You’re not helping

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Let’s pretend, shall we?

No, I’m not going to use Obama’s talking points about his presidency. That’s not so much pretending as it is psychotic delusion.

Let’s pretend I am throwing myself a party. I go on television and make the announcement about my party. I talk about how much fun it’s going to be — the games we’ll play, the food that will be served, the clown I’ve hired.

Now, I’m not the only person throwing a party on that day and all the same people invited to my party have also been invited to those parties.

Upon hearing that some of these people have chosen another party over mine, I decide the best way to get them to change their mind and attend my party is to call them names. I go on Twitter and I call them “Idiots” and “Lightweights” and “Buffoons” and “Scum” and “Sleeze.”

Oddly enough, it doesn’t work. For some peculiar reason, these people still won’t come to my party despite the fact that I can’t stop talking about how wonderful my party is going to be.

I think to myself, “I know! I’ll get all the people who have already agreed to come to my party to change their minds!”

So I send out those attendees with the instructions to encourage these folks to bail on the party they are going to and join mine.

My attendees go out in force. They call these people idiots who just don’t get it! They tell them to go pound sand because my party is the only party worth going to and if they don’t get that, then they can go straight to hell because they’re nothing but a bunch of RINO pukes and puppets of the Establishment.

Huh. Still these people won’t change their minds and come to my party.

And, what’s stranger still, some of the people who came to my party are now leaving early before I’ve even had a chance to cut the cake.

What gives?

THE END.

The purpose of campaigning is to sway people to your candidacy. You can do this a number of ways. By being engaging and commanding. But using humor. Charm works too. Having the right mix of confidence and humility. By having solid, defendable positions on which you stand and knowing how to best articulate them. By being unwavering in your principles.

Your goal is always to convince more people to choose you than your opponent(s).

When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, I liked what he had to say. When he went out west and met with the families of people killed by illegals, I watched every minute of that press conference and was very moved by it. I watched his rally in Arizona and, again, agreed with a great deal of what he said.

But I was on the fence about supporting him completely because I had some genuine concerns about his past positions on things that are important to me (including Healthcare, the Second Amendment and his strange view on tariffs to name a few). I also was concerned about the fact that he had nothing but praise for Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

And his attacks on Pamela Geller over the terror attack in Garland, Texas really infuriated me.

So, it’s fair to say, I had some genuine concerns.

Instead of trying to sell me on Trump, his supporters responded with indignant, vitriolic rage, attacking me for having the temerity to voice my concerns.

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend how that is going to win people over.

Last night on Twitter, I read through a lot of tweets about Donald Trump and the thing that struck me was many of his supporters have a slash and burn, take-no-prisoners, win-no-supporters approach to Trump’s campaign.

Now, to be fair, there are the occasional Trump supporters who do not use the “I’m going to call you names and unfollow” approach to winning people to Trump’s side.

They are the ones who say, “Trump’s going to make America great again! ”

Just don’t ask them to follow up with the specifics of how Trump’s going to do that.

Or, they say, “He’s going to fight for this country! He loves this country!”

Well, I fight for this country every day. I love America. That doesn’t exactly mean I’d make a great president.

The truth is, once the field of candidates begins to whittle down and the folks who are scattered among several candidates all consolidate in the smaller field, that 20-24% poll number of Trump’s will look more and more anemic.

That’s why it is vital not to just rest on the laurels of a high poll number 15 months before the election and six months before the first primary. There are miles to go before you claim victory.

The challenge has to be to win more people over. The goal has to be to ensure that, as the field winnows down, those supporters come over to join you.

Calling us names? Attacking us for our concerns?

You’re not helping.

For the life of me, I do not understand how attacking everyone now is going to help draw more people into your camp when the number candidates whittles down to just six or seven.

“Sure, we’ve been calling you idiots and morons for the last several months, but come join us in supporting Trump!”

As I said, I was on the fence about Trump. He wasn’t in my “NO” pile, but he hadn’t yet made it out of the “Maybe” pile into my “YES” pile.

And, honestly?

The nastiness of his supporters is making the decision for me.

Well, that and Trump’s own nastiness.

And don’t give me the “Political correctness is killing this country” claptrap.

It is a specious argument to say that my choices are either A) be politically correct or B) act like a nasty, hateful prick.

It’s as valid an argument as saying either we have the Iran Deal or it’s war.

It is actually possible to be a reasoned, intelligent, principled, forceful person and defy political correctness.

There won’t always be 17 candidates in the Republican field. And, when the day comes and that number becomes smaller, the candidates remaining have to win over the people whose candidate has left the race.

And, frankly, they won’t be successful if their strategy has been burn every bridge, call everyone else names and act like a horse’s ass.

