This election is a bullfight. Donald Trump is the Matador and Hillary Clinton is the bull. She has the power, the staff, the organization, the money, but Trump holds all the tools to put her down.
A few weeks ago, Victor Barrio, a 29-year-old Matador, was killed after being gored by a bull. Bulls are powerful, dangerous animals. Note this: it was the first bullfighter to be killed by a bull in 30 years. The bulls generally lose because the bullfighter holds all the tools.
Scott Adams (who has been absolutely right about this election so far) wrote that Hillary may not see a post-convention bump. He believes the Democrats are guilty of the persuasion sin of “selling past the close.”
How many ways should we celebrate the first woman to…be successful in any way? Hillary can only celebrate being the nominee so much, because having a woman president is already an idea Americans have accepted. The sale is made. What else has she got?
Obama understood how to avoid selling past the close. At some point during Obama’s first presidential election campaign the country mentally agreed that an African-American could be their next president. So Obama accepted the sale and talked about other stuff. If he had dwelled on race, and his place in history, he would have risked making things worse. So he stayed quiet on race (mostly) and won. Twice.
Clinton is taking a different approach. As Michelle Obama said, we now take for granted that a woman can be president. That sale is made. But Clinton keeps selling. And that’s an enormous persuasion mistake. (Emphasis his.)
Put another way, Adams thinks the DNC is so estrogen-packed it’s “lowering testosterone levels all over the country. Literally, not figuratively.” I have to laugh, because I turned the TV off when Alicia Keys started singing “Superwoman.” Adams made a mental note instead.
In 2012, President Obama hired a team of social scientists to build his brand. Trump needs nobody to build his brand, he’s the Matador. Hillary, the bull, along with the Democrats, keeps charging at the red cape, over and over again, and Trump keeps pulling it away, revealing another banderilla to lodge in her side. She’s bleeding all over the place.
Where Hillary trots out Michelle Obama and hubby Bill to tame the delegates and consolidate the masses, building a Democratic wave, Trump makes another outrageous statement to steal the news cycle. He kills her 24 hours at a time. Since people are used to Trump making outrageous statements, they never stick to him.
So the Democrats keep playing by their “attack the Republicans” rule book, which is based on social and economic orders of battle. But Trump isn’t even interested in those. They are just charging another red cape.
After all of that, Democrats could point to the fact that Trump is supported by actual, no-fooling white supremacists. Like David Duke—who helpfully announced a Trump-inspired Senate campaign, using Trump’s “America First” slogan, the day after Trump gave his acceptance speech in Cleveland. If the Democrats were canny, they’d ignore Mike Pence and turn Duke into Trump’s running mate.
And then, they could garnish the dish by talking about Trump’s incessant lying. Find a Trump lie they really like and make it stick, the way Bush did with Kerry’s I-was-for-the-Iraq-war-before-I-was-against-it. And then, as the chaser, hit Trump for his bullying. A variation of this ad could run over and over.
That’s how you take a convention and go after Trump, hammer and tongs, and disqualify him.
The problem is, while most Democratic elites might find the above indictment damning, that’s not the stuff they really care about. They’re intent on fighting the culture war, not only because it’s the subject that matters most to them, but because it’s a form of their favorite pastime: virtue signaling.
The Democrats in Philly just keep parading their paragons of social justice, gender celebration, and economic nanny-statism, while Trump agrees with them on minimum wage, socialized medicine, and government childcare. They pile on the grievances for Black Lives Matter, having to bow to FOP political pressure to even allow police officers to speak at their convention, while Trump says “I am the law and order candidate.”
The election is going to be close. There are plenty of Democrats who would vote for anyone with a (D) after their name. If the Democrats put a Capuchin monkey on the ballot, these people would vote for it. There are enough women and minorities who are scared of Trump, who will vote for Hillary out of fear. But there are also enough undecided voters, Democrats and Republicans alike (and a fair number of independents) who would rather suspend disbelief about Trump than throw themselves into the wood chipper of chaos Hillary has created.
The most effective way Democrats have to beat Trump is to show how unqualified for office he is, but they’re fighting from the low ground to do that (because how unqualified is Hillary?). Their regular scare tactics don’t work with Trump. Any positive message they come up with gets bullhorned over by Trump’s outrage machine.
And there’s the wildcard of–now out in the open–Russian tampering, which Trump just encouraged. If the electorate won’t collectively run Trump out on a rail for that, resulting in a large and permanent polling bump for Hillary, the bull might just be done fighting. Then it will be time for the Tercio de Muerte.
Trump used this same bullfight tactic to defeat 16 Republican opponents, many of whom were better funded, better organized, and just about all of them–more acceptable candidates. This is no politician; this is a Matador with his own instincts build over decades of deceiving and persuading people.
Hillary the bull is dangerous, but unless she and her rule-bound and predictable Democrats stop charging at Trump’s red capes (they don’t know how to do anything else after 50 years of doing it), they’re going to end up fatally injured.