I think I’ve got it: The explanation as to what Trump is doing, and why it might make a little bit of sense. The answer is in the communications strategy. He keeps his name in the news by saying outrageous things.
Everyone reacts- and the media focuses on the reaction. Trump reacts; the focus shifts to the reaction to the reaction to the original comments (following so far?). Sometimes he makes it worse, sometimes better. The point is the focus is throughout the process is on him. And while it’s on him nobody pays attention to Hillary Clinton’s platform. Nobody pays attention to Trump’s platform. And while everyone ignores the issues, time ticks by, November 8, growing ever closer.
As a strategy it’s brilliant. It keeps Trump at the centre of the election at all times. Voters hear his name more, and it sticks. Name recognition is a huge part of winning an election. And it doesn’t matter what the candidate says. He could admit to taking part in satanic rituals, and kicking puppies. As long as his name stays at the centre of the news cycle then it’s successful.
It’s also a strategy that can be easily taken too far. His comments at a rally yesterday regarding the second amendment for example. “Hillary wants to abolish- essentially abolish the second amendment. If she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges folks, there’s nothing you can do. Although second amendment people, maybe there is; I don’t know,” he said.
The second amendment deals with the right to bear arms- he speaks of Clinton’s ideas for gun control. There are different interpretations of his comments. Some insist it’s an ill-timed, badly considered joke. Others say it’s more sinister suggesting the idea/notion of killing Hillary Clinton. Regardless, you don’t hint/suggest/ leave open to interpretation the concept of murdering a political opponent, especially when your supporters include people crazy enough to do it.
The counter strategy would be ignore him. If he speaks loudly into a vacuum, and nobody hears, then eventually he might stop. But that won’t work because ignoring him means ignoring the news. He’s the candidate for the highest office in the land. Agree with him or not, whatever he says/ does is news.
The answer might be a shift in focus. Start asking questions about policy. Report, but refuse to take the bait on the other stuff. Expose weaknesses in both platforms. Explore the different versions of America. Let the sensational stuff stand on its own.
Quote comes from CNN.com