Sunday, November 20, 2016

Feeling Great Again?

Margaret Bourke White

Today's big insight is Mr. Trump meant one thing to those who voted against him and different things to the coalition who voted him into office. 
The Good Old Days

For those who voted against him, this election was about values, about voting against a man who agitated today's version of the Ku Klu Klan at his rallies with chants of "Make America Great Again," which was widely heard as "Make America Hate Again" or "Make America White Again," a man who proclaimed Muslims hate us and "they" are chopping off heads, as if the Muslim grocery store owner in Dearborn or the Muslim physician in Massachusetts are all of a cloth with those head choppers in Syria and Iraq. This vote was a vote against a man who said women who have abortions should be punished (after he said he didn't think so.) This was a vote against a man who clearly had no regard for "truth" or "facts" in that he said Mexican wetbacks were rapists, only to amend that to say, well some of them are okay, but you know what I mean.  This is a man who said no judge, born in Indiana could impartially preside over his trial if his parents were born in Mexico. The list goes on, but you get the point. 
When America Was White

I could have included his "grab them by the pussy" remarks, or his birther assertions, and many others, but the essence of the man, is he is a business guy who really doesn't think much about any of these issues, but just latches on to whatever is convenient. So he was for the War in Iraq, but then said he hadn't really thought about it.  His initial response to transgenders in bathrooms was they could use whatever bathroom they wanted to, until he heard from his conservative backers.
And Everybody Had a Job

It all came down to the now famous remark, his backers did not take him literally, but they took him seriously.
And There Were No Worries

They took him seriously when he promised to open shuttered factories and mines to return them to the good old days (Make America Great Again. Make America the way it was, when we had a good life, a more secure life.)  He found out what they wanted to hear and he said that. 
And We Burned Coal

And they believed it because they wanted to and because Ms. Clinton did not make those promises. 
The Democrats took as an article of faith that the Blue Wall was theirs by entitlement, much as Ms. Clinton had earned the nomination by being a dutiful woman, who had waited her turn. She was the opposite of a disrupter.
Mr. Trump did not spend money on local state offices, TV ads, canvassers--but he got his message out more effectively than any of those old, 20th century techniques was able to do. 
And The Media Behaved Itself

And, for the most part, none of the "pundits" or "experts" could see it:  whether they were political scientists studying their flawed polls, or Mark Shields, listening to his friends at lunch in Washington, DC or any of the CNN panelists, could see or hear or understand what Mr. Trump was doing with his rallies, his Tweets, his constant presence on TV.
And The Goverrnment Knew Whose Side It Should Be On

So the disrupter undid the Democratic grip on the Mid West heartland. Like any good businessman, like Don Draper of Mad Men, he looked into the hearts and heads of those consumers of mass marketed messengers out there and understood what they wanted and spun the story they wanted to buy.
Advertising and marketing are not about what people ought to want; they are about what people actually do want, as selfish and small minded as that may be. 
And now we have the hyenas swooping in--Stephen Bannon, Jeff Sessions, General Strangelove.  When you buy the Kool Aide, you drink it.

We Had It Made!
NB: All photos (except  the last) are by Margaret Bourke-White

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