- This is Part III of my analysis of the 2016 Presidential Election through the lens of the Principles of War (Definitions of each Principle)
- Simplicity: The more moving parts a campaign or operation has, the more likely something will break down and compromise the outcome. Donald Trump’s campaign was as simple as it could get, from his message to his operations, and broke the mold on how to wage successful presidential campaigns. Compared to Hilary, and his main GOP primary contenders, Trump spent less money, hired far fewer people in his campaign, and manned far fewer statewide victory offices. Trump did not pull out of campaigning to spend weeks plotting his responses to debate questions, holding mock debates where every possible response could be scripted and poll tested like Hillary did. He relied on simplicity, where he went out and talked directly to the American people, in person and through social media. Trump had only a few key surrogates, like Kelly Ann Conway and Newt Gingrich, who engaged the Minion Media directly, and that kept his message tight and consistent.
Trump relied on key paid campaign staff, volunteers and local GOP Party support for his simple election day operations, and they combined their efforts to defeat what was supposed to be the most vaunted political machine in history. Trump’s faith in his supporters getting out votes for him, was the epitome of Simplicity, and decentralized execution.
Hillary’s campaign was the polar opposite of Trump’s. Her campaign was a big money, high personnel, high spending, “Minion Media” colluding and intimidating effort that failed to see or believe the inroads Trump’s campaign was making in the “Blue Firewall” and traditional democrat voters. Hillary’s message was convoluted, complex, and failed to connect with voters outside of the progressive coasts.
Joint Principals (added post 911):
- Restraint: Democrats are known for going for the throat, and Hillary was anything but restrained. She claimed the High Road but evidence such as the Wikileaks dump of her campaign manager John Podesta’s emails clearly showed they played dirty, including colluding with the media to get debate questions, and plotting with the DNC on how to rig the primaries against Bernie Sanders. In the general, her claims of racism and bigotry were nothing but a transparent effort to use identity politics to destroy the GOP candidate. Thankfully, Trump did not unduly restrain himself, and Hillary’s campaign had difficulty dealing with him as a result.
The Allies did not win WWII by using restraint. Fire bombings of German cites like Dresden or the bombing of Hiroshima were not example of restraint. Given that, Donald Trumps campaign was not an example of restraint. Previous Republican like McCain and Romney lost because they were grossly restrained. Republican voters were looking for a candidate to take the fight to democrats, and they elected Trump.
- Perseverance: Trump clearly followed this Principle. He never retreated, never backed down, never slowed down, and never quit despite calls from media pundits through out the campaign that he was just in it for the publicity, to start a media company, as a fake to help Hillary, and other fake news motivations. In addition, Donald Trump was assailed by more negative press, accusations of racism, sexism, Islamophobia and bigotry than any successful candidate ever. Most others would have wilted under the assault, but Trump persevered and won.
Hillary on the other hand showed a lack of perseverance. She was ill, sat out the campaign for days at a time, and held a very light campaign schedule compared to Trumps. She did outlast her illicit home-brew email server scandal, but it eroded her already poor credibility. Hillary’s lifetime of baggage, combined with her server, the Clinton Foundation FBI investigation and the Wikileaks exposure finally did her in.
- Legitimacy: As far as we know, both campaigns operated within the legal rules. Hillary morally acted outside those bounds by accepting debate questions and engaging in media collusion and DNC favoritism during the primaries. Cries of Trump not accepting potential election results gave way to Hillary and democrats not accepting the actual election results crying (illegitimate Russian intervention). Ironically, America depends upon the peaceful transfer of power from legitimate president to another. Democrats are out to delegitimize Donald Trumps presidency, and risk anarchy in the process.