Mind the Gap

How Donald Trump runs his campaign like his business and reality show

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 January, 2016, 6:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 10:26am

There once was a country mired in a severe economic and social depression. The people found a populist leader who told everyone what they wanted to hear. He emerged as a very convincing leader who improved the economy. His country became very strong. They formed the strongest military in the world with the best trained soldiers and technology a generation beyond any other country. What was his name?

What most critics can’t or refuse to understand about Donald Trump is how his approach to problems differs from professional politicians. Trump is all about the deal if you read his bestseller Art of the Deal. He is not just a businessman who entered politics. He is simply a businessman.

He will say something preposterous to begin the negotiation. “We have to build a wall at the Mexican border. And make them pay for it.” The immediate reaction is, “He has to retract that statement!” But he doesn’t. That is how he negotiates his property development deals and hosts his reality show.

READ MORE: Trump to scrap US$1billion in UK investments if he’s barred from Britain

His tirades represent conversation points, a negotiation starter. Build a wall? Maybe. Then, maybe not. But one thing is clear: there needs to be immigration solution. Ban all Muslims? Probably not. But you can bet he means there will be increased screenings. Trump is closer to the solutions that Americans want than most other candidates. Join the social media conversation and enjoy the most fascinating presidential race in American history.

If the US is attacked again – and I do think it will be attacked again – he has an excellent chance to be history’s accidental president.

Trump is unlike any politician in recent memory and people are responding positively to his so-called ‘incendiary’ and ‘divisive’ rhetoric. Actually, he is not a ‘professional’ politician. He’s a successful businessman and proud of it. For too long, the American people have put their faith in ‘professional’ politicians and seen their fortunes diminish and their debts spiral out of control.

Staggering national debt, 90 million American workers absent from the workforce, a record number of Americans on some form of public assistance, an increasingly intrusive government wanting to control every aspect of Americans’ lives, a never-ending horde of undocumented border jumpers entering the country and now the presence of potential jihadists does not bode well for the future of America.

Trump is the quintessential anti-establishment, anti-politician, iconoclastic candidate out there. A lot of people – and not just Republicans – are quite willing to give a clown a chance, since the adults have done so badly. Yes, the GOP presidential field is led by a megalomaniacal, reality TV star. And the Republican Party doesn’t want to believe its voters agree with Trump. But they do.

Trump has also discovered a social media technology that completes him as a public figure. If the presidential election was a Twitter popularity contest Trump would win by a landslide. The relationship between Trump and Twitter is the perfect marriage of man and medium. His terse insults are perfectly adapted to the 140-character form. And, his controversial, daily campaign proclamations feed Twitter’s trending, short attention span. Marshall McLuhan’s reminder that “the medium is the message” has rarely been more revealing and embarrassing.