When you easily can predict how opponents will react, you can set a persuasive agenda that is unparalleled. We watched this in action in the state of the union address last night where President Trump has pushed the Democrats to go full tilt. I love watching this strategy in play because it’s useful on a smaller scale for people who understand the basic concepts here.
Let’s talk about the framework in which President Trump is operating: the Democrats have pushed the narrative that he is LITERALLY HITLER for several years, forcing that comparison to be so commonplace within their ranks, it makes them have to disagree with LITERALLY EVERYTHING he says. After all, you can’t compromise with LITERALLY HITLER, cuz we all know what happens if you do.
It’s a powerful rhetorical grenade, not for the Democrats (as most people find such comparisons exhausting at best), but for President Trump to use.
And he did so to great avail last night with imagery of holocaust survivors, world war two veterans, victims of anti-semitic attacks, and heroes who took down anti-semitic killers, all who President Trump PRAISED and appeared to support President Trump. The imagery in the minds that sticks is “This guy is the Anti-Hitler.”
And you watched as Democrats reacted tepidly. They knew they weren’t supposed to applaud. They knew Trump is LITERALLY HITLER… so what was he doing? But they were forced to clap because if they didn’t, they would have a very, very bad look. You can see it in their body language and expressions that the cognitive dissonance they suffered was very difficult for them. It was absolutely beautiful to watch.
And the polls agreed. 76% according to the very hostile CBS News poll approved of the speech, which means the real number is even higher. No one could be opposed to what Trump was saying made America great. If you are opposed to it, well, you might actually be a Nazi.
It was brilliant visually as a display, of course, especially in contrast to Virginia Governor Northam, who was shown in a picture with a KKK hood. This made powerful visuals again in Trump’s favor as several of the Democrats chose to wear solid white together. The link is clear in many Americans’ minds, and it was a bad look for Trump’s opponents. Moreover, because of Northam’s insane defense of post-birth abortion (which we will call infanticide from here forward), Trump used the visuals of the white KKK Democrats and holocaust to hammer the point that late term abortions are Nazi-level murder. It went beautifully.
And it forced the Democrats to oppose his agenda despite this powerful imagery on his side, pushing them into more extreme positions. Let’s look at what he proposed:
- Banning late-term abortions (unlike Nazi Germany who tried to “abort” quite a bit of the population)
- USA is not a socialist country (unlike Nazi Germany the imagery reminded us)
- No endless wars (unlike Nazi Germany)
- Negotiating and peace (Unlike Nazi Germany)
- Healthy respect for God (Unlike socialist soviet Russia)
The points are very simple things pretty much all Americans can get behind, and the Democrats already fell right into the trap.
The response was canned, not even listening to or anticipating the speech, nor making any adjustment. Abrams rambled about her own life personally, as if she were some sort of victim because she lost an election. It fell utterly flat and gave no real contrast other than saying Republicans are bad. But we just were filled with imagery that Republicans love the things that we all agree made our country great. The economy is good. It looked very bizarre, and she may have just been made a sacrificial lamb because no one else wanted the job.
Second, Kamala Harris, a presidential candidate for the Dems, immediately made a post about “politicians shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies” – but in conjunction with late term abortion. Polling shows that about 29% of the populace thinks abortion should be legal “no matter what”. If you look at polls, around 20-30% believe ANYTHING, but it means the vast majority of Americans want limits. Late-term is a sensible limit and a bad optic for the candidate, because she can get blasted with pictures of fully formed babies, and most people agree that killing fully formed babies is bad.
Trump forced her into this position by taking a very reasonable position, and got his opponent to react because LITERALLY HITLER. And that is expert persuasion at work. The question is, how far are the democrats going to go to keep up their rhetoric? I can’t wait to watch and see.
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