Are these the old school campaign tactics being used against Trump?
By JC Collins
Never before has the mainstream media bias towards one candidate been so visible. The American establishment has been pulling out all the stops to bring Donald Trump down and prevent him from winning the Presidential election. CNN is now literally non-stop Trump trashing with one negative and distorted story after another.
The debates themselves have become a tool being used against the Trump campaign. The moderators are acting as a force of influence in each debate attempting to undermine the Clinton-opposing positions and prevent any meaningful discussions surrounding the plethora of corruption truths which are coming out almost daily now.
There is a growing majority of Americans, and even those in other nations which watch American news, who are waking up to the well-worn and tired political script which the Clinton campaign, and Democrats as a whole, are utilizing in their attempts to de-rail the Trump Campaign.
The transparency of these political campaign tactics are becoming hard to ignore. The age of social media and the internet has ensured that availability of information, and the ability to understand that information, can contribute to the unraveling of plans and strategies which in decades past would have been extremely effective at molding the opinions of the masses.
One such strategy is published by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. The NDI claims to be a non-partisan organization whose goals include increasing the effectiveness of democratic institutions. This is code for developing methods of manipulating public opinion and winning elections, as opposed to letting the normal democratic process take its natural course based on the merits of the candidates and their arguments.
The NDI has published a document titled Political Campaign Planning Manual – A Step-by-Step Guide to Winning Elections. This document represents the archaic text book political tactics which a growing percentage of the population is sick and tired of. The non-partisan orientation of the NDI is about as realistic as the non-bias in the media.
The NDI was founded by the first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright made headlines early in the 2016 presidential campaign when she expressed her support for Hillary Clinton with the following statement:
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
Another old school method of manufacturing public opinion is using opposing positions and creating contrasting scripts. This method is clearly defined in the NDI manual on winning elections. One simply needs to take a half-truth based on the distortion of what an opponent said and keep repeating that half-truth until the masses begin to believe that it is an accurate reflection of the opponent’s position.
This is the core tactic being used against the Trump campaign. Appendix E of the NDI manual is titled Drawing Contrast with Your Opponents. The full section is included below. The XXX vs YYY chart accurately reflects each of the Clinton campaign talking points directed at Donald Trump. Pro-Clinton talking points are highlights in blue and con-Trump talking points are highlighted in red. Areas where I believe the Clinton campaign has trouble are highlighted in yellow. - JC
APPENDIX E: DRAWING CONTRAST WITH YOUR OPPONENTS
One of the most difficult problems facing candidates and political activists is the problem of creating a contrast with your opponents in the minds of the voters. Party programs and messages tend to be bland and generic, and the voters never understand why one candidate or party is better than another is. As a result, voters grow cynical and begin to view democratic elections as meaningless.
In designing your campaign message, you must give your target audience the sharpest possible contrast with your opponents. If you don't, then your target audience has no reason to vote for you instead of your opponent. In order to ensure that your message has this contrast, you should be able to word it in the following way:
"When you go to the polls on Election Day, I want you to keep one thing in mind. The differences between my opponent and me could not be clearer. You can vote for me, who stands for XXX, or you can vote for my opponents, who stand for YYY. What our country and our region need are a lot more XXX, and a lot less YYY. That's what this election is about, and that's what you are going to decide."
When searching for the "XXX" and "YYY", you may look at the following areas:
- Values: How is what you stand for significantly different than what your opponents stand for?
- Policies: What would you do as an elected leader that is significantly different from what your opponents would do?
- Experience: How will the differences between your work and educational experience and your opponents' experience influence the way you would behave in office? Often, when values and policies are very similar, experience is the best way to draw contrast -- Which candidate is best able to deliver the promised policies or values?
For any particular trait under the above headings, you must craft your message in order to draw the most favorable contrast with your opponents. Examples of how to do this include:
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