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The election has come and gone. Billionaire real estate mogul Donald J. Trump is now our president-elect.

While the right celebrates, the left has taken to the street to protest. In an ironic twist, it should have been Hillary Clinton and her supporters being asked if they’ll accept the results of the election, not Donald Trump.

As I have come to learn this political season, politics is simply a game of persuasion. There’s a pool of voters – both registered and unregistered – that candidates have to work to persuade them towards voting for them (or at least against their opponent.)

At the end of the day, the better persuader usually wins.

It’s clear that in this election, Donald Trump was the better persuader.

Adage has a good piece about Hillary Clinton’s advertising strategy. Their premise being that her campaign’s messages were “tone deaf.”

It seemed like every ad that Clinton and her allies released in the ensuing months was simply a variation on the theme that Donald Trump is a big jerk. In fact, as recently as Sunday, Clinton’s campaign released a video titled “10 minutes of Donald Trump demeaning, objectifying, and insulting women.”

Whereas Trump’s campaign released dead-simple, exceedingly traditional ads related to Big Issues.

Clinton successfully branded Trump as Hitler, capitalizing on Trump’s penchant for belittling opponents, his braggadocio, hyper alpha masculinity, and his sometimes-extreme policy proposals.

However, what Trump did during the campaign was simply a lesson in persuasion at its highest level.

As Scott Adams, trained hypnotist, wrote:

Pacing and Leading: When normal politicians change their minds we label it flip-flopping or – more kindly – “evolving” in their thinking. When a Master Persuader does it, you are seeing pacing and leading, which is a major tool of persuasion. Pacing involves matching people – in this case emotionally – and later using that bond to lead them. We see Trump doing this often.

a. Trump paced his base by saying he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Once he had his base on his side emotionally, he led to them to his current policy of deporting only the people who committed crimes while here. Have you heard any Trump supporters complain about it lately?

b. Trump paced his base by saying he would ban all Muslim immigration to stop terrorist infiltration. Once he had them on his side emotionally, he led them first to a ban on specific problem countries, and then again to “extreme vetting,” which is a lot like Clinton’s plan. Trump supporters followed, and you don’t hear them complaining.

Humans are irrational creatures. They make decisions off of need, desire, and fear.

Was Trump’s call for a complete shutdown of Muslim immigration extreme? Yes. But in the context of persuasion, he was simply meeting the emotional needs and fears of many Americans at the time.

Think about the major terrorist attacks that made global news during this campaign: Orlando, Nice, Brussels, Paris. All committed by Islamic terrorists. Couple that with the ever looming threat of terrorism stemming from ISIS and other radical jihadists and the very real fear for many Americans was near must be at an all time high against Islamic terror.

The original proposal of shutting down Muslim immigration was meant to match Americans’ fears so they could be led to a more rational position.

As of now, Donald Trump’s position is akin to having more extensive vetting of potential refugees, especially from terrorism-laden countries. That is very reasonable.

Donald Trump is also a bully. But look at who he bullies: his opponents, those who attack him first, and those who distort his views.

He labeled his opponents with nicknames to humiliate them. It’s great persuasion. Lyin’ Ted, Liddle Marco, Crooked Hillary, Low Energy Jeb. They’re all names that have an element of truth to them. They stick because in your mind you agree with at least the premise. Lyin’ Ted: all politicians lie. He has instantly discredited any attacks from Ted as smears from a liar. Same with Liddle Marco: any attacks fro Marco are now framed as simply attempts from a lesser trying to punch upwards. Crooked Hillary speaks for itself. And Jeb did have low energy. He is a soft spoken southerner who have a bit of malaise to him. In comparison to the loud, boisterous Trump, Jeb looked uninterested in his candidacy. Go watch an old debate with that in mind.

Trump also attacks after he’s been attacked. Recall that in one debate, he jokingly said to Ted Cruz, “you better not attack” when asked about the detente the two had shared to that point. Cruz went onto attack Trump first and Trump responded likewise. The same goes with Marco Rubio, “I’ve been nice to Marco” Trump said early on in the primaries. Then Marco attacked the size of Trump’s hands, and, well, you know the rest.

As to those who attack Trump’s views one has to look no further than the media. Just look at the complete meltdown that the media has had in the past two days. “Where did we go wrong?” is a typical talking point in opinion pieces and on roundtables.  Even CBS News has admitted to the deafness the media had: “The unbearable smugness of the press.”

