If you are a President Trump supporter, the current opinion polls make for depressing reading. In a football / soccer parlance, the score at half-time reads Candidate Joe Biden 3: President Trump 0. We say this because of a statistical property based on the average of all averages.
However, the Rembau Times declared itself a Trump Supporter a day ago on the 17th of July 2020 and this article is not meant to be a political obituary but rather a short treatise on how the Trump Presidency can learn from one of history’s foremost minds of war strategy – the mythical Chinese General called Sun Tzu. According to folklore, in the days long before the Chinese Communist Party (and Covid-19), China was divided into many little kingdoms and Sun Tzu was a Chinese ronin summoned to help one particular little kingdom, the Kingdom of Wu against the more powerful Kingdom of Wei. He succeeded despite overwhelming odds.
With almost every poll putting Candidate Joe Biden ahead of Trump outside the margin of error, the defense of the Trump Presidency is no longer a long shot – it is now a statistical improbability. The Trump Presidency could use a little bit of this kind of unorthodox masterful tactic in order to make triumph in this increasingly one-sided 2020 Presidential Race.
First a quick review of how things got here. For the last 4 years, the President has been targeted non-stop by the media and vilified at every turn as a impetuous, a racist, incompetent and so on. This constant barrage makes the effect of calling oneself a President Trump as not only politically incorrect, but socially unacceptable among wide social circles. In a highly politicized environment, people will no doubt interact more with those who publicly deride the President than those who support him.
Second is one needs to understand clearly what is an election battle. Within the context of the American Electoral College system, it means a candidate securing outright 270 electoral college votes by carrying the right mix of states, namely the swing states. From an incumbent’s point of view, the obvious fallacy is to repeat the same tactics used to fight against a previous enemy in the belief that it will eventually win as it had triumphed before. This is plainly deficient. Any candidate standing for an election should not chose a tried and tested tactic but rather the most optimum strategy given all the relevant constraints placed on the election campaign, namely : demographic mix, candidate profile, current political climate, etc.
Third is the understanding of the weapons of war and how to use it. The incumbent has the Presidential rostrum, the challenger does not. In this election campaign, every time President Trump steps up to the Presidential Rostrum, the Biden election campaign would be giving “high-fives” all around. Think about it – if the Presidential Rostrum was so powerful then no incumbent would be defeated, right?
Let’s be clear about who Trump is. Trump is not a President in the mold of any other US President. In preparing for this election battle, the political weapons the Trump Re-election Campaign needs to use must be suited to who he is – a wheeler-dealer billionaire President. Wheeler-dealers are great at seeing this early and making “strategic moves” – like the President did in confronting China early on in his Presidency when Capitol Hill was in the pocket of Beijing due to the influence of K-Street. However, wheeler-dealers cannot give speeches beyond 100 to 200 words – if you hang around wheeler-dealers long enough as we have, you will accept as fact that those businessmen with their disproportionate ego will end up talking about themselves. It comes with the territory.
Enter Sun Tzu.
In framing this mother-of-all election battles, the President’s Election Campaign should pay close attention to the lessons from the Art of War by Sun Tzu. Covid-19 has rendered what President Trump thinks is his best campaign strategy – mass rallies totally out of the question. In a way, the President should consider this as a blessing in disguise because football (aka soccer) teaches us that the best managers are willing to alter their tactics when facing much superior opposition. Remember a 1-0 smash and grab win is still a win!
By embracing Sun-Tzu’s method, the President’s campaign team will attempt to use all the negative perceptions that are built against him to his advantage. The entire tactics need to be suited towards clear understanding of both the candidate and the terrain (Art of War Principle X: Classification of Terrain)
The whole concept of this defense of the Presidency is that since Joe Biden has spoken nothing and is letting the media do his work for him, all the President needs to do is to offer a compelling narrative to the canned version thrown at him in order to alter the perception created in the voters mind. (Its a mouthful but its dead on accurate).
For example, rather than try to battle the negative perceptions created by the media, the Election Campaign should focus on flipping the argument the other way : Why should Americans buy into the liberal media?
Trump is not the President you want, he is the President you need.
This campaign message needs to be backed by a clear framing of who the enemy is , entities universally disliked by the American public more than they dislike the President. Possible candidates are : CNN , the failure of the Democrats to check China, large media corporations and corporations under the control of China. The strategy’s biggest risk is to completely ignore Candidate Joe Biden. Instead of jumping at the opportunity to skewer the Democratic candidate’s children’s ties with foreign countries, the campaign focus is to characterize him as a beholden to the interests, namely that President Trump intends to take down as part of unfinished business he intends to settle in his second term.
