I tried to watch the DNC and gave up, life is short and it was too depressing. No uplift even for the true believers. It was the locker room of the losing team at halftime with a pissed off team owner.
The message was “You are not voting hard enough! The problem is you!”
As communications media kept evolving we have seen several cases of gifted leaders who knew how to master the emerging environment. They brought a solid concept of the audience they want and used the new tools in a new way while their opponents were fighting with tactics from the last war.
-FDR mastered radio to his purpose but also knew his audience.
-JFK understood imagery and myth in the age of broadcast television. Camelot, celebrity, youth , vigor
-Nixon understood how television imagery coupled with the right framing can destroy an opponent .
-Reagan combined emotion with his persona and used television to create moments that resonated strength of purpose. His opponents looked small by comparison.
-Obama was effective at winning elections but never mastered the media, he ceded control to them. He never was able to govern using media effectively as the media has no interest in actual governing.
-Trump brings basic marketing skill (target the largest underserved market) and media story telling over a long arc. His movements use all media tools , both offense and defense but are not just moments and battles, they blend into a serial story of novel length, with drama, cliffhangers, old characters going, turncoats, enemies, and new characters over time. He is delivering a media strategy that approaches a saga, a current day version of Game of Thrones or Lord of The Rings.
The seeds of the RNC convention have been planted for years, the characters introduced slowly. What we saw was a production set up to open the new campaign season across a wide front, a Season Opener in TV talk. It appealed to a broader audience than before, knitting them together into the middle class and working class aspiring people with jobs and families, regardless of color , gender, backgound or former party affiliation.
His audience is increasingly invested in the saga and feels part of it. The message and appeal is now broader, with hooks designed by group to break the identity politics fragmentation.
It is an old idea made new. We can all be Americans. (WWG1WGA)
He has cast his opponents into a role in the saga and they fell right into it. They are Sauron , complete with shrieking Nazgul , minions, power hungry traitors selling out their kingdoms and now with armies of orcs causing havoc. Cast the media, the Deep State, The Democrats, the Mayors, the Tech Giants, the Shadow Donors and of course Antifa and BLM.
We love a grand saga and a rousing speech once the story has set up the roles and the stakes.