Election Lessons

This is the bleeding edge folks. Politics is the tech of the teens. It’s got everybody riveted and lessons are being reinforced daily. Like…

1. Off the cuff, not scripted.

This is what is endearing people to Donald Trump. He seems human. We keep hearing that Hillary cares, but we just don’t care about HER! If you’re not authentic and vulnerable, if you’re not speaking from the heart, you’re gonna lose today.

2. Facts don’t matter

Nobody believes ’em anymore. There seem to be multiple sets to prove multiple theories, people react with emotion. Life is not a math problem, it’s messy and you go with your gut.

3. Advertising is overrated.

Read this article:

“Clinton’s Convention Was Made for TV. Trump’s Was Made For Twitter”: goo.gl/OKvcvX

Clinton spent $68 million on TV advertising, Trump spent less than $6 million. Used to be the person with the deep TV ad budget won the war, i.e. the election, not anymore. Turns out no one’s paying attention, today it’s all social media, it’s all word of mouth. And that’s where the Clinton campaign is lacking.

4. Shrug off mistakes.

Gotcha politics are over, which may be why the Republicans lost control of their own party. Melania didn’t graduate from college so they took down her website, never mind ripping off Michelle Obama’s speech. He who falls on his own sword repeatedly loses in the future. Admit your mistake and move on. We’ve been holding elected officials to a standard so high nobody can reach it. But now we’ve got a thrice-married guy who’s all over the place essentially tied with an established pol playing by the old rules.

5. Double-down, don’t admit defeat.

This is what Roger Ailes did so well. Today, in light of accusations, in light of guilt, either admit quickly and move on, as per above, because the news cycle is so fast, or push back. We’ve been living in an apology culture for far too long. Celebrities commit faux pas and they shed tears and go to rehab, claiming they didn’t know what got into them. But people don’t act that way in regular life, they obfuscate, they defend, they don’t capitulate until there are no other options. Everybody’s a five year old at heart, afraid of being less than. So when you push back people identify, and usually those attacking are playing to win the battle, but not the war. Gretchen Carlson desired to win the war, she caught Fox unawares, she brought Ailes down.

6. You’re the elite.

What’s that poker cliche, if you look around the table and you can’t tell who’s the sucker, it’s you?

If you look at Trump and can’t understand his success, don’t know anybody who’s voting for him, then you’re probably a member of the elite.

Baby boomers thought the elite was the old white men in the establishment, who oppressed them, they never felt they would be like them, but they are. Today’s wealth in America is not dominated by those who inherited money, but those who made it. Who got first class educations and then triumphed. Read Ronald Brownstein’s article in the “Atlantic”:

“The Diverse Left and White Working-Class Right, Does the Democratic Party – open to all immigrants, races, genders, and sexual orientations – have enough room for less educated white voters?”: goo.gl/VHtFia

The Party abandoned the working class, not vice versa. It didn’t stand up for unions, its leaders were so busy triumphing and pillaging that they lost touch with those below them. And despite all the paeans to those less fortunate, these same winners don’t want to sacrifice. Not only do they want to fly private, they don’t want to sit in the back of the plane, where you’re elbow to elbow and the luggage racks are overstuffed. They don’t eat fast food and they don’t stay at Motel 6. They’ve picked themselves right up and marched far away from their middle class brethren whose opportunities have evaporated. Go to an Ivy League school and you can get a job at a bank, be less fortunate and you never even step into a bank, you’ve got no savings and you can’t afford a checking account.

This election is about the haves and the have-nots and the dirty little secret is the haves just cannot see what they’ve got and how it pisses the “little people” off.

7. Don’t make me feel inadequate.

I thought Hillary’s speech was quite good, it reached out to so many, but by time I got finished listening to her, Chelsea and Bill I felt like I’d wasted my life and accomplished very little. But as the hours went by I felt it was a lie, that no one could be that much of a saint, and I got angry. Hillary’s playing by the old rules, where it’s all about your resume. But today’s LinkedIn generation knows resumes are for lying, they’re all puffed-up to give you a good image, there’s very little there there.

8. Media is distrusted.

The talking heads are elitists with little gravitas. We’re sick and tired of being talked down to, which is how both Fox and MSNBC lost control of the narrative.

9. Numbers, not opinions.

Polls are everything, we follow the horse race. And if you pooh-pooh this, please note that the box office grosses and “Billboard” chart are in every publication known to man. And “USA Today” even prints the Mediabase chart!

Polls are flawed, and we trust them less and less, but numbers resonate most these days. And the truth is the numbers look good for Trump. We’ve yet to see if Clinton gets a convention bounce, but right now, Trump has a 46.7% chance of winning in November, and that’s almost a double digit jump within the past month.

“Who will win the presidency”: goo.gl/nClMve

“Where The Election Goes From Here”: goo.gl/eOI92f

10. In the land of multiple messages, clear messaging is key.

You can’t break through the clutter, this is the high concept election, if you can’t convey your message in a sentence, it’s lost.

11. People embrace change.

Otherwise why would they keep switching social networks, never mind upgrading their mobile hand-sets?

Silicon Valley knows this, that you can’t rest on your laurels, it’s not what are you doing for me today, but what are you going to do for me tomorrow!

But the media is still propping up Apple while Amazon, Google and Facebook are eating its lunch, do you expect truth to be revealed in the press?

We want the new and different, we’re sick and tired of the same old thing, we want revolutionary hope, even if it’s a pipe dream, otherwise it’s just too tough to get out of bed in the morning.

I thought the Democrats rallied, their Convention ultimately featured a rainbow coalition of speakers. But I felt strangely separated from those in charge, the elite. They seemed to say they had experience and they knew better, like a record exec rolling in dough from overpriced CDs who couldn’t see Napster coming, who could not see customers embracing poor quality MP3s instead of CDs.

The twenty first century has been about progress. The only problem is this progress has left so many out. And the victors say those on the sidelines shouldn’t complain, they’ve got flat screens and smartphones. That the success of the rich will trickle down to the poor. That’s a right wing canard the public has fully rejected.

If you want to win today you’ve got to be in the game every damn day. And the game is not network TV and newspapers, but social media. And it’s about sticking to your vision and being impervious to failure. It’s about gaining constituents and figuring out what to do with them later.

That’s right, it’s like tech.

Betamax was better than VHS, but the latter triumphed.

Google had no business model before it became one of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations.

Amazon lost tons of money before it came to dominate.

It’s a very long game, you plant your seeds years before.

Hillary’s been detached from the rank and file for far too long. And it’s a world where your acolytes prop you up. And everybody supporting Hillary is old and has been in the game forever.

That’s right, the game changed.

And Hillary missed the memo.

She’s playing by 1990s rules. A Pentium in an era of ARM chips.

She could eke out a victory, but the above issues remain.

Wanna win?

Be authentic, don’t poll to adjust your vision, go by your gut. And use the new tools to triumph. That’s right, Netflix was built on the Amazon Cloud. The tools are within reach. It’s what you do with them that counts. You can reach everybody if you want. But you must be innovative, you must experiment, you must keep tweaking until you emerge triumphant.

Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.

But he’s 32. And transforming Facebook into a video service, after moving the app to mobile and dominating hand-set advertising. Google was asleep. The media thinks Facebook’s about birthday photos. But Zuckerberg demoted the media he courted.

All within a couple of years.

Don’t stay the course.



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