Donald Trump’s latest press conference was a brilliant lesson in populism. He had the media totally confused. They didn’t even notice how they were played, and ended up as the villains.
I decided to look at the conference from the perspective of a Trump supporter. First I had to forget the mannerisms and the rambling, because a Trump supporter would.
Looking at it from this new perspective, it was a home run.
To prove this, I will run it by you point by point; focusing on the things a supporter would be focusing on. As you know, we tend to listen better to the things we want to hear.
The intro: We have made incredible progress. A new Rasmussen poll just came out, and it has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up. There is a tremendous surge in optimism in the business world. Plants and factories are already starting to move back into the United States.
I am making this statement directly to the American people, with the media present. Many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth, and will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve.
Bullet point 1: I inherited a mess; the system is broken. The media speaks for the broken system. The level of media dishonesty is out of our control.
Bullet point 2: Beginning on day one we began to tackle these challenges. We have had enormously productive talks with foreign leaders. There will be a new council with Canada to promote women as business leaders and entrepreneurs. Notice, please, that this is important to Ivanka.
Bullet point 3: Our strong generals are out there working on a plan to defeat ISIS; another inherited mess. There will be a massive rebuilding of the military. We are searching for peace through strength.
Bullet point 4: We have to have strong law enforcement also, and strong borders. The task to return government to the people has begun. I am here following through on what I pledged to do.
We left the TPP, deregulation has started, the crime fight has begun, substantial border measures have been taken, the crackdown on sanctuary cities has begun, decisive action has been taken to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the country, extreme vetting will be put in place.
Bullet point 5: The court system has not made it easy.
Bullet point 6: Back to the many things we are doing, it bears repeating. Keystone, Obamacare, tax reform, the draining of the swamp. All is moving forward according to plan.
Bullet point 7: Again, we are doing great. A great cabinet is being installed, look at Tillerson and Kelly. Jobs are starting to surge, look at Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Intel, Walmart.
Bullet point 8: Other countries have taken advantage of us for decades – decades, and decades, and decades. We are looking for fair trade, not free trade.
Bullet point 9: There has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time.
Bullet point 10: THE MEDIA LIES. They will not tell you about all of the above. They call my first days in office a chaos; they concentrate on fake news. The whole Russia thing is fake news. Repeat, repeat, fake news.
And the media gets their information illegally. It is a security risk. We are going to get to the bottom of it. If we can’t get good relations with Russia, and Russia becomes more aggressive, it is because of the pressure of the media.
Repeat, repeat, I have nothing to do with Russia or WikiLeaks.
The media asks insulting questions. Most of them are against me. The media tone is hatred. Take this news conference. Tomorrow they will say that Donald Trump rants and raves. They are dishonest.
Epilogue: I didn’t come along and divide the country. We have lived in a divided nation for a long time. I will do everything in my power to fix that.
I won with news conferences and probably speeches. So I am having one again. Just to prove to the American people that all the media will talk about tomorrow is my ranting and raving. Am I right, or am I right?
Brilliant show Donald Trump. A lesson in perfect populism. Clear bullet points, a lot of repetition, a show with the media as unwitting participants.
No matter how the media later rates your facts, many of which were false or mostly false, the take away for your supporters is clear.
Just as you predicted, the media is focusing on your ranting and raving, not the many brilliant things you said you had done. Ergo the media is dishonest.
This was a home run as far as your supporters are concerned.
This is how you won, you said it yourself.
You have to be quite a fact checker to keep up with what is true and false in Donald Trump’s narrative. It is such a perfect mix.
So as a supporter, why bother? Who has the time and interest to check what is true or false regarding Russia. Let’s move on.
Jobs and security are the things that matter. Would the jobs have come anyway? Were things done to improve security during the Obama regime? Details, details.
So this is what populism looks like when it’s done well.
Talk big, offer simple solutions with few buts, make it sound easy. Talk directly to the people, make it sound like it’s all getting done. Even when it isn’t. Make sure to discredit other news sources. Their fact-checking undermines your story .
Where is the water, how does one fight this fire? It is spreading.