Tags: Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | ISIS/Islamic State | Media Bias | nomination | presidency

Trump Bent on Self-Destruction

By Monday, 15 August 2016 07:58 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Michael Phelps has won more medals than any athlete in Olympic history. How? Skill, diligence, focus, and discipline.

Donald Trump can learn a lot about focus and discipline from Phelps.

Will he?

On Sunday, Aug. 14, Trump tweeted: “The failing @nytimes, which never spoke to me, keeps saying that I am saying to advisers that I will change. False, I am who I am — never said.”

I am who I am? Even to the point of self-destruction? One is who he chooses to be, and one always should choose to be effective.

Trump adamantly refers to his style, which led him to the nomination, as the key to winning the presidency. He’s wrong.

Borrowing from Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm,” I posit that a disruptive candidate like Trump faces five groups of voters over time, from the first primary to the general election, arranged from the lowest to the highest in risk-aversion: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards.

This means the candidate must refine his message, style, and grasp of policy detail as he moves from group to group. Innovators love risk and blowing up the status quo. Laggards like continuity and avoid risk like the plague.

Trump’s earliest supporters were innovators who craved his brashness. Despite securing them long ago, he keeps selling to them, instead of to those he now needs. Strategic and tactical error.

Trump is living in the past, talking to the wrong voters, and comporting himself in a counterproductive manner. And that’s why Trump is constantly in a state of chaos. A defiant vow never to change is the kiss of death — for a CEO, for a politician, for anyone.

Think of it: His opponent, Hillary Clinton, operates under a cloud of mendacity, duplicity, bribery, and FBI investigations — and still is a strong contender.

He’s constantly fighting with the media and walking back or “explaining” what he really meant to say. This is amateurish, at best.

At a rally in Fairfield, Conn., on Aug. 13, Trump said: “Honestly, I‘m not running against crooked Hillary Clinton; I’m running against the crooked media."

Last I checked, the crooked media will not be on the ballot in November.

Newsflash to Trump: The media are crooked and biased against you. That’s your reality. Playing victim is unbecoming of a leader. Instead, you must be superbly focused, disciplined, and crystal-clear about everything you utter.

Purposely throwing red meat to the reporters who hate you is stupid. They will side with Hillary, attack you, and bury your real message.

Are the pundits on TV debating Trump’s economic plan vs. Hillary’s? No. They’re prattling on about Trump’s latest miscues.

Lost opportunity and momentum, difficult to recapture.

At a rally in Wilmington, N.C., on Aug. 9, The Donald quipped: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

Ever since then, Trump and his proxies have been contorting themselves to explain his dubious remark. Did he mean assassination? Was he joking? Full disclosure: I cringed. Did he really say that? I asked myself.

A disciplined, focused candidate doesn’t invite such chaos. Trump does.

He could have said: “Hillary will pick Supreme Court justices who will end your Second Amendment rights. If you don’t want this, vote for me.” That would have struck a chord, put Hillary on defense, and prevented mass-hysteria.

It gets worse. He accused Hillary and Obama of being the founders of ISIS, and, as such, should get MVP awards. OK. There’s some truth to this provocative comment. It resonated with voters and won the news cycle. Trump could have made this stick, but he blew it.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he had meant his cofounder comment literally. Trump averred. So far, so good.

But, a day later, Trump claimed he was being sarcastic. Then, the day after that, “not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

Equivocation backfires. Ask Hillary.

The impact of the ISIS comment is now lost, because Donald Trump’s brand is chaos. It used to be clarity and authority.

Trump still can get the gold medal, but he must change, ASAP. He needs 60 million votes to beat Hillary. If he’s too stubborn, though, he’ll beat himself.

Marc Rudov is a branding adviser to CEOs, and is the author of "Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO's Guide to Branding." He is the founder of MarcRudov.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.






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Trump still can get the gold medal, but he must change, ASAP. He needs 60 million votes to beat Hillary. If he’s too stubborn, though, he’ll beat himself.
nomination, presidency
Monday, 15 August 2016 07:58 AM
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