The principle of the campaign is simple : the one who is the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The President makes an appeal to the American public that the unfinished business involves decoupling with China – with the focus on returning jobs back to American shores. The media barrage is portrayed as the efforts by the rich and powerful to get back at a President who will not do their bidding under any circumstance. Perhaps even a Netflix miniseries leading up to the election may be an option, either way the President’s greatest strength is when he owns the media platform like he did in The Apprentice.
Attack by Hollywood Fire (Chapter XII)
The second parameter is minorities. Minorities will make or break this election. If minorities vote against President Trump in large numbers, the game is up and he will lose. The President’s campaign team should tackle this by the one thing that all Americans like : great Black comedians like Eddie Murphy or in the mold of the late Richard Pryor. I am thinking more of the likes of a younger fitter Tracy Morgan and less of Chris Rock.
The campaign should craft tough messages in engaging skits that challenge the narrative that President Trump is an enemy of the black people. The comedians job is to present the facts in a way that African Americans can relate to without coming across as an Uncle Tom. ( The entire production team who can do this should be nominated for the Oscars and the Emmys because Trump is positioned next to David Duke and the Ku Klax Klan in the mind of an overwhelming number of African American voters.** See post note)
For example, in 2019, there were 370 White people and 235 Black people killed by law enforcement. However, the overall number of homicide victims who were Black people was 7,407. That is a ratio of 30:1 and its down to drugs that come across the border, messages which the President has been tough about. Other stats include the average unemployment rate among minorities, the average weekly wage and stuff like that. So long as the campaign manages to make things humorous enough, it has a chance to go viral and achieve one stated outcome : Provide an alternative to minorities other than the canned CNN narrative..
The President should never directly act in any of the skits but if the President is strategic enough he must learn something very simple: You cannot hate someone you laugh at or laugh with. If it means hiring Richard Baldwin, or preferably Will Ferrell to play the part of the President, then so be it. And if you don’t hate the person, you are less likely to vote against that candidate. This also has the secondary effect of breaking down the wall of hate the liberal media is trying to portray against the President among neutral, conscientious White voters.
Chapter IX: The Army on the March
The third parameter is for the campaign to start to get literally real-time projections of all key constituents required to secure the path to 270 electoral votes. The President made great strides into the Blue Wall of Steel in his 2016 Election campaign. Those “Blue Dog Voters” had already done the impossible – vote for candidate Trump, a Republican for the first time in a generation. Data analysis is never for paralysis but to confirm or reject a predisposed idea – once the idea is confirmed then the focus moves away from data analysis to tactical analysis. The key data analysis is how to retain voters who voted for candidate Trump and to blunt the impact of the wave of Trump hating millennial – who are pawns of Hollywood and their TikTok masters.
The next step, implemented with surgical precision is to look at each and every possible employer in the region and to match policy with the end goal of moving jobs back to the rust belt. Literally, the Presidential Election Campaign Briefing should be the first agenda on his daily routine, more important that the Presidential Daily Briefing.
Well those are three strategies the President can employ in the closing stages of this campaign. With the election in about 100 days or more away, whatever strategy the President chooses it a) needs to be something he understands, b) something he is willing to risk and c) something he believes will lead him to victory.
Post Note: Is Trump racist?
Answer: Does a cat bark? Does a dog say moo? Of course Trump is racist, he judges on outward appearance first. Trump presents the reality of how the world works : they judge on outward appearances first. Trumps retweet of the picture of the white couple standing outside their house brandishing guns as BlackLivesMatter protestors marched by was aimed at triggering the fabled “white backlash” – the strategy is so naive and stupid. The reason is that Trump is not up against Snoop Dogg but ex Vice-President Biden. For the marginal undecided new “white fright so I’ll vote Trump” voter Trump loses moderate whites and nearly all African American voters and all the millennials. This toxic branding will spill over to the Republican Party as well.
So dumb, so dumb..
As a minority, and speaking from personal perspective, one should understand that one can only progress if he or she is several times better than their peer. This will perpetuate until the entire community is elevated and considered as special that will elevate them past prejudices. If you think this through and get off a high horse, you would see the logic of the argument.
But Hollywood is racist as well. And Black Democrat Politicians who offer ZERO benefit to the overall welfare of the African American community are worse than racists – they are traitors who make a living off the next black person killed by police while humming Ho hum as 30 other black people get killed due drugs and gang violence.