1. Money changes everything.
If Donald Trump were poor, he’d have no traction. He gets attention, and in many cases a pass, because he’s a billionaire. That’s the nation we live in, one in which the rich have the power and the poor believe the loaded are better than they are. Or, that they too can become a billionaire, if they just work hard enough, even though statistically odds of upgrading are better in Canada and Europe. The rich have been crapping on the downtrodden poor for so long they believe it. We watch the Kardashians, we believe Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are saints, is it any wonder people look up to Donald Trump?
2. Television is the most powerful medium in America.
It turned Howard Stern into a household name and it did the same for Donald Trump. If you’re on television you’re a star. What is the goal of the YouTube and Vine stars? To be on TV! It’s a hurdle that’s hard to jump. If Snooki and Kim Kardashian could be built by television, it’s not hard to understand Trump’s mindshare/traction.
3. Runaway media.
Insiders control the story, at least they believe they do. They said Trump was dead after his comments about McCain, ditto regarding his comments about Megyn Kelly. But what the internet era has taught us is that stories outside the usual narrative start online and traditional news media is the last to come on board. And that traditional news media is often wrong. And that what it likes best is ratings. Trump is irrelevant, soon to be forgotten, a footnote in history, even smaller than that of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, but don’t expect any perspective from the media.
4. Media lasts longer than those it covers.
Trump will long be forgotten whilst Megyn Kelly continues to testify. Keeping the story going is nearly impossible, which is why Kim Kardashian tweeted a naked pregnant photo today. She wants to stay in the public eye, and it’s hard to do this if you’re not outrageous. Want to get mindshare? Create a new story every day, the crazier the better. Drake drops mixtapes while old wave acts work the same album for years. That’s a great way to be forgotten. What Taylor Swift does best is keep her name in the news. You should follow her example if you want a lasting career. Then again, getting started is so difficult, it’s best to be on TV! (But don’t think being on late night shows, certainly other than Fallon, makes a difference. And never forget that YouTube is narrowcasting, you may have a 100 million views, but it’s to a self-selected group, TV allows you to reach beyond them.)
5. Fox News is not as powerful as you think.
It blinked. Trump brought the outlet to its knees. Fox only mentioned Trump’s Megyn Kelly blood comments once, CNN more than 50 times. Read here
(Furthermore, ever since Jeff Bezos bought the “Washington Post” it has greatly improved. How did he do this? BY SPENDING MONEY! Our entire nation has a hedge fund mind-set. Reduce head count, strip the assets, take out your share and then pawn whatever’s left on the next loser. You make money by spending money, and he who is cutting back is ultimately losing.)
6. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Sports is the best example, there they call it “working the ref.” That’s what Trump has done here, he’s bitched loudly to get the media to blink, Fox certainly has (once again, read that WaPo article linked to above). Trump has belly-flopped like an NBA player, he’s bitched and whined and has refused to go away, has refused to apologize, he’s the perfect American, where no one makes a mistake and bluster is everything, and you wonder why our nation is in trouble…no one can learn anything, no one can adjust their opinion, no one can say they’re wrong.
7. Don’t blink.
It may be a suicide mission, but you can’t give up, you can’t question your desire and your goal, that’s how you break through the noise. Once you’ve made it you may be revealed to be a buffoon, but few make it. Trump has been trying to run for President for decades, this is the first time it’s worked.
8. Gimme some truth.
Actually, I don’t believe Trump believes all of what he says. He’s looking at endgame, and he knows people are frustrated by politicians and want to hear something that sounds passionate, from the inside. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat but when Hillary Clinton said her favorite book was the Bible my eyes rolled and I prayed someone else would run. Trump appears to be telling his truth. Clinton appears to be triangulating. If you want to succeed today you must have the appearance of authenticity, credibility is even better, but that’s even harder to achieve. Trump resonates with a minor part of the public which is sick of being cast aside, which knows its reality and wants to believe someone else is talking about it.
9. We live in a star economy.
I watched the debate because Trump was on it, without him I’m passing. And even though he was belligerent, he had a patina of real, he didn’t seem to be adjusting to placate a theoretical voter who might not even exist. His competitors were so phony and so FOS that I was rolling my eyes.
10. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Trump may have a bad hairstyle, but he looked more put together than so many of his compatriots, who were not wearing expensive suits and furthermore had worse hair, transplants and combovers and what exactly is that on the front of Rand Paul’s head? If you want our respect, dress for success. Nixon lost to Kennedy because he looked like a schlump, and these guys don’t even get a stylist. I don’t want someone who doesn’t understand the game they’re playing. Schlumpiness is Bernie Sanders’s shtick, but aren’t the Republicans supposed to be the party of the rich? And put together?
Previously: Trump Rules