Sunday, July 31, 2016

Donald Trump, Rational Behavior and the Nuclear Codes

Hillary has taken aim at Trump over the possibility of him having the authority to launch nuclear weapons.  This is an incredibly powerful statement and strategy.  I expect you'll hear more of it as the campaign lumbers on.

Not many people really understand what it means to have the nuclear codes.  It's often referred to as a "briefcase" or "football" --- terms that help dangerously simplify the notion of nuclear devastation to the American commoner.  Here's what it currently means in the real-world.

510 nuclear weapons aimed at Russia
130 nuclear weapons aimed at China
50 nuclear weapons aimed at North Korea
40 nuclear weapons aimed at Iran
20 nuclear weapons aimed at Syria

Keep in mind, there is no dress rehearsal or "recourse."  If the commander in chief chooses to launches a strike of any kind, the military chain of command has no authority to object or second guess the decision.  This is a big deal.  Especially in the current climate of social media hoaxes, hacking and technological disinformation.  And it's something Hillary should exploit.

The Clinton-Kaine campaign has done a pretty good job of characterizing Trump as mentally unstable and easily provoked.  He lashes out against anyone and everyone... as portrayed in his nonstop twitter crusades.  Nobody is safe.  Fellow Republican presidential candidates, the handicapped, U.S. military generals, prisoners of war, high profile businessmen, celebrities, reporters, women, Mexicans, Muslims, etc.  The list is by-definition ENDLESS.  Because like he always says, whenever he gets personally attacked, he "hits back hard."  Even his most ardent supporters would agree with this assessment.  It's the Trump de facto approach to everything and everyone.

The Clinton campaign should make a commercial about this.  I expect they already have one in the works.  If not, they are absolute fools. 

Here's how I'd frame it.  I would use Trump's personal video and audio statements about his penchant for "destroying his enemies" and how he flippantly likes to "hammer", "slaughter", "massacre" his opponents.  "Take them out at the knees."  And a quick reminder --- these are our fellow Americans.  Imagine what he might do to our economic or geo-political adversaries.  Exactly what is this man capable of doing?  After all, nobody knows for sure what goes on in the mind of The Donald. 

Then, I would specifically reference former presidential candidates who were defeated.  Nobody ever questioned the prospect of Mitt Romney having his finger on the button.  Nobody ever questioned John Kerry's rationality.  Or John McCain's judgement.  Granted, it got a little dicey when you threw Sarah Palin into the mix.  But Al Gore?  Nope.  Bush Sr.?  Nope.  Senator Dole?  Nope.  Go all the way back to Dukakis and Carter.

Why is this effective?  Because you may have disagreed with their style, economic philosophy or political party.  But you didn't fear the prospect of a "madman" at the helm.

Throw out the names of all former candidates for the last 4 decades or so.  These are human beings that people remember... because they personally identified with them and cast votes for them.  They're also candidates that, with the passage of time, people have grown to respect and in some cases, adore.  Nobody still despises Jimmy Carter or Bob Dole.  Draw the distinction.  Compare and contrast pictures of Trump with the people he would eagerly refer to as "losers."  Focus on George Bush Sr. who proudly served... while Trump had 4 deferments from Vietnam.

Then you close out the commercial.  But Donald Trump???  Show a picture of him where he's physically enraged.  And then scroll a fast-forward list of his personal twitter tirades.   Just fast enough where you can't physically discern the content but you know the tweets are real.  Make it so that the viewer would have to actually engage their Tivo and watch the list in slow motion.  In a word... this list is HUGE (and can be very unforgiving).

Why would this be particularly effective?  Because it demonstrates intellectual superiority when it comes to social media... which is supposed to be Trump's biggest strength.  Also, it uses his own words (and streaming tweets) against him.  This is the correct way to demonize an opponent.  Using an individual's own words against them.  Anyone can hurl insults and attacks.  Trump chooses the latter strategy.  Probably because it worked so well for him in the primary.  The general election is an admittedly different animal.  Because everyone gets to vote.  Not just the alabaster skinned Alabamians.

Does anyone recall Obama's ad against Mitt Romney in 2012.  Incredibly effective.  Probably one of the best in the history of presidential campaigns.  At least I thought it was.  I'd take the same approach but construct it on a steroid, blood doping-meth level that literally blows your mind.

Clinton strategists --- gimme a ring.

304-312-1395 and ask for Saf

And the best news of all?  I won't charge you a penny.

If you're heading up the Trump Train, I'm willing to devise an equally effective anti-Hillary ad.  But it's gonna cost ya.  Probably about a million.  Sounds like a pretty good deal if you wanna win the election for President of the United States.

I'd call that a bargain.  The best I ever had.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about a debate prediction? I expect Trump to call for the inclusion of Gary Johnson (L) and Jill Stein (Green Party). I anticipate he'll actually threaten to skip the presidential debates if they aren't "fair" and "inclusive." He'll label it the "defining moment of Democracy."

This would make for tremendous, unprecedented political theater. Right up his alley. Plus, it would help neutralize the enormous amount of damage that would be inflicted if he were to go one-on-one against Hillary. She would decimate him during the 90 minutes on all 3 occasions. Remember, he would have to actually have to competently speak for 45 minutes. No applause or jeering from the crowd. It's very difficult to dodge and pivot from direct questions and rebuttals. Especially when you know very little and rely on buzzwords and ad hominem attacks.

Trump could complain the entire way up to the debates (and during the actual debates) about his favorite talking point. How the system is totally rigged. This would play perfectly into his "defiant underdog", "corrupt media", "me vs. the establishment" message.

I expect you will see him demand that Johnson and Stein are included. He might not get Stein, but I do think there's sufficient public interest and desire to see Johnson on the main stage. Not to mention Bill Weld in the VP debate.