Sometimes trying to use facts to sway opinion just won’t work. Here’s why Trump know this, and how he manipulates the message to appeal to a his key demographic.
One thing liberals consistently overlook is that for many voters social status matters more than economic payoffs. Hence their inability to grasp the secret of Donald Trump’s success. They put it down to his wild promises to create more jobs and make America great again. They try to counteract his pledges by applying the idea that knowledge is power. This is an idea so famous that it is known by even those with very little of it. Trump detractors believe that by factually highlighting his failures they’ll bring him down. But Trump sees all facts and figures, as subjective and open to debate. It’s no wonder he can lie with impunity. Especially as he knows that his appeal to voters is based on something more intangible: respect.
An insecure social outsider who has long felt snubbed by the elite, Trump is brilliant at tapping into similar resentments felt by lower-status Americans.
Manly dignity is a big deal for working-class men, and they’re not feeling that they have it. Trump promises a world free of political correctness and a return to an earlier era, when men were men and women knew their place. It’s comfort food for high-school-educated guys who could have been my father-in-law if they’d been born 30 years earlier. Today they feel like losers — or did until they met Trump.
The striking thing about his speeches is the near-reverence with which he speaks of these voters. His message electrifies his base because they’re being respected by someone who embodies what they aspire to. Conversely, when Trump is denounced as a vulgar charlatan, they see it as an implicit rebuke of themselves and their values, and that drives them further into Trump’s embrace. Unless Democrats grasp this dynamic, I fear they’ll be humiliated again in 2020.