Candidates: there’s only one way to beat Trump
If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s this: facts don’t matter.
There are always alternative facts.
Trumps supporters get this. They explain it this way: Trump is truthful, but not factual. That’s at the heart of any Donald Trump speech, position or narrative. He tells the story that his listeners want to hear, no matter how factually inaccurate it might be.
Trump tells stories with a powerful appeal. His stories are about how the listeners are being treated unfairly. They’re about good men and women who want good things, who obey God and have old-fashioned admirable values. They’re about how the Coastal Elites disrespect them and their views, laugh at their desire to return to a simpler time. It’s about us v. them.
His stories are powerful because they evoke primitive tribal instincts. There is safety in numbers, safety in being with others of your ilk. Stay with your leader and the wolves won’t get you.
If you want to beat Trump, tell us a better story. Tell us a story that invokes our better angels, not our basest survival stories. Tell us a story of hope, of safety, of a future we want to live in.
Here’s how to create one.
First, stop talking about yourselves. No more sentences that start with, “I….” No more, “When I am President….” No more, “Trump is ….” Just listen to a tape of your last speech. “I…I…I….”
Instead, talk to me about me. Your Story-About-Me — your SAM — should be about my future, my identity. It’s never about what you are going to do when you are president, except to the extent that it is about your Story-About-Me. The only Democratic candidate who’s even gotten close to doing this is Mayor Pete, who talks about the day after the election and what the world will look like.
Second, tell us a new story. A new story about who we are, where we’re going, and who we will be. And tell it right.
I don’t care about your plans. I care about feeling safe. Speak to that.
Your Story-About-Me is the most critical part of your campaign. It’s what drives donations, identification…