I’m watching this week as the so-called “Resistance” movement changes their attack on Trump from “Russian Puppet” to “Trump is crazy.” This has the look of a coordinated change. Watch how often you will see “Trump is crazy” articles and commentary in the coming weeks as the Opposition Media tests this new line of attack.
Trump eviscerated the “Russian Puppet” line of attack by lobbing 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base under the nose of Vladimir Putin. That made Trump look very un-puppetish. And it dismantled the Resistance’s primary line of attack. They needed a new approach.
The Resistance’s new approach is “Trump is crazy.” This persuasion play is strong because it will work well with future confirmation bias. You can make almost anything sound crazy if you try. For example…
One sign of a persuasive attack is that it primes people for confirmation bias. Once you start seeing Trump as crazy, you’ll automatically see it in everything he does. If he forgets something important, crazy! If he gets a fact wrong, crazy! If he gets tough on an adversary, crazy! If he says he will do something that is hard, and you don’t think he can get it done, crazy!
The “crazy” approach is good persuasion. I give it an A+.
And how did The Resistance learn to do persuasion this good? They might have learned it from Trump himself.
One of President Trump’s best persuasion tricks is to prime people for future confirmation bias. For example, when he called Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” you knew there would be situations in the future in which the media pointed out something untrue that Cruz said. As soon as that happened, Trump’s nickname would get stickier.
Trump did the same trick with Crooked Hillary and Low Energy Jeb. You knew there would be future stories about Clinton doing sketchy things, true or not. And you knew there would be future video footage of Jeb looking less-than-energetic. Once Trump framed his opponents, voters started filtering their observations the way Trump wanted. Confirmation bias does the rest. That’s good persuasion.
The Resistance’s “Russian Puppet” persuasion wasn’t terrible, but Trump slapped it down with his missile attack on Syria, combined with some fiction that Russian relations were at a new low. (That was never real.)
This new line of attack on Trump is far better because there will be an endless stream of new “evidence” of Trump being unbalanced. That evidence will be nothing but Trump acting the way he always acts, but the Opposition Media will have no trouble framing it as crazy.
This one is dangerous.
You might enjoy reading my book because sometimes you are crazy.
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