Clinton – artificial, Trump – genuine?

Sanders has now gone ahead of Clinton in one poll. Donald Trump maintains his lead.

The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton’s strategists will now ensure that she shows “more humour and heart” and I wondered if this was not one of the key differences of perception between Trump and Clinton (and all other “conventional” politicians). Clinton and other politicians have strategists and aides who analyse and create an artificial persona that their principal is then supposed to put on show. The perception then is that whatever they say or do is then in support of this artificial persona, which has been calculated as being the most likely to gain voter support. With Trump however the perception is that you get to see the real Trump – warts and all. Real beats artificial.

Add to this the perception that Trump needs no funding from sponsors – looking for their pound of flesh – and is beholden to no one. I begin to think that what is driving the support for Trump is the voter fatigue with conventional politicians who are calculatedly artificial and who are in hock to their donors. Trump’s convictions are perceived to be real while those of others are seen to be “bought” and artificial.

Nobody doubts, even when Trump displays his ignorance in some areas – especially of foreign affairs – that he can always surround himself with knowledgeable people. And nobody doubts either that if he picks the wrong people, he knows how to fire them. It is his real track record being pitted against the implied erudition of others.

I see also that Paul Krugman is generally scornful of the economic policies of all the GOP candidates and especially those of Bush. In his latest column he puts Trump as the best of a bad lot. But one look at Trump’s real billions render all Krugman’s jargon and all his (failed) theories utterly toothless. In one phrase, Krugman basically stands for increased public spending. In fact, in a battle for minds between Trump’s real billions and Krugman’s artificial theories, the real billions on the bottom line carry much more credibility. Krugman stands for debt while Trump stands for real wealth.

If a perception that being “real” is what trumps being “artificial” is the theme now driving US voters, then Trump is going to be around for a long time yet. Conventional, artificial politicians (GOP and Democrat) are going to have a tough time against people fed-up with being sold made-up story lines.

NYT:  ……. In extensive interviews by telephone and at their Brooklyn headquarters last week, Mrs. Clinton’s strategists acknowledged missteps — such as their slow response to questions about her email practices — and promised that this fall the public would see the sides of Mrs. Clinton that are often obscured by the noise and distractions of modern campaigning. 

They want to show her humor. The self-effacing kind (“The hair is real, the color isn’t,” she said of her blond bob recently, taking note of Mr. Trump) has played better than her sarcastic retorts, such as when she asked if wiping a computer server was done “with a cloth.” …

They want to show her heart, like the time she comforted former drug addicts in a school meeting room in New Hampshire.

But the widespread presumption of Hillary Clinton as being untrustworthy, cold, calculating and not very effective (Libya) is firmly ingrained. To now try and show her as being a warm, funny, “nice” but efficient person is not going to fly.

Perhaps the paradigm shift in the 2016 election will be that “real” trumps “artificial”.

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