Musings —06.21.2016 07:32 AM—
Quote from a fascinating Washington Post piece on Trump’s Muslim-hating strategy:
The now-departed Corey Lewandowski said that, but I don’t think his firing changes the, ahem, truth of what he said: to Trump, and guys like him, The Truth is completely subjective. It’s a construct. It’s a theory.
That’s appalling, of course. It’s cynical. It’s Orwellian and all that. The Truth should always be The Truth, right? Right. But, in modern politics, whether something is true or not is basically immaterial.
Social media has contributed to truth becoming situational, as has the mainstream media’s 24/7 data smog. There is so much bullshit out there, we’ve come to accept that bullshit is a constant. Have you (like I was, just last week, with a story about a former Maple Leafs star) been sucked in by an Internet hoax? Of course you have. Everyone has. Lies have become the lingua franca of the Internet.
In every political campaign, the media publish these “reality check” things, and politicos will quietly laugh and shake their heads. “Whose reality?” they say. “Whose truth?”
A party is for the GST, then isn’t. For free trade, then not anymore. Against calling the Islamic State a state, until they do. It’s not genocide, one day, and it is, the next. To succeed in most political parties, you have to have an innate ability to ascertain (a) what the collective truth is at any given moment, and (b) pivot towards the changed truth in an instant, without breaking into a sweat. All while keeping a straight face. In political parties, this skill is highly prized.
Donald Trump’s core audience know he tells them lies. They don’t care. They want what he says to be true. They don’t care as much about what The Truth presently is.
I spoke to Tony Schwartz about this, for my books Kicking Ass and The War Room. He was the genius who came up with the ‘Daisy’ ad, about which I named the company I started. Schwartz called all of this internalized truth stuff “the responsive chord.” He even wrote a book with that title. To sell someone something, he told me – a candidate, an idea, whatever – you need to figure out what someone’s truth is, and “surface” it.
That’s what winning campaigns do. They don’t try and tell The Truth. They try and figure out, instead, what Your Truth is, and then “surface” it. They embrace Your Truth, not The Truth.
God exists. To me, that’s true. To you, maybe, it isn’t. What matters isn’t who is right or who is wrong. What matters is figuring out what someone’s truth is, and selling it back to them.
Sad, but true.