What can we learn from the election of Donald J Drumpf?
Not a huge amount. And would the lessons be completely different with just a small adjustment in a few states?
I guess one thing is: Don’t neglect your base. That’s where your vote is coming from, not your activists. You need both, mind… so you can’t concentrate on the issues of one to the detriment of the other.
Be bold – Trump’s Mexican Wall: infeasible, indefensible but clearly showed a vision. Not one I share, as it’s a vision of fear of the other, but it got people fired up for him, and it got his message shared and out there. It’s a difficult balance to strike mind, when you have the media quibbling about your policy being wrong if the costings are a few million out, versus Trump’s Wall that’d be 10s of billions. But sometimes, maybe, screw the detail, don’t give the oxygen to those concerns, stay on the front foot of your vision to the people…
Cater to prejudices? It’s hard on the left, when you want love to trump hate; hope to beat fear. It’s tempting to go for the cynical easy votes, but it’s most important to Stay True to you Brand – stick with Be Bold, and Authentic.
While you’re on that Prejudice / Bold vibe, and bypassing the media’s attention to detail: was it facebook wot won it? You need to get into people’s bubble. Facebook is now the biggest news source, so you want to be shared. With the change in broadcasting allocation for 2017, watch for your feed to be fed (at a price) with videos parties are hoping to be catchy, and for you to share into the less-informeds timelines. Zuckerburg will be loving it.
Have ‘charisma‘ and ‘relate to the common man‘. Easy to say, but no-one knows how this works. Neither Nigel Farage or Trump have any connection to (or any really knowledge of) the poor or working class (their backgrounds are privilege personified); they’re not pretty; they have no great oratory… but somehow they hit the right notes with the natives (pays to be uncouth?). This ‘connection’ with the ‘common people’ is probably the most powerful thing, but not really helpful as you don’t seem to be able to learn it…
Finally, a big lesson from the US, and Brexit for that matter – there’s a lot of ‘experts’ on politics – but they don’t really know. While we need to get people to reject less often actual experts (eg climate change); we also need to reject pundits and talking heads more. And listen to a diversity of voices across viewpoints, even more than across identities (but that’s probably not me on either score!)