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RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
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11 thoughts on “You’re not helping

  • August 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm
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    “Calling us names? Attacking us for our concerns? You’re not helping. For the life of me, I do not understand how attacking everyone now is going to help draw more people into your camp when the number candidates whittles down to just six or seven. Sure, we’ve been calling you idiots and morons for the last several months, but come join us in supporting Trump!” – Dianny

    Dianny are you talking about the Libertarians? This sure sounds like you are describing Paulbots don’t it?

    Libertarians have been angry for years.

    Now you are mad at the Republican party.

    I am mad at them too.

    And many conservatives of the formerly Republican Party are pissed at being blatantly betrayed.

    My guess is, that for many, supporting Trump is the penultimate solution before supporting fire, pitchforks, and lynching.

    For now getting behind Trump is less painful than anarchy to the jilted conservatives, but I think our nation has been so divided that anarchy is going to have it’s rule anyhow, and conservative really are not going to get a choice in the matter.

    • August 9, 2015 at 1:04 pm
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      Well, I am starting to think many of Trump’s supporters are the bastard children of Obamabots and Paulbots, but that’s just me.

      Anger without direction is a waste of energy. Those angry enough to support Trump aren’t helping when their anger spills all over conservatives who aren’t sold on Trump.

  • August 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm
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    Well said. The Donald isn’t making any new friends and is in danger of losing the ones he has.

  • August 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    “spitting, drooling, frothing supporters who attack anyone who criticizes him.”
    Oh what a great line, Dianny. The trumpettes now have there excuse if he self-destructs, it’s the media’s fault, not his own.

    • August 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm
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      Did I say that here too?! I know I said that over at iOTW and the Trumpettes attacked me. You know. Like usual.

      • August 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm
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        No, I read it at IOTWR. The minute I saw it I knew they were gonna jump you just like they did me the other day for daring to ask why they were ignoring trumps record.

        • August 10, 2015 at 6:50 am
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          How! Dare! You!

          You must be a RINO!!!!

  • August 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm
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    I don’t think Trump really cares that much about the GOP. According to the Federal Election Commission’s report on the 2012 election (http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/federalelections2012.pdf), 129million voted in 2012 (66M for O, 61M for R, 2M for Johnson & others) out of a voting age population of 235million. That means that 106million people of voting age did not vote (45% of the eligible population). This is the group of people who are fed up with politicians, are completely disengaged, and have found no reason to be inspired to participate — a target rich environment for someone of enterprise not lacking in endeavor supplemented by a healthy dose of braggadocio. I think Trump is after this group (it’s well-documented how he’s supported all sides at different times over the years so there’s something for everyone in him)…if he can resonate with them, give them a champion they know already through television, motivate them to vote for him, then he doesn’t need the 61M identified Reps (he’ll get some anyway) or the 65M Dems (he might even win some of them, too). I really believe Trump’s target is that 45% that didn’t vote and he’s acting and speaking in a “to-hell-with-the-politicians-I’ll-make-our-country-great-again-and-I’ll-make-you-rich-in-the-process” kind of way that may well reach that group of 106M and get them off their butts and into a voting booth; and the Republicans be damned if they’re too bunkered to see that. I’m wondering are these hostile Trumpeters you’re encountering not GOPers or what we consider as conservatives, but actually part of the 106M outsiders who don’t give a damn about the aesthetics of the political kabuki theater in which both parties play?

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:33 pm
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      That would explain their confusion over the term RINO which they apparently think means “Not sold on Trump.” Plus, I do have a theory that if you told Trump’s supporters that the way to cast their vote for him was to text TRUMP to *967349 on their cell phones, they’d believe you and never show up at the polls. But again, maybe I’m just feeling snarky over their general nastiness.

  • August 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    Aside from Trumpster saying what most of conservatives are thinking, you have 16 other candidates playing defense. Memo to voters: Playing defense is what has gotten us to where we are today. Wake up and smell the political correctness. The Donald may not be hitting every note correctly, but at least he has awaken millions that have been asleep at the wheel the past two cycles. Mitt Romney couldn’t wake up the chickens, now Trumpster has them awake and scratching around the real issues, not abortion, not professional street rioters, not same sex marriage. He is not here to save radical social issues, like gay marriage, but rather to save a nation and her Constitution. If you have to break a few tender feelings along the way, tough noogies.

    • August 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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      I think you may be giving a large segment of Trump’s supporters more credit than they have earned. Many of them, I’m convinced, haven’t evolved quite beyond, “Me like circus! Me like Trump! Me like insults! Me like TV! You be RINO!”

      I’ve heard far more substantive messages about saving the nation and the Constitution from Cruz than I have from Trump. I’m not certain what position, if any, Trump has on the Constitution and its importance. For the life of me, I cannot recall him ever mentioning it. Unless he’s secretly saving it through his powerful man-breath.

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