Nearly everyone can agree that the media was blindingly one-sided in this election. Media watchers constantly showed how their was more coverage of the Trump Tapes than there was to Wikileaks. That there was an incessant need for Donald Trump to disavow any and all crusty bottom feeders like David Duke who would not even have a voice if not for the media. How would we even know what David Duke and nobodies were saying if not for the amplification of their voice by the media?

The media bullied Trump, so he fought back.

Even the Rosie O’Donnell beef was started by Rosie first. But when O’Donnell suffered a heart attack, Trump was quick to offer his well wishes. The fight is only fair and fun when the opponent is equal.

I return to my main point: the Clinton campaign was very successful in branding Trump as Hitler because of his bullying tactics. In politics, we don’t normally see a bully rise to prominence. It breaks the norms of politics.

But Trump wasn’t a politician until then.

In actual examination, we see that Trump simply was taking on his foes like other politicians. But instead of battling it out through policy and experience differences, he used his celebrity, linguistics, and tenacity to fight to take them down.

The cheap attack of labeling Trump as Hitler is just that: cheap. It lessens the importance and significance of actual dictators like Hitler who were maniacal and killed countless numbers of people.

You may disagree with his politics, but Trump will be your president in just over 2 months. He deserves at least your support, as he has the interests of the country in mind. To call him Hitler a) confirms the hypnosis done by the Clinton campaign on you and b) would make you morally responsible for stopping Hitler. Unless you truly believe that and are willing to do it, then you are simply lying to yourself and cannot rationalize the cognitive dissonance.

So please, stop calling Trump Hitler. He’s not.


Also published on Medium.

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Shane Rider

Shane Rider is a writer for REGATED, interested in political theory, conservatism, and all things Boston. He is consistently seen at Fenway Park and has been known to sleep outside for World Series tickets. You can follow him on Twitter @sriderMA
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  • Alicia M Liverance

    AMEN !!!

  • David

    This is a part of the story. Another part is that Hillary could only go negative, because there’s very little positive to say about her. Basically “I was in the room while Obama made some decisions” (we now know she paid $200,000 to be nominated as Sec. of State to be in that room) and “I am a woman.” So when Trump went positive, as he did near the end of the primaries and early general election, the Dems had panic attacks. They could not match with positives about their candidate because she has none!

  • blindsight

    Excellent piece, thank you!

  • Samerica

    Trump nor the republican party is a nazi racist group like the media portrays them
    but it’s just the opposite! The left wing demoncrap party is the party of the KKK
    and the party of dividing and conquering with them being the masters and their
    voters being the slaves. But even more than that they are the party of socialism,
    communism, progressives and liberals who all have more in common with Hitler
    and Nazis and other Dicktators like BO who push their will on others despite most
    being against their agenda. They are on video as being admires of Hitler and other
    far left leaders most who have killed their own people! They push hatred against
    one group and another and make up propganda with help of the bias media and
    the create violence and anarchy with protesters who are brainwashed into the
    lies they have created! The left wing voters are all out of touch and don’t know
    what they are even voting for anymore! The rich liberals don’t want their money
    taken away and keep their produce nothing govt or state or program jobs! The
    others just want FREE STUFF like college, healthcare, homes, cars etc……..
    and then you have the lazy freeloaders who want to continue their free welfare
    foodstamps and other freebies paid by the hard working tax payer who under
    Obomba and demoncrap control has lost millions of jobs and insurance and
    their savings etc..and struggling just to pay rent and food like some of these
    non working types are getting free food, rent, healthcare etc…the problem
    with it is THE MONEY RUNS OUT! and it has that is why Obombo has more
    debt than every President combined! That is why the divide in this country is
    wider and they had to make up the anti american racist anti cop movement!
    The bias media will still not condemn all the lies and scandals and failures
    under Obomba and the demoncrap party! The left wing voter won’t accept
    it either! And where is BO and Hellary and Pelosi and Reid and the rest of
    those who created this failed agenda? They aren’t suffering the consequences.
    They still have their big mansions and millions and they will live happily ever
    after like all Dicktators and leaders who have done the same thing to their
    people and countries! Hitler could care less about the German people who
    supported him and were suffering some starving and dying and then like
    the lying egotistical nut he was he took the easy way out! Now they just
    run off with their money and leave the poor dumb voters who supported them
    to deal with the destruction! Americans woke up to this and the left wingers
    can’t handle the truth! The spoiled brat little protesters still don’t see they
    were used and are still being used by the left and don’t understand that
    they have to work for a living and be dependent on others to work and
    pay for it all or that Big Govt is going to provide for you and be there when
    you have problems and that they are not god or these super heroes but devils.
    It’s Freedom not Freedumb like the left wing voters are not! not free just dumb.

