What Happened? It Was All in the Message
by Tyler Cassell
Nov 22, 2016 | 4042 views | 0 0 comments | 529 529 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Democrats rehash the events of the Clinton campaign and try to understand what happened and why Hillary lost, they will undoubtedly come up with a list that they think made the difference.

Clinton says tops on the list should be FBI director James Comey’s disclosure about Clinton emails on another computer two weeks before the election that further tarnished her image. She never recovered from that.

I agree, but I think Hillary lost two years ago when Donald Trump came out with his message to “Make America Great Again.” It is a strong-action message that hits right at the heart of all Americans. Don’t all Americans want to make America great again?

It didn’t seem to matter that America is already great, and that we are well on the right track and we don’t need a retooling. The phrase was spot-on and provided the momentum for his win on November 8.

On the other hand, look at Clinton’s message of “Stronger Together.” That message is not an action message. Her message doesn’t motivate the voter to take any action because it has no action verb.

We all know that we are stronger together, but the march up to the election is about them versus us. Nobody wants to be together before election because the separateness is reason to vote for one party or the other.

We can advocate stronger together after the election, not before. Her campaign slogan was weak, and her message was weak.

Americans overlooked Trump’s nasty words, his groping of women, his lies and bankruptcies, the Trump University scandal, his non-disclosure of his tax and medical records, and his temperament in order to “make America great again.” His slogan elected him.

It is a perfect example of Democratic campaigns and their weak messages. Democrats have always had the best arguments, but their ability in getting their message across has been a dismal failure.

Go back to when John Kerry was running for president in 2004. He had a much better message about why he wanted to be president, but it got lost in his never-ending run-on explanations. People are not willing to hear long answers today, they want it short and to the point.

For example, how do you react when you get a long detailed email from a friend telling you about what’s been going on in their lives? Long, no thanks, just give me the bullet points.

When you consider that about 50 percent of people get their news from Facebook, you have to realize that the message is in the headlines. Due to the changing world of technology and the information overload in which we find ourselves, people are looking for short messages.

Trump’s tweets were short and right to the point. Wrong points and nasty words we may agree, but they were out there in the briefest form possible. Same with the “wrong, wrong, wrong” words Trump used to constantly interrupt in his debates.

Nasty? Yes. Insulting? Yes. Inaccurate? Definitely. But they were one-word putdowns that dismissed Clinton’s long-winded arguments. People only remembered the word “wrong,” they forgot Clinton’s message.

The Democrats have to learn to talk in action words and short phrases. They need to hire a consultant who is an expert in doing just that if they want to win elections and keep this country on a progressive course.

Clinton could have campaigned on action phrases such as “Make America Strong” or even “Build A Strong America.” These are actions phrases that play to American pride, and would have given many a reason to vote for Hillary Clinton in the battleground states she lost that determined the election.

Tyler Cassell is a resident of Flushing.
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