Clinton and Kaine are total establishment characters.  He needs to portray them as the embodiment of "business as usual" and beholden to a rigged system.  But Trump can't do this personally.  It's just not working for him.  Because his general election campaign skills SUCK.  And his actual campaign machinery is a JOKE.  Even if he could summon the discipline to stay on message, it's just far too late in the game.

So rather than throw the relentless kitchen sink at Hillary...  rather than hurl insults and continue to alienate independent voters...  rather than succumb to his schoolyard bullying instincts...  Like I was sayin', you gotta try "something new... something different."  In 1993, we did this with the West Virginia Troopers Association Bears Against Drugs telemarketing scam.  We offered them, drum roll please.................. FRUIT SYRUPS! 

Trump needs to try something new, something different.  And Mike Pence ain't it.  Neither is Sarah Palin nor Ben Carson nor Krispy Kreme Kristie.  Bobby Knight, David Duke, Ted Nugent?  What the fuck!  The far better bet is on some unknown children, manufactured to take the political world by storm.  They will forever be etched political history as... "the lemonade kids."  TLK!  TLK!  USA!  USA! 

Ironically, there was this local guy who passed away a few years ago.  He could have been Trump's wingman.  He understood messaging.  In a word... 


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