  • Richard Stephen

    “Maniacal and killed countless people”, that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton has done in the world.

  • You don’t explain how Hillary should be a Hitler, at all or how Hitler was different than Trump when he was first elected.

    • Rab iBurns

      Hillary like hitler wanted a single, as-global-as-possible government. She would also have pushed enforced equality, big government, and continued her alliance with the muslims against the Jews. Hillary like hitler wanted to privilege a certain demographic (liberal/atheist/muslim and Aryan, respectively), not only in the home state but also in the wider empire.

      Trump, on the the hand, wants to limit his rule to a specific piece of geography and serve all citizens of that state, regardless of ethnic and ideological character.

      Unlike hillary, hitler succeeded in using the political/business/media establishment plus street thugs to sneak his way into power in defiance of the democratic process. America was more robust.

      Immediately on coming to power, hitler stripped all German states of their local power, initiated violence against German Jews, gave himself dictatorial powers (Enabling Act), more here: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/chron.html

      Trump wants to devolve power to states, e.g. on education, hillary wanted to strengthen federal rule.

      • Leo McNeil

        Interesting

      • He’s more like Hitler for inciting violence at rallies and Hate Speech directed at deportation based on ethnic and religious basis. Mostly, it’s his position to Make America Great again by deportation and making the rest of the world pay because then we’ll be great again.

        For hate speech examples, review these highlights of Trump encouraging violence that was more common in his good ‘ol days as well as promises to pay for legal bills if someone gets hurt because they need to be hurt. Documentation of promoting violence is more important to being like Hitler than your examples of conspiracies.

        http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004269364/trump-and-violence.htmlv

        You can also review the 19 points here about basics of Demogogery, which lists Hitler as an example along with Joseph McCarthy. In Trump’s world, placing the press in a penn at his rallies where they were subject to taunts of the entire crowd with ‘CNN Sucks’ is an example of being against the free press or freedom of thought, as well as engineering rallies to have those penns encouraging the demeaning of the free press, is similar to the engineering of rallies at Nuremberg to promote a mass hysteria around the ruler and against ‘the other’.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demagogue

        He’s not a fascist yet, but let’s all hope he’s doesn’t start detaining and deporting based on mass over generalizations like Mexican’s are rapists and all Muslims must be stopped until we figure out what the hell is going on.

        I’ll throw you a bone though, the title of this post is true. He’s not Hitler. I have started calling him a Demagogue because it’s more truthful. Trump has not started a war and systematically killed people based on religious or sexual orientation. He’s got that going for him.

        • Rab iBurns

          You got the cognitive science blues bad. They have a lot to answer for.

          • Imagine there’s no heaven
            It’s easy if you try
            No hell below us
            Above us only sky
            Imagine all the people
            Living for today… Aha-ah…
            Imagine there’s no countries
            It isn’t hard to do
            Nothing to kill or die for
            And no religion, too
            Imagine all the people
            Living life in peace… You…
            You may say I’m a dreamer
            But I’m not the only one
            I hope someday you’ll join us
            And the world will be as one
            Imagine no possessions
            I wonder if you can
            No need for greed or hunger
            A brotherhood of man
            Imagine all the people
            Sharing all the world… You…
            You may say I’m a dreamer
            But I’m not the only one
            I hope someday you’ll join us
            And the world will live as one

  • M Mills

    1. Hillary did not brand trump as hitler. Donald trump did that all by himself by his fascist tendencies, utterances and behaviour.
    2. Trump did not bully only people who attacked him first. He assaulted women, non-whites and disabled people amongst others all weaker than him, who had done nothing whatsoever to harm trump.
    3. Trump is endorsed by: KGB ISIS and KKK. This is astonishing and alarming and you are calling for the press to shut up about it. This goes to your credibility.
    4. Your credibility is further undermined here by the fact that you lead us to your twitter handle that does not exist.