In 2016, Donald Trump told a story of a nation in decline as his campaign message. He clearly identified what he considered the threats, evils and villains of our time. Muslims. Immigrants. Mexico. Globalists. The NY Times.
He talked of victims, and their fear.
Violent immigrants who rape and kill; immigrants who take jobs away from white Americans. Companies that make products in foreign countries. Muslims sneaking in to destroy the American culture. A country rotting from within.
Candidate Trump offered his solutions. Kill trade agreements. Deport immigrants. Build a wall. Keep Muslims off American soil. Tax imported goods.
He said he would make a nation safer, bring jobs home, cut crime, fix healthcare, raise wages and make a once great nation great again.
The hero in Candidate Trump’s story was Donald Trump. “I alone can fix it,” he said.
And what was Mrs. Clinton story? Even well-read voters can’t remember.
A lot of Americans did not like Mr. Trump’s campaign narrative. It did however, prove something about political combat. Even a candidate with an ugly message will defeat an opponent who doesn’t have one.
Some still wonder why candidate Trump’s message worked. The answer is simple. His campaign narrative had all the elements of an easily understood story. A threat. An evil. A villain. Fear. A victim. Hope. A resolution. A hero.
He connected all the dots into an understandable narrative.
Stories win campaigns, but there is no law that says they must be crude, ugly or filled with hate. In fact, some of the most powerful campaign narratives ever told were those that brought people together, lifted people up, healed division, and summoned the better angels of the human spirit.
Our political discourse has become a squalid sewer of hate. It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you are running for office…if you are interested in elevating our discourse, and offering hope over hate, I have developed a workbook that will help you do that. A easy to understand, easy to follow, step by step guide to a compelling campaign message.
If you’d like a copy, email me at [email protected]. Write Help in the Subject Line and I’ll send it to you.